Aretha Franklin Doesn't Get Satire: Plans To Sue Satirical News Site Over Joke Story

from the sock-it-to-me dept

You would think that, at some point, people are finally going to get that there are such things as satirical news organizations and that they're not serious in what they write. Yet it seems not a week goes by in which someone isn't either fooled by a parody story or railing against it as some kind of funny-demon that ought to be destroyed. The latest to be caught up in this web of barely-veiled humorous deception is the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who has threatened to sue satirical news site News Nerd over a fictional story about Patti LaBelle opening up a can of aged whoop-ass on her.

“The stories were not presented as satire or humor,” Franklin said through her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. “It was presented as a serious news story intended to depict me in a slanderous and derogatory way — defamation of character.”
And for that, she's suggested she wants $10 million whole American dollars. The story that was not presented as satire or humor, according to Franklin, included such totally not funny or satirical lines as:
Onlookers say Labelle quickly removed her wig and earrings as she approached Franklin. Aretha, knowing that the removal of earrings is a tell-tale sign that a fight is about to ensue, attempted to prepare herself for the confrontation. Franklin was quickly struck with a Mayweather style right and left and stumbled backwards, landing awkwardly.
If you aren't now laughing, check yourself into the nearest mental health center and ask them what happened to your sense of humor. If you don't immediately realize that this is fictional, we, the people, politely request you promise us never to procreate and thereby poison the gene pool with your lack of basic comprehension and common sense. Or you could, you know, just check the bottom of any News Nerd page you might land upon, where it reads:
The stories posted on TheNewsNerd are for entertainment purposes only. The stories may mimic articles found in the headlines, but rest assured they are purely satirical.
And that should take care of that. It's worth noting that no actual law suits yet appear to have been filed, so perhaps Franklin's likely-frustrated lawyers have talked some sense into her. On the other hand, Franklin has been known in the past to demand respect, and that you think about what you're trying to do to her. Meanwhile, the story has gone viral because of course it has, countermanding her wish entirely.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2014 @ 1:47pm

    Post needs some serious proof reading.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Streisand Effect could make for good marketing

    I can see a way where the Streisand effect was put into play, purely for marketing purposes. Maybe not in this case, but then maybe so. It has been said that there is no bad publicity. If, however, your light is fading, or has never shown, it certainly manages to shine a light. Of course, for it to have a positive impact, one must manage ones own histrionics.

     

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  3.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 18th, 2014 @ 1:52pm

    Impressive

    Called out the lawyers without even reading the entire article, almost reminds me of some of the commenters on this site.

     

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  4.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 18th, 2014 @ 1:55pm

    I didnt think it was funny

    "Onlookers say Labelle quickly removed her wig and earrings as she approached Franklin. Aretha, knowing that the removal of earrings is a tell-tale sign that a fight is about to ensue, attempted to prepare herself for the confrontation. Franklin was quickly struck with a Mayweather style right and left and stumbled backwards, landing awkwardly."
    -
    Have you ever seen two African American ladies go at it? (I doubt it from your "If you don't immediately realize that this is fictional... rant)
    "If you don't immediately realize that this is fictional"
    Why? Its the way it goes... but they left out the shoes coming off.
    -
    You mean that disclaimer waaaaaaaaaay at the bottom of the page? Yes... because everyone always scrolls past the comments to read the bottom of the page. /s ;)
    -
    "Franklin has been known in the past to demand respect, and that you think about what you're trying to do to her." - He he he... thats like a dad joke.
    -
    "It's worth noting that no actual law suits yet appear to have been filed" - Her lawyers DID scroll to the bottom of the page.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2014 @ 2:17pm

    S-A-T-I-R-E

    Find out what it means to me!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2014 @ 2:26pm

    Malice??

    If I remember correctly the burden of proof for actual malice towards a public figure falls to the plaintiff. Lots o' precident.

    As tacky as I think this particular satire is, in the long run it's probably better to protect the freedom of the press. Like it or not, the rules regarding satire and libel change when you're famous. I think it's still pretty low and sleazy though.

     

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  7.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 18th, 2014 @ 3:08pm

    The perils of aging...

    Well, it seems that the first thing that you lose when you get older is your sense of humor. I guess that means that although I was born in 1948, I still have a mental age of 17 (or is that 2)... Some of us age more "gracefully" than others. :-)

     

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  8.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Apr 18th, 2014 @ 7:28pm

    Funny? Not Funny?

    Onlookers say Labelle quickly removed her wig and earrings as she approached Franklin. Aretha, knowing that the removal of earrings is a tell-tale sign that a fight is about to ensue, attempted to prepare herself for the confrontation. Franklin was quickly struck with a Mayweather style right and left and stumbled backwards, landing awkwardly.
    If you aren't now laughing, check yourself into the nearest mental health center and ask them what happened to your sense of humor.

    It's as humourless as much of your purported humour. Not funny, not even in a mean spirited way. Though I do have to say that one man's humour is another man's cringe.

    However, the reaction of AF to the story is still so overboard that she will eventually rue ever making mincemeat out of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2014 @ 10:42am

    Franklin's just mad she didn't land the first punch.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 20th, 2014 @ 12:49am

    Re: Funny? Not Funny?

    I'm curious, what makes it not funny to you? To me, it's written in such an over the top manner('the removal of earrings is a tell-tale sign that a fight is about to ensue') that it's pretty hard to take it in any way serious.

     

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    Ryuugami, Apr 20th, 2014 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Funny? Not Funny?

    You shouldn't conflate "not funny to me" and "taking it serious". You can take a story seriously and still think it's funny. Similarly, as is probably the case with the GP, you can recognize a satirical story for what it is, but not consider it funny.

    FWIW, I also don't think that paragraph is particularly chuckle-worthy, and I'm very easily amused. It just doesn't tickle my funny bone, as they say. I can still recognize the attempt at being funny, unlike the lady sue-'em-all up there in the article.

     

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  12.  
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    Annonimus, Apr 21st, 2014 @ 10:41pm

    You are an asshole

    "If you aren't now laughing, check yourself into the nearest mental health center and ask them what happened to your sense of humor."

    Really? I should check my self into the nearest mental health hospital because I don't find satire funny? Fuck you. I know what satire is, I have had to do a double check on some satirical stories to check if they were real or just satire, but I have not found a lot of funny things in satire in the last 5 years. That kind of humor is just not for me.

    Suggesting that not laughing at satire is a mental health issue makes you an asshole that has no respect for the problems people with actual mental health issues face.

    And before anybody jumps on this post, I agree that suing for defamation over a satirical joke that goes out of its way to be over the top and even outright states that it is complete fiction at its end is stupid and likely to only Streisand the entire joke into the public eye.

     

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  13.  
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    RailRuler (profile), Apr 22nd, 2014 @ 12:33pm

    Here's why it's not funny

    It's not satire. It's racism.

    Satire is mocking the foibles/flaws of an entity. This article does none of that. It mocks black women, specifically by reducing them to stereotypes.

    If you find it funny, you're being racist.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Here's why it's not funny

    There it is. I knew someone would toss down the Race card.

     

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  15.  
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    averysays, May 6th, 2014 @ 11:12am

    Re: Here's why it's not funny

    @RailRuler

    Yours was the funniest comment here!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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