In what can only mean devastating news for the Slogan Over Substance industry, lawyers for the words "Fair" and "Balanced" have requested a cease and desist order against Fox News Sunday.
"My clients have sat quietly letting their names - and definitions - be degraded by Fox News," said attorney Merriam Webster. "But after Sunday's Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, I received a call from Balance asking that we take legal action." Fair has been hospitalized after the past two week's pernicious assaults from Bill O'Reilly's "DailyKos is Satan" mugging.
"Calling Fox News Sunday panel of Wallace, Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondrake, the 'kinda seems middle of the road until she opens her mouth' Mara Liasson (or obligatory female fill-in), fair and balanced because of the inclusion of Fox News liberal, Juan Williams, is just plain wrong. And in our view, criminally indictable.
"This week, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace went Dick Cheney all over the Fox News Sunday set, describing the "We Can Win In Iraq" columnists, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon as from the 'liberal-leaning' Brookings Institute, who wrote an op-ed that appeared in the liberal leaning New York Times, never mentioning that they themselves were cheerleaders from the Iraq war get-go."
Webster also represents "Liberal" and "Leaning," who are also considering legal action against Fox and talk radio as a whole.
Webster said his clients were humiliated when Wallace asked his panel what they thought of Democrats pinning the Minneapolis bridge failure on President Bush and his Iraq incursion?
The panel found it "astonishing," "unseemly" and blatant "opportunism." Webster represented all three in a civil suit against Dennis Miller's conversion from clever comic to O'Reilly's David Cohn.
"Astonishing? Unseemly? Opportunism?" asked Webster. "Perhaps the panel was speaking about White House, press secretary Tony Snow blaming Minnesota for the tragedy when he said, 'If an inspection report identifies deficiencies, the state is responsible for taking corrective actions,' or the Federal Transportation Commission's 2005 report that found 'structural deficiencies' on the bridge or that the Transportation Department's inspector general criticized its own oversight of interstate bridges.
"Or perhaps when Wallace asked the question about Democrats playing the blame game, he inadvertently left out 'and Republicans, like John McCain who said, 'You could make an argument that part of the responsibility lies with the Congress of the United States...maybe if we'd have done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges, and other bridges'."
"But, maybe, just maybe, Wallace thought that President Bush had switched parties when he used his message meant to soothe the poor souls of the Minneapolis tragedy to lambast Democrats in congress. 22% (143 of 647 words) of the speech focused on Minneapolis. The rest (78%) attacking the Dems."
"No matter what the reason," said Webster, "we have petitioned for a restraining order maintaining Fox News, programs and personal to stay at least 1000 yards from my clients, which should be easy for Fox to gauge as it is about the same distance Fox keeps from the truth."
Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" www.greatfailure.com and his weekly Sunday column appears to the left of Bill O'Reilly's every Sunday in the L.A. Daily News.