Neologism Department: There are lawsuits, and then there are "lawzoots."

NYTimes via Drudgereport: To Fox, 'Fair and Balanced' Doesn't Describe Al Franken

FoxNews objects to Al Franken's latest book title: "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." They're suing because they've used "Fair and Balanced" as a tagline for years; they've also registered it as a trademark.

People may get hot and bothered about this; op-ed ink will be spilled; weblog bytes will flow.

But this isn't a real lawsuit. It's a "lawzoot."

What's a lawzoot?

A phony (or bluffed) legal action pursued solely for the free publicity it generates. This lawzoot is already a bonanza for Al Franken. His book is shooting up the Amazon sales rankings.

It will also be a bonanza for Fox News. Whether you love them or hate them, this false controversy reminds you to watch them, to be pleased or outraged, as the case may be. Fox News climbed to the top of cable news by understanding that entertainment, strong viewpoints, and controversy draw audiences, and this lawzoot is just another conscious addition to their programming lineup.

Al Franken and Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes will be congratulating each other (in private) over this mutually-beneficial free-media bonanza for many years.

(The recent Spike Lee vs. Viacom/SpikeTV action was also most probably a lawzoot!)