August 19, 2003
Paul Newman Is Still HUD
By PAUL NEWMAN
The Fox News Network is suing Al Franken, the political satirist, for
using the phrase "fair and balanced" in the title of his new book. In
claiming trademark violation, Fox sets a noble example for standing
firm against whatever.
Unreliable sources report that the Fox suit has inspired Paul Newman,
the actor, to file a similar suit in federal court against the
Department of Housing and Urban Development, commonly called HUD. Mr.
Newman claims piracy of personality and copycat infringement.
In the 1963 film "HUD," for which Mr. Newman was nominated for an
Academy Award, the ad campaign was based on the slogan, "Paul Newman
is HUD." Mr. Newman claims that the Department of Housing and Urban
Development, called HUD, is a fair and balanced institution and that
some of its decency and respectability has unfairly rubbed off on his
movie character, diluting the rotten, self-important, free-trade,
corrupt conservative image that Mr. Newman worked so hard to project
in the film. His suit claims that this "innocence by association" has
hurt his feelings plus residuals.
A coalition of the willing i.e., the Bratwurst Asphalt Company and
the Ypsilanti Hot Dog and Bean Shop has been pushed forward and is
prepared to label its products "fair and balanced," knowing that Fox
News will sue and that its newscasters will be so tied up with
subpoenas they will only be able to broadcast from the courtroom,
where they will be seen tearing their hair and whining, looking
anything but fair and balanced, which would certainly be jolly good
sport all around.
Paul Newman, an actor, is chief executive of Salad King.