In an interview with Terry Gross of National Public Radio this week, Matt Groening (the creator of The Simpsons) commented that the Fox News Channel threatened to sue Fox Entertainment (its sister network) over a recent parody of the right-wing news channel. In this particular episode of the Simpsons, a rolling news ticker ran along the bottom of the screen, in the same fashion as on the Fox News Channel. The ticker displayed a number of headlines that parodied the channel's right-leaning perspective, such as Do Democrats Cause Cancer?, JFK Posthumously Joins Republican Party, and Oil Slicks Found to Keep Seals Young, Supple. Groening noted in the interview with NPR that "We called their bluff because we didn't think Rupert Murdoch [the owner of Fox] would pay for Fox to sue itself. So, we got away with it." Groening went on to note that "Now Fox has a new rule that we can't do those little fake news crawls on the bottom of the screen in a cartoon because it might confuse the viewers into thinking it's real news."
The first link leads to a recent news piece about the supposed lawsuit from this week's Washington Times. The second link will take visitors to the delightful Simpsons Archive, which though not the official site, presents synopses of all the episodes, along with thousands of pieces of arcane information about the long-running show. The third site is in fact the official site presented by the Fox Network, and likewise, contains a staggering amount of material about the Simpson clan and the rest of the residents of Springfield. The fourth site is a feature that originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly where creator Matt Groening offers a list of his ten favorite episodes of the Simpsons, which is not surprisingly capped off by the much-lauded Bart the Daredevil program that appeared in the second season. The fifth link will take visitors to the audio archive of NPR's popular program, Fresh Air, where they may listen to the October 23, 2003 interview with Groening. The final link will take users to an interview with Groening from 1986 (culled from the archives of the Metro, a weekly newspaper in Silicon Valley) where he talks about his work and life -- which included the rather funny comic strip Life in Hell at that point.
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