Al Franken’s idea of humor and political incisiveness seems to be to say people are liars and to point to a well-known conservative as fat, but if that sort of juvenilia is something short of praiseworthy, so was a Fox News lawsuit.

The cable channel took umbrage at the title of a Franken book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.” Fox claimed in court that it used the phrase “fair and balanced” to promote its shows and that it therefore belonged to Fox and should not be used by Franken.

Oh, come on. The phrase is a common part of the English language, and using a lawsuit as a means of hitting back in political debate is despicable. The suit has been dropped now, thanks to a discouraging judge, but the fact it was filed can hardly enhance the reputation of a news outlet that has actually done some first-rate work.

A better idea in the future would be for Fox News to relax and enjoy the joke of another celebrity pretending to know something about politics.