Attempts at humor by Fox News rarely ever go well, but its latest gambit has raised the ire of America’s foremost musical parodist: “Weird Al” Yankovic.
It all started with a Fox News story on Leeann Tweeden’s sexual assault allegations against Al Franken. The outlet couldn’t resist making a dumb joke at Franken’s expense, referring to him as “Weird Al” in the chyron. And though the senator deserves to have his nose rubbed in it, there was no need to drag Yankovic into this mess. Naturally, the singer-songwriter-author-satirist-director-musician wasn’t thrilled about having his moniker—a trademarked one, at that—thrown around in a report on the groping allegations against Franken, who was recently accused by a second woman of misconduct. So Yankovic spelled it out for Fox News on Twitter, posting a screenshot of his trademark renewal application and suggesting they find some other way to mock the other “Al”s out there in the world.
As Yankovic soon pointed out, the issue wasn’t over registered names so much as having his stage name invoked in a story about sexual assault. “It’s extremely uncool to use my name in this context,” Yankovic explained.
Unfortunately, Yankovic’s plea isn’t likely to give Fox News any pause in its reportage, let alone bad joke-making.