Just over a month ago, Esquire Magazine's Mark Warren published an item on the magazine's Politics blog titled, "BREAKING: Jerome Corsi's Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!" Warren's piece was a subtle, yet easily detectable fake item that very specifically satirized the spirit of Corsi's Where's The Birth Certificate?, in that, if Corsi could get away with selling obvious lies to people too dumb to know any better, why couldn't Esquire?
The whole matter might have remained just a blip in the universe of political satire, but it so aggrieved Corsi and WorldNetDaily CEO Joseph Farah, that they intimated that they would consider legal action against Esquire for making them the butt of a joke. And now that threat has been delivered upon: the pair have filed suit against the magazine, Warren, and Esquire's parent company, Hearst Corp. Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici has all the gory details ("the full amount sought totals more than $285 million") and a copy of the suit itself.
According to Bercovici, Farah and Corsi claim that "the article succeeded...in interfering with their ability to sell books through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Tower and other retailers. The plaintiffs also say that Warren’s parody exposed them to 'extreme ridicule in the community where they reside and where their works are viewed and read.'”
Well, I ain't passed the bar, but I know a little bit, and it seems to me that the defendants in this case will probably defend themselves against the allegation that their satire impeded Corsi's ability to sell his book by brandishing this item posted at WorldNetDaily, in which the website testifies to the fact that they are having no problem, whatsoever, with book sales:
For a book that critics say had its premise destroyed by a presidential action, "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President" by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., is doing pretty well.
Today it was ranked at No. 14 on the New York Times best-sellers list for nonfiction hardcover books.
It debuted a week ago at No. 6.
Ever since April 27, when Obama released an image of a "Certificate of Live Birth" from the state of Hawaii, critics have condemned the book as out of date and Esquire even published a fabricated story that reported it had been withdrawn.
That wasn't true, and apparently the critics' prognostications that it was doomed weren't either.
So, in their own words, Corsi's book is "doing pretty well," and the talk of "doom" was premature. (It only took me about thirty seconds of Googling to find that, by the way.)
Interestingly enough, and contrary my expectations, what's really hampered the target market for Corsi's book is Obama's long form birth certificate itself. A May poll conducted by the Washington Post found that the release of Obama's birth certificate caused the "number of Americans saying President Obama was born in another country" to be "sliced in half." If there's anything restraining trade, here, it's not satire -- it's reality. Perhaps Corsi and Farah should just sue existence! (In a way, I guess they already are.)
GO READ THE WHOLE THING:
Birthers Sue Esquire Over Parody, Seeking More than $200 Million [Jeff Bercovici's Mixed Media]