Paul Newman is still HUD
August 19, 2003 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Paul Newman is still HUD
posted by thedailygrowl (27 comments total)
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:24 AM on August 19, 2003

What a lame attempt at humor. Oh wait, it's the NYT. Nevermind! ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:37 AM on August 19, 2003

I thought it was the NYT trying to do an Onion
posted by RubberHen at 12:49 AM on August 19, 2003

the "Ypsilanti Hot Dog and Bean Shop" is so the name of my next blog.
posted by quonsar at 1:32 AM on August 19, 2003

Not clever in an NPR-oh-shut-the-fuck-up manner.
posted by letitrain at 1:33 AM on August 19, 2003

of course there would be skallas... that's the nature of trademark law and it seems perfectly sensible to me. you cannot name your new gizmo identically after the already established gizmo, but you can name your gizmo after someone else's whirligig - because a gizmo and a whirligig are not the same product. erm...

there's a facial tissue called puffs, there's also a cookie called puffs. neither are in trademark violation of each other. but if another tissue company (or cookie co.) comes along and names their product puffs, they're infringing. that seems fair and balanced... but then i'm all hopped up on several lattes and a whole box of cherry center puffs, having yet to sleep in the last 36 hours, so wtf do i know? :-p
posted by t r a c y at 1:58 AM on August 19, 2003 have tissues with cherry centers?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:26 AM on August 19, 2003

mmm....cherry tissues....
posted by drinkcoffee at 4:44 AM on August 19, 2003

This is as unfunny as Steve Martin's NYT editorial. After Jayson Blair, I guess anything goes. I can't wait for Avril Levigne to write an op-ed piece about post-war Iraq being "complicated."
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:05 AM on August 19, 2003

scoff all you want...

you know that cool hand luke could kick all of your asses.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:34 AM on August 19, 2003

you had me all excited that hud was being re-released or something. or even just released at all (dvd). great f-'in movie.
posted by dobbs at 5:53 AM on August 19, 2003

Yeah, grabbingsand. Paul Newman is da boom! And his egg-swallowing technique is unmatched.
posted by teradome at 6:25 AM on August 19, 2003

skallas: if you can show me a way to commercially market a salad dressing called "Newman's Own" in a manner consistent with fair use or parody, I'd like to see it.

This apparent conundrum demonstrates precisely where trademark law breaks down: it was designed to differentiate products and services and to protect advertising effort in an industrial economy. With media corporations, words and ideas (including the content of the trademark itself) are the product, and parody and satire are just another commodity. "Fair and Balanced" trademarks not a news organization, but a brand identity borne of the attitude that brought us the words "Fair and Balanced" themselves. Trademarks were the 19th century's domain name system, not a backup for copyright control of intellectual property.

It doesn't help that the way the law's presently implemented (use it or lose it), most corporations have no choice but to look like pompous asses with respect to their trademarks, lest some judge down the line rules that News Corp's allowing Franken to poke fun of them now constitutes non-defense of a trademark.
posted by Vetinari at 7:13 AM on August 19, 2003

I have a solution. Fox should trademark the phrase, "Fair 'N Balanc'd." Like "Shake 'N Bake" and "Nice 'N Soft," the eccentric spelling would sidestep the messy problems that arise from trying to monopolize a legitimate English phrase.

As a bonus, illiterate spelling would probably appeal to their base demographic.
posted by SPrintF at 7:36 AM on August 19, 2003

SPrintF: Yeah! . . . and they could change the spelling of the organization to FAUX NEWS which would certainly fit them better anyway.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:58 AM on August 19, 2003

Paul Newman is still HUD

I'm just glad he's not C.H.U.D.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:07 AM on August 19, 2003

I rememer about ten years ago or so Pepsi apparently trademarked "Uh-huh!" (for their Ray Charles advertising campaign). Although still silly, the difference was that "Uh-huh!" could be seen as a slogan, similar to "Yabba Dabba Doo" or something like that.

"Fair and Balanced" isn't a catchy slogan associated solely with Fox News. It's a description. It's like McDonald's trying to trademark "tasty" and suing Burger King for describing their product as such.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:07 AM on August 19, 2003

If I were Al Franken I'd go after that General Mills product. They ripped off his name and his likeness!
posted by ahimsakid at 8:07 AM on August 19, 2003

God you all piss me off sometimes.
posted by Hildago at 8:08 AM on August 19, 2003

US Foreign Policy: Subtle and NuancedTM

Evangelical Christianity: Open and AccommodatingTM

Liberal Outrage: Melodic and FruitfulTM

etc etc
posted by gottabefunky at 8:53 AM on August 19, 2003

The NYT has really been having some trouble with their attempts to add humor to the op/ed page. This Newman piece was not that funny, but it was funnier than this piece from a week ago by Andy Borowitz.
posted by pitchblende at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2003

His salsa is WAY too ketchupy. Though his little black cookies are good with ice cream.
posted by HTuttle at 9:08 AM on August 19, 2003

tragedy struck tuesday as FOX, mattell, and toys r'us lawyers died in a horrible collision on the steps of the supreme court in washington after paul newman was spotted dressed as a Barbie® Fair 'n Balanced R' Us™ doll.
posted by quonsar at 10:06 AM on August 19, 2003

Does "Fair and Balanced" count as Newspeak?
posted by infowar at 10:35 AM on August 19, 2003

"Sad, but true." said FOX spokesman bill o'reilley, confirming the deaths of numerous intellectual property attorneys in today's accident, prompting a lawsuit by lars ulrich of metallica.
posted by quonsar at 10:52 AM on August 19, 2003

I don't see why people are snarking at the NYT for this. It looks as though Mr Newman wrote a joke press release and sent it to the NYT, who decided to run it verbatim under his byline. The fact that it's Newman himself and not a professional writer makes it work a bit better for me -- I laughed out loud a couple of times.

I probably would have found it a little weak if it had been by a paid staffer or professional humorist, which just shows that context matters: you probably wouldn't have found that crack your buddy made the other day nearly so hilarious if you'd found it instead in a national publication.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:42 PM on August 19, 2003

Maybe Franken should counter-sue, claiming that Fox using the phrase "fair and balanced" is deceptive advertising.
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:36 PM on August 19, 2003

« Older The USA's WMDs and Their Deadly Fallout   |   Putting your faith in your kids. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments