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Marc Mason is a freelance writer based in Tempe, AZ.

Friday, August 15, 2003  
Fair And Balanced

Today, bloggers nationwide are observing "Fair And Balanced Day" as a show of support and solidarity against FOX NewsCorp's stupid and vicious lawsuit against satirist Al Franken. Now, even though I post "Happy Nonsense" through a blog, I don't consider it one as such. However, for today, you can bet your ass that it's a blog.

FOX's stunningly snotty lawsuit, charging Franken with trademark infringement for making fun of them, comes as another dumb decision in a long line of them, the first being that they actually decided to refer to their broadcasts as "fair and balanced" with a straight face. With modern day William Randolph Hearst, Rupert Murdoch, owning and running the show, neither of those words even remotely describes the hawkishly conservative drivel that escapes the lips of a FOXnews anchor. For FOX to even imply that they have the remotest credibility as a serious news organiztion is quite the joke.

Murdoch's darlings have actually pointed out this week that they've never had a scandal hit their newsroom like CNN's "Tailhook" problem, or the New York Times' fiasco with Jayson Blair. You know what? They're right. Of course, you run plenty of risks when you're actually trying to report news that matters and that isn't dictated by one of the wealthiest Republicans on the planet, and eventually, you're gonna get burned. It's a fact of life. But at least those other outlets are trying. There's a recognition at CNN, the Times, and other places that maybe a keener eye must be applied to the world around us, and an eye that isn't filtered by money, political action committees, and greed. FOX, on the other hand, seems committed to promoting the continual deaths of American soldiers in Iraq as a good thing because the war mongers at the top of the American food chain count among them their own version of Citizen Kane.

I happen to think Al Franken is a damned funny guy. I've read most of his work, watched a large amount of his political commentary on TV, and I always seem to feel like he's someone that'd be a fantastic lunch companion. Interesting, lucid, and witty. He even has a good sense of humor about being a liberal and can make fun of himself and the rest of us who fall into that same category. He's someone you can respect for being who he is.

I dare you to ever find that to be the case for his humorless pursuers.


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