Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Slimes Again. Al Franken Comes Out the Winner

Last week I had the privilege, along with other MoveOn members, of signing this Thank You card to (then) Senator-Elect Al Franken after the Supreme Court of Minnesota ruled unanimously that he had won the election to the Senate of the United States.

Congratulations, Senator Franken!
Good luck in Washington.

We're standing with you as you
fight for health care, clean energy,
and a fair economy.

Bill O'Reilly, like many talk show hosts, returned this week from vacation to the news that not only had Al Franken been determined the winner, but had received a concession call from the loser, Norm Coleman. This call ensured that the process was well & truly over and that Coleman would not pursue his previously stated intention of taking his fight to the United States Supreme Court.

O'Reilly, ever gracious and fair, said of Franken on his show in another slimy excuse to plug his book:

"In a sad day for America, Al Franken is now a U.S. Senator. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled he won the election by about 300 votes. Franken is a blatantly dishonest individual, a far-left zealot who is not qualified to hold any office, a man who trafficked in hate on his failed Air America radio program. If you want proof, check out Page 96 in my book Culture Warrior. With people like Franken on the Hill, this country is in deep trouble."

If you don't understand the history between these 2 men - and believe me, there is definitely history - Fox News took Al Franken to court charging copyright infringement on their copyrighted slogan "Fair and balanced" and his use of a photograph of Bill O'Reilly on the cover of his satirical book, "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."

Now, in the words of the judge hearing the case, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin, "Of course, it is ironic that a media company that should be fighting for the First Amendment is trying to undermine it."

But, be that as it may, Fox's attorneys tried bravely to prove that Franken's book cover with it's cover of O'Reilly and it's book title incorporating the words "Fair and Balanced" somehow "blurred the line" and would confuse people and imply that both O'Reilly and Fox were endorsing Franken's book. Right.

Of course, Fox thinks we're all idiots and don't understand satire, or irony. The judge was right on when he asked:

"Do you think that the reasonable consumer, seeing the word `lies' over Mr. O'Reilly's face would believe Mr. O'Reilly is endorsing this book?"

One of the attorneys said that people not associated with Fox networks also appeared on the cover, the cover did not state that the book was a parody or satire (duh) so it was "ambiguous" to which the judge rightly replied:

"The president and the vice president are also on the cover. Is someone going to consider that they are affiliated with Fox?"

Although, this all occurred in 2003 and since then, I think the answer to that question would be completely different, don't you?

In his ruling, the judge said:

"Calling the motion "wholly without merit, both factually and legally," the judge, Denny Chin of United States District Court, said that a person would have to be "completely dense" not to realize the cover was a joke, and that trademark protection for the phrase "Fair and Balanced" was unrealistic because the words are so commonly used."

But I digress.

In any case, In a later case filed against O'Reilly, and the reason why some of us use the word falafel when referencing him, a deposition reports him referring to Fox News, his boss Roger Ailes, and Al Franken in a way that is frankly [no pun intended] hilarious today. [click on photo to enlarge]

So, let's review. Al Franken is dishonest. A far-left zealot. Not qualified. He trafficked in hate. Hmmm. And, " day, he's going to get a knock on the door and life as he's known it will change forever."

Well, let's see. Fox News' lawsuit against Al Franken was literally laughed out of court. Did I mention that the courtroom laughed each time the Fox attorneys attempted to make one of their arguments?

Dishonest. Has Bill O'Reilly ever presented actual evidence? For anything? I didn't think so.

A far-left zealot? Actually, if you go look at any literature about candidate Franken, you'll find that he is actually fairly moderate. Progressive, but not as far left as some might wish. Minnesota isn't going to elect a far-left zealot. Now, if you'd like to see a zealot...

Not qualified? What many might not realize, is that Al Franken holds a degree in Political Science from Harvard. Cum Laude. So he was a comedian and a satirist? Do you know how on top of current affairs you have to be to be a political satirist? And, he worked hard to prepare to run for the Senate. He studied and since the election, has worked as hard to stay informed and in touch as if he were already on the job.

George W. has a Harvard education you say? Can you say legacy admit? Good ole George got into Harvard because of his family. Because that's what rich, Eastern upper-class families do. He maintained a C-average, partied his way through school, was a member of Skull & Bones (a secret, invitation only club whose members make up the the top tiers of power in Washington and Wall Street), and had the family money to buy his way through term papers and exams. No one was going to flunk a legacy admit and the money this potential alum was going to bring in or that his family had already brought in. Franken? He was a regular guy from Minnesota who got into Harvard the hard way. On merit. And had to stay in the hard way. By doing the work. So, not qualified? I don't think so.

Trafficked in hate? Which show has hate as its trademark?

And that knock on the door? Knock, knock, knock. "Mr. Franken? Guess what? The Supreme Court of Minnesota has just ruled that you are the next Senator from the State of Minnesota." Yeah, like that's something to fear.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

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