Fair and Balanced: PT Changes its Tagline

Sunday, 24 August 2003

At a contentious, sometimes raucous board meeting today, the editorial board of Progressive Theology voted 5 to 4 to change its tagline from "a Christian alternative to the religious right" to "a fair and balanced view of theology and the world."

The change was proposed by board member Jan Apus. "In view of the recent success of Al Franken in borrowing a tagline from Fox News and using it to coerce Fox into suing him so that his new book would attract national attention and rocket to the top the best-seller's list, I believe that Progressive Theology should take a similar tack." Franken, a respected political commentator (according to his official bio), or a shrill and unstable C-level commentator (according to Fox News), has a new book out entitled Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced View of the Right.

Speaking in opposition was the newest board member, Nathaniel Martinet. "Al Franken was lucky; he could have lost his shirt. Fox News is the biggest and 'right-est' of the major news networks. Frankly, I'm a little scared that what we'll garner won't be publicity but a vicious assault that could hurt our standing in the eyes of the theological community with whom we're engaged in conversation."

After a bitter debate, the board voted by a one-vote margin to approve the change. Following the vote, editor Tod O. L. Mundo urged the board to move beyond its disagreements and unite in its commitment to move PT to the next level of excellence. "Even though we weren't able to convince Al Franken to join our board, stealing his idea is almost as good. I personally would have preferred if we had decided to adopt a variant of 'We Report, You Decide' as our new tagline, but I do think the one we've adopted now will get the attention of friend and foe alike in the coming months. And if we get sued, we'll just drop it and go back to the old one."

The new tagline goes into effect in October.

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