During an interview broadcast today on NPR’s Fresh Air, Simpsons creator Matt Groening revealed that the Fox News Network had threatened to sue The Simpsons over a parody of the right-leaning news channel. The highly sensitive news organization, which is headed by Roger Ailes, made headlines this summer with an ill-starred lawsuit against humorist Al Franken’s book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. The Fox suit was thrown out in court and only succeeded in making Franken’s book a bestseller. According to Groening, the Simpsons team refused to cut out the segment, which Groening told Fresh Air he “really liked,” figuring that Rupert Murdoch wouldn’t allow the Fox News cable network to sue the Fox Broadcast Network, which carries The Simpsons. The Fox News Network did back down on its threat, although it has told The Simpsons creators that in the future, cartoon series will not be allowed to include a “news crawl” along the bottom of the screen, which might “confuse the viewers.”
Someone shoud really take the time to explain the definition of parody to the folks at Fox News.