Stephen M. Harnik Sponsors Event Headlined by Former U.S. Senator Al Franken
This October, Steve Harnik and his wife Debi hosted a benefit for PEN America https://pen.org/ a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1922, whose stated mission is to defend writers, artists, and journalists and protect free expression worldwide and to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Our headliner guest was former Saturday Night writer & performer, former US Senator, current political pundit, and podcaster Al Franken who related his experience with the Fox News Channel when it tried to block his book, Lies and Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right alleging that “fair and balanced” infringed its trademarked slogan. The publicity from the lawsuit completely backfired and turned the book into a pre-publication #1 Amazon bestseller, and post-publication NY Times bestseller. Franken joked that he had trademarked the word "funny," and that Fox had infringed his intellectual property rights by characterizing him as "unfunny." The case was summarily dismissed by the federal district court judge, and, referring to the crush of spectators who attended the court oral argument, Franken remarked that Fox was literally laughed out of court.