Glenn Beck's legal action against site that parodies, um, Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck, the Fox News entertainer, is reportedly continuing with legal action against a Web site that purports to parody his own methods of entertainment.
I have a theory about folks who appear on TV. Those who seem very nice are probably not so nice in real life.
And those who seem like those mindless, destructive winds that blow through small towns and make a lot of people miserable and destitute are probably rather charming when the red light isn't on.
On this basis, I would like to invite Fox News' Glenn Beck to dinner.
One of the things I hope he will chat with me about over a fine glass of Miner Family viognier is why he reportedly is continuing with legal action against a site that, some feel, rather parodies Beck's own inimitably ineffable style.
It seems that the genesis of the site was a roast of the comedian Bob Saget. In it, fellow comedian Gilbert Gottfried suggests that Saget eliminated another human being in an inordinately unpleasant manner sometime around 1990.
This was funny because it was not true. And its funniness spread to the forums of Fark, where it was attached to the alleged insinuations of Glenn Beck.
Then, in early September, a chap called Isaac Eiland-Hall decided to create a site that essentially repeated this joke in its URL and continued to make Beck the object of the joke.
Eiland-Hall didn't actually suggest on the site's pages that Beck had performed those grievous misdeeds, which essentially seem to have embraced the areas of murder and rape.
But now, according to Jackson New Jersey Online, Beck's legal beagles intend to continue fox-hunting Eiland-Hall.
Beck originally filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, an agency of the United Nations that enjoys the charming tag: "Encouraging Creativity and Innovation."
Beck rather wanted it to discourage Eiland-Hall, arguing that the site is an entity of bad faith, is libelous, and would confuse real human beings.
And the legal documents, which you can find here, do offer fine insight into the human mind and all of its vicissitudes.
You will discover arguments referencing Hitler hating Santa and finding out the truth about Kanye West. You will find serious and pained reference to the concept that "every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten".
Richard Gere also makes an appearance. Yes, in reference to the wonderfully mythical gerbil tale.
For those of you with a purely legal bent, the papers offer some interesting trademark and First Amendment issues too.
The latter revolve around the idea that given this dispute is between two Americans, it should be handled with respect to the First Amendment. As for the former, is Glenn Beck's trademark merely Glenn Beck? Or is it anything that includes the words Glenn and Beck?
Oh, perhaps I might not have mentioned it until now, but the site's URL is GlennBeckRapedAndMurderedAYoungGirlIn1990.com.
Not an easy one to remember or type. And, interestingly, this now has a home page that turns the assertion of its URL into a question.
Eiland-Hall denies he is suggesting that Beck committed heinous acts. Well, not those in the URL, anyway. And he insists it is clear that it's a parody.
However he declares on the site: "We are definitely accusing Glenn Beck of using questionable tactics in order to spread his message and garner higher ratings. You see, we believe Beck uses tactics like the top part of this site (...) and he uses them with no disclaimers, with all apparent seriousness."
I know some of you might feel that one of these questionable tactics might include suggesting that the president is a racist. (I embed a video with the evidence here, in case, well, someone might believe I was offering a parody.)
However, I really would prefer to pop down to my local Sushi Ran with Beck. We can get a table in the wine bar and chat this one out in a fair and balanced way. Isn't that the best way to sort these things out?
I mean, trying to get an agency of the United Nations to resolve anything is surely an excessively hopeful tactic.