Sense of humour over-ride anyone?
October 29, 2003 6:38 AM   Subscribe

"Rupert Murdoch: Terrific dancer... Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple..."

Fox News threatens to sue the Simpsons (and as a result, its sister company) over news ticker parody, according to an NPR interview of Matt Groening.
posted by MintSauce (21 comments total)

 
Can you spell 'hype'?

No, I didn't think so.
posted by mischief at 6:41 AM on October 29, 2003


My guess is that after the Franken debacle, Fox realized the best way to set a legal precedent would be to get in a lawsuit with themselves.

Now, the precedent has been established that will make another network think twice about doing a Fox News parody, while this time a Fox-owned show gets free news time instead of an independent author.

Nevertheless, I think there's something to be said about a major news network deliberately making itself look like an ass for ratings.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:47 AM on October 29, 2003


... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple...

MintSauce, you made my morning.
posted by widdershins at 6:49 AM on October 29, 2003


Isn't parody protected speech?
posted by benjh at 7:00 AM on October 29, 2003


Isn't parody protected speech?

Yes. That's why no one can stop Fox from filing these suits.
posted by alms at 7:01 AM on October 29, 2003


Also, protected speech only applies to the government. The government can't abridge your rights to speech...but your employer can. Thus the reason Fox can make them not put the ticker on the screen anymore.
posted by dejah420 at 7:17 AM on October 29, 2003


"Not many people know it, but the fuehrer was a terrific dancer."
posted by grabbingsand at 7:24 AM on October 29, 2003


There hasn't been much press on Metafilter of late...we're slipping from the edge of near-relevance that we had almost attained. So who's going to step up and sue mathowie for the good of the community??
posted by rushmc at 7:33 AM on October 29, 2003


Nevertheless, I think there's something to be said about a major news network deliberately making itself look like an ass for ratings.

Isn't that FoxNews's modus operandi? How can you explain Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly otherwise?
posted by psmealey at 7:47 AM on October 29, 2003


Did anyone actually listen to this interview? When I heard it the other day, I really thought he was joking. Terry Gross (fresh off her dust up with O'Reilly) seemed to take him seriously. Maybe I'll listen to it again just to hear Terry attempt to have a serious discussion about Itchy & Scratchy.

In any event, my favorite Simpsons parody of media-types is its poke at the View..I think they call it "Afternoon Yack."
posted by Durwood at 7:47 AM on October 29, 2003


In other news, Thomas Pynchon to guest appear on the Simpsons.
posted by btwillig at 8:03 AM on October 29, 2003


Heh - I had the Itchy & Scratchy theme lyrics wrong this whole time.
posted by nthdegx at 8:31 AM on October 29, 2003


You don't say...
posted by y2karl at 8:32 AM on October 29, 2003


Doh!
posted by btwillig at 8:40 AM on October 29, 2003


rushmc - you don't even have to sue anymore to get this kind of publicity. You just have to have a lawyer draft a letter threatening to sue, watch the media go nuts and people get all indignant, then never follow up with an actual suit.
posted by pitchblende at 9:10 AM on October 29, 2003


"But now Fox has a new rule that we can't do those little fake news crawls [tickers] on the bottom of the screen in a cartoon because it might confuse the viewers into thinking it's real news"

"Pointless news crawls up 37 per cent... Do Democrats cause cancer? Find out at foxnews.com... Rupert Murdoch: Terrific dancer... Dow down 5,000 points... Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay... JFK posthumously joins Republican Party... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple..."


pretty much says it all. i hope to god they aren't RIGHT correct.
posted by quonsar at 9:12 AM on October 29, 2003


This is the full crawl from the episode, as transcribed by fans:

POINTLESS NEWS CRAWLS UP 37 PERCENT … DO DEMOCRATS CAUSE CANCER? FIND OUT AT FOXNEWS.COM … RUPERT MURDOCH: TERRIFIC DANCER … DOW DOWN 5000 POINTS … STUDY: 92 PERCENT OF DEMOCRATS ARE GAY... JFK POSTHUMOUSLY JOINS REPUBLICAN PARTY … OIL SLICKS FOUND TO KEEP SEALS YOUNG, SUPPLE … DAN QUALYE: AWESOME … ASHCROFT DECLARES BREAST OF CHICKEN SANDWICH OBSCENE … HILLARY CLINTON EMBARRASSES SELF, NATION … BIBLE SAYS JESUS FAVORED CAPITAL-GAINS CUT … STAY TUNED FOR HANNITY AND IDIOT... ONLY DORKS WATCH CNN … JIMMY CARTER: OLD, WRINKLY, USELESS... BRAD PITT + ALBERT EINSTEIN = DICK CHENEY...
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:54 AM on October 29, 2003


I heard this, too. I thought it was pretty obvious that Groening was making a joke. *shrugs*
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:22 AM on October 29, 2003


Another link, more of the same.
posted by jennanemone at 9:13 PM on October 29, 2003


Fox News scratches head....
posted by meech at 6:55 PM on October 30, 2003


Joke?

"Nonetheless "The Simpsons" (the show, not the characters) issued an apology yesterday: "Matt was being satirical and certainly there was never any issue between the show and Fox News. We regret any confusion.""
posted by Akuinnen at 3:23 PM on October 31, 2003


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