Friday, September 16, 2005

Woebegone Blogger Weathers Attack

Garrison Keillor already speaks as if he can barely expel the air in his lungs under the crushing weight of his wisdom and ennui. The lethargic raconteur and long-time host of A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio exhibits that special kind of love for common people that comes only with an advanced degree. If Keillor gets any more insincerely folksy, a fully-formed Cracker Barrel gift shop is going to explode out of his forehead (well, his forehead if we're lucky).

He took a step away from this potential disaster, after the precarious near miss of this summer's Rhubarb Tour of Midwestern state fairs, by threatening legal action against a Minnesota blogger who deigned to make a half-way clever joke at Keillor's expense. An attorney for the radio personality sent a cease and desist letter to Rex Sorgatz, who writes MNSpeak.com, demanding that he stop selling the following t-shirt:



Now I've listened to A Prairie Home Companion a few times and I think Keillor is supposed to have a sense of humor (at least that's what the yuppie-boomer audience thinks). Not so, it seems, when it comes to parody garments. The attorney wrote that the "use of these words creates a likelihood that the public will be confused as to the sponsorship of the T-shirt and our client's services and products."

In a telephone conversation that is recounted on MNSpeak.com, Sorgatz told the attorney, "this is going to make your client look extremely out of touch. I'll even write the headline for you: 'Liberal Comedian Sues Blogger.' Do you really want that?" After some consideration, the answer came back: "Yes."

At this point, Sorgatz might just choose to buckle under the onslaught of the laconic Lutheran of the lake. He is, however, entertaining offers from "sparky" First Amendment lawyers looking for a pro-bono case.

And I guess Garrison Keillor will return to his fabulous pile of money up at fabled Lake Woebegone, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are desperately ashamed of their parents.

Oh, crap! Don't sue me for that.

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