Saturday , May 25 2024
Don't let facts get in the way of a funny meme

In Defense of Garrison Keillor

(Updated version)
First, my favorite George Bush joke of the week:

Q: What is Bush’s position on Roe vs.Wade?
A: He really doesn’t care how people get out of New Orleans.

OK, now let’s get down to business.

I’ve noticed a bad habit of bloggers to jump to conclusions, be it quoting extremists from one side in order to feel more comfortable believing their own opinions.. or not letting facts get in the way of spreading a fun rumor or meme.

And so it is with Garrison Keiller.

Now he’s a bit too folksy and old school for me but I do confess to listening to his program when I’m driving and it’s on and he can be pretty hilarious at times. But it’s subtle, G-rated humor.

So when this guy announced that he had received essentially a cease and desist order from Keillor’s attorney lots of people – including bloggers – had fun with the issue.
Sample blogs including this one and this one
And the t-shirt guy laughed his way to the bank with all the free publicity he has received.

But people are overlooking an important issue:

There is actually an important reason why Keillor, regardless of his taste for humor or the stupidity of his program OR the shirt, had to take that action,

It was explained well here, on shirt guy’s own site.

“A holder of a trademark is required by law to defend it. While your operation is small and poses no threat to Keillor’s brand, if they didn’t pursue legal action it would open them up to trouble down the road. I don’t have the legal source handy, but it is possible for another entity to cite lack of diligence defending a trademark in the past as a reason that they too should be allowed to profit from Keillor’s IP.

“I don’t much care for this arrangement, but the guy has spent 30 years making A Prairie Home Companion a household phrase, at least among English majors. His lawyer is less worried about your minor infringement than he is worried about creating an opening for the big offender. Don’t take it too personally.”

Now I know this comment goes against the meme but someone has to say it.

This post originally appeared at my blog.

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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