Al Franken could never have guessed that Fox News would help him market his new book, "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." But that is exactly what Fox did when it sued, claiming that his book's title infringed on their trademark phrase, "fair and balanced." The judge dismissed the frivolous suit and also warned Fox that "its ownership of the phrase it claimed to have spent $61 million developing was extremely dubious. And sales of Franken's book soared sky-high on the publicity, hitting #1 on Amazon's list Thursday."

Here is an excerpt from a Salon interview with Franken. (You'll find another one worth reading at
Franken: [U]sing the word 'press' [in Fox's complaint] for is very much their style. It's distortion, it's shoddy, and it's lame. So I talk about Fox, I talk about Ann Coulter, I talk about the Wall St. Journal editorial page, I talk about the Washington Times, I talk about Bernie Goldberg, and Rush -- all those people employ that sort of m.o., they all do the same thing. Also just that Fox trademarked "fair and balanced" -- that's pretty ironic in and of itself, although the judge ruled that their trademark probably wasn't valid. And then there's the bullying thing, which -- O'Reilly went on his radio show and said that the purpose of the lawsuit was to punish me for coming after Fox.

So this is the mindset of the right, that they have to punish you. Joe Wilson, the former Gabon ambassador, was sent to Niger by the CIA and came back and said the uranium claims weren't true. And when the controversy started broiling again about the 16 words in the State of the Union address and Wilson wrote the piece in New York Times, senior administration officials blew the cover on his wife, who was a covert [CIA] operative. And it jeopardized the lives not only of her contacts but every American, because she was a covert agent in weapons of mass destruction. And it's a way of intimidating other analysts who might come forward, and there's a parallel here: You will be punished if you come after us.

I really think the Wilson thing is the most disgraceful action of any White House since Iran Contra.

Salon: More than Clinton and Monica?

Franken: There's a difference between getting a blow job and lying about it, and blowing a national security asset.