- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chamber sues

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed a civil complaint against global-warming activists who misled the press into believing the organization had changed its position on climate change legislation.

The Yes Men organization held a hoax press conference at the National Press Club on Oct. 19 to say that the Chamber was dropping its opposition to cap-and-trade. The imposters e-mailed fake press releases on Chamber letterhead about the announcement, leading several news outlets, including Reuters, CNBC and the Fox Business Channel, to report the “news.”

The Chamber’s suit claims the Yes Men stole the group’s intellectual property by using its logo and other protected marks for commercial gain. It argues that the Yes Men conducted the stunt to drum up publicity for their film “The Yes Men Fix the World.” In addition to impersonating Chamber officials and using their logo in e-mails to the press, the Yes Men also created an imposter Chamber Web site.

The Yes Men’s (real) Web site says Yes Men imposters engage in what they call “identity correction.” Promotional material for their film says its stars, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, “have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations they hate.”

Steven Law, the Chamber’s chief legal officer and general counsel, said the Chamber “is a strong proponent of free speech and encourages public debate on issues of the day. However, the law is clear that you can’t misappropriate others’ intellectual property for personal financial gain. The defendants are not merry pranksters tweaking the establishment. Instead, they deliberately broke the law in order to further commercial interest in their books, movies and other merchandise. Ironically and unfortunately, this lawsuit might even help in that regard, but these acts are nothing less than commercial identity theft masquerading as social activism and must be stopped.”

Another cover

First lady Michelle Obama is officially a Glamour girl now, landing the December cover for the fashion magazine.

Glamour posted a preview of the holiday cover on the magazine’s blog Wednesday featuring Mrs. Obama wearing a red party frock and statement necklace, marking the first time in the magazine’s 70 years that a first lady has appeared as a cover girl.

“It probably goes without saying that visiting the White House to photograph the first lady rocks, but come on: Visiting the White House to photograph the first lady rocks,” gushed Glamour Editor Cindi Leive.

The magazine is honoring Mrs. Obama with a special recognition award for her commitment to mentoring young women.

The December issue will also launch a new column by CBS anchorwoman Katie Couric, who will interview an “inspiring” woman each month. Miss Couric’s first contribution is an interview with Mrs. Obama that will run with Glamour’s photo spread that includes photos of the first lady with her interns.

Crude humor

Catholic League President Bill Donohue says the latest episode of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” shows the network’s pattern of intolerance of Catholics.

In the program actor-director Larry David urinates on a picture of Jesus, which a Catholic woman later mistakes for tears and declares a miracle.

“That’s what passes for creativity these days,” Mr. Donohue said. “Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother? This might be fun to watch, but since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics (it was just a couple of weeks ago that Sarah Silverman insulted Catholics on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’), and David is Jewish, we’ll never know.”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

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