Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

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Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right is a book by Al Franken purporting to uncover inaccurate or misleading statements by conservatives.

The book's subtitle used the phrase fair and balanced popularized by the Fox News Channel. In response, Fox News sued Al Franken before the release date, claiming that the book's subtitle violated its trademark of the slogan "Fair and Balanced."[1] Franken has stated that this was an attempt to "prevent the publication" of the book, a statement that Fox denies.[2] The lawsuit was dismissed, and provided Franken with free publicity just as the book was launched. The book was originally scheduled to be released on Sept. 22 but the date was pushed forward to Aug. 21 and 50,000 extra copies were printed because of pre release publicity.[3] According to the publisher, "We sped up the release because of tremendous demand for the book, generated by recent events."

The lawsuit described Franken as "intoxicated or deranged"[4] as well as "shrill and unstable," and a "C-level political commentator" In response, Franken joked that he had trademarked the word "funny", and that Fox had infringed his intellectual property rights by characterizing him as "unfunny."

On August 22, 2003, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin denied Fox's request for an injunction to block the publication of Franken's book, stating the network's claim was "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." During the judge's questioning, spectators in the court's gallery frequently laughed at Fox's case. Franken later wrote, "Usually when you say someone was literally laughed out of court, you mean they were figuratively laughed out of court, but Fox was literally laughed out of court."[5] Three days later, Fox filed papers to drop its lawsuit[3]

Franken describes his side of the legal battle in a paperback-only chapter of Lies entitled "I Win".


  1. Fox News sues Al Franken, publisher
  2. Franken said," ... the Fox News Channel, a news organization, tried to prevent the publication of [my] book." [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 In Courtroom, Laughter at Fox and a Victory for Al Franken
  4. Fox News v. Al Franken: initial complaint
  5. Franken endorses Sanders