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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Fox News Loses Al Franken Lawsuit

Aired August 22, 2003 - 19:09   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: On now to comedian Al Franken. His new book will remain on sale under its current title, much to the chagrin of the Fox News Network. Yes, Fox has lost one, folks. The book is called "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." Well, Fox claimed that Franken's use of the phrase "fair and balanced" violated a Fox trademark. But after hearing arguments today, a federal judge thought differently.
Jason Carroll has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The book has been selling in stores for just a few days. And thanks to a U.S. district judge, its shelf life could be much longer, its title, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," its author, Al Franken, a self-described left-leaning political satirist.

AL FRANKEN, AUTHOR/COMEDIAN: We do have a country that has a rule of law. And the body of law says that I can do this. And they know that.

CARROLL: They, meaning the Fox News Channel, which sued Franken for using a slogan that Fox trademarked, the words "fair and balanced," in his book title. The cover features Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly, who crossed paths with Franken during a book tour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: Shut up. You had your 35 minutes. Shut up!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: On Friday, a court denied Fox's motion to stop sales of the book with its title, saying that title is protected under the First Amendment.

FRANKEN: In the same way that Microsoft can trademark Windows for its software, they can't stop me from saying, look at that window.

CARROLL: Fox released a statement saying, "We respect the court's decision and are evaluating our options." Franken says he's glad a judge reaffirmed, the First Amendment covers humor.

FRANKEN: Satire is covered even if you don't think it's funny. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: Ah, the world according to Franken. And part of the reason why Franken's book is selling so well could be from all of Fox's publicity over this lawsuit. His publisher has already had to reorder 90,000 additional copies.

KAGAN: Al Franken is laughing all the way to the bank here. He could not buy this publicity.

CARROLL: All the way to the bank. And that what he's saying. He's thanking Fox for making his book even more popular.

KAGAN: Which I'm sure just gets the folks over there even more riled up.

Jason, thank you for that.

CARROLL: All right.

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