Don’t fight satire with legalese.
Meghan McCain seems to be learning this lesson the hard way after her plan to quiet a parody impersonator backfired.
The politician’s daughter-turned-writer hired a lawyer to urge the blog Red State to take down parody posts mocking her writing for The Daily Beast.
Rather than complying in a quiet fashion, the blogger, Leon H. Wolf, apparently hired a lawyer to send a rather eviscerating note:
“My client will not be bullied out of exercising his First Amendment right to make clear his belief that your client is a spoiled, brainless twit who is cheapening the political discourse in this country.”
Those are just some of the gleefully caustic words in a letter from the satirist’s attorney, Christopher Scott Badeaux, whose delight in dressing down McCain’s lawyer is almost palpable. Here are some of Badeaux’s riper quips:
• “I confess that I first took the letter itself as a metatextual parody. To my surprise, on a re-reading, I discovered that you were apparently serious.”
• “Of course, the subject matter of your letter is a fairly obvious parody to any person of even barely functional literacy.”
Wolf began “Totally Meghan McCain,” playing on her casual tone in her Daily Beast column. (Sample real McCain line: “I don’t necessarily agree that Rick Perry is George Bush on crack, but he could definitely be described as George Bush 2.0.”)
Red State took down the post after receiving the first letter from McCain’s legal team, though its takedown notice amply quotes from the original post and links to a second piece. Badeaux fired off the letter, bringing more attention to McCain than the parody piece would have garnered in yet another example of celebrity falling prey to the Streisand Effect.
The blog can now be found at the new host site Pajamas Media, where Wolf wrote a post about the legal sparring, in which fake McCain urges John Adams to follow her lead and sue Paul Giamatti for impersonating him in his eponymous HBO miniseries:
In my America, the one the founding fathers like that one Paul Giamatta played in that miniseries (and hey, why hasn’t that guy SUED PAUL GIAMATTA? It is a good thing, I am around to protect the important people of this country from identity, theft) founded, these sorts of things are ILLEGAL, and I know Barack Obama has done the same, thing I have, namingly, to hire a lawyer and demand that this “actor” STOP ILLEGALLY AND FALSELY IMPERSONATING HIM ON TELEVISION or else go to jail.
(H/T The American Spectator)