FOX News Drops Suit Against Franken
08/26/2003 AT 10:49 AM EDT
Franken's book, which targets FOX and one of its TV commentators, Bill O'Reilly, angered the network by using the phrase "Fair and Balanced," which FOX News has trademarked as its own tagline. FOX argued in court last week that Franken's title and book cover could mislead readers into believing that FOX or O'Reilly backed the publication.
The lawsuit was originally intended to block sales of the book, but it has instead sent the volume soaring up Amazon.com's bestseller chart. Penguin's Dutton unit said it nearly doubled Franken's original print run -- from 270,000 to 510,000 -- due to the increased demand.
Meanwhile, the network was running into both ridicule and legal doubt over its own claim to the phrase. A federal judge on Friday refused to grant FOX's motion to block sales of the Franken book.
In discussing the network's decision to abandon the suit, a network spokeswoman said, "It's time to return Al Franken back to the normal obscurity he's accustomed to."
Franken, an Emmy-winning veteran of "Saturday Night Live," has written four previous books, including the best-selling "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot."