Fox slinks away, tail between legs

Missed this yesterday, but a reader points out that, three days after having been laughed out of court, Fox has quietly dropped its lawsuit against Al Franken.

Exhibiting the style and wit we’ve come to associate with Fox News, their spokeswoman explained, “It’s time to return Al Franken to the obscurity that he’s normally accustomed to.”

Somehow it seems unlikely that “Al Franken” will be synonymous with “obscurity” any time in the near future, and of course, as every commentator from here to Mars has already noted, that’s largely thanks to, well, Fox News.

Look, we all have these childish impulses, but as adults trying to function in the world, we mostly try not to let them run our lives. This is a particularly important quality in a news organization, for whom public trust is the coin of the realm. No one expects newspeople to be superhuman, or to utterly lack opinions about the world around them — we just need to know that they’ll make an effort, most of the time, to put their personal feelings aside and report the news.

With this insanely childish lawsuit — widely reported as having been instigated by Fightin’ Bill O’Reilly — Fox News has flushed whatever smidgen of credibility it might have had straight down the toilet. Not only are they blatantly biased — we knew that already — they’ve also made it clear that they have the emotional maturity of twelve year olds. As Joe Conason suggests, perhaps the judge in the case has given Fox a new and more accurate slogan: “Utterly Without Merit.”

(Edited because your host gets his participles and his prepositions confused with holes in the ground. Or something.)