My understanding was that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 protected Disney's trademark on Mickey Mouse, but I'm not clear on whether this is purely for Mickey's image or also for his name. If the latter, if someone uses "Mickey Mouse" as a pejorative adjective in order to attack Disney or its subsidiaries, could Disney sue for unauthorized use of the trademark, or is "Mickey Mouse" now recognized as part of the English language? I've gotten so unmotivated to think about politics lately that the above query is the main reaction I had to an e-mail with the subject line "ABC: Stop 9/11 Mickey Mouse Tale":
Tell ABC to Cancel Their Inaccurate and Slanted Sept. 11th Program(I have a liberal knee-jerk against telling anyone to cancel almost any form of speech; supporting more speech as a corrective to bad speech is too deeply ingrained. At most, I'm in favor of civil defamation law that permits a person injured by such claims to receive compensation, which wouldn't work here because anyone mentioned negatively in this film will be a public figure.)
ABC has decided to honor the national memory of Sept. 11th by giving six hours of prime-time coverage to the wildly inaccurate viewpoints of an avowed conservative partisan. Tell them to cancel this show. On September 10th and 11th, ABC is planning to air a "docu-drama" called "Path to 9/11," which is being billed as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11." In fact, the film was written by an unabashed conservative who twists the facts to blame President Clinton. ABC's new six-hour film was apparently screened in advance only to conservative bloggers and journalists -- and received extensive praise from none other than Rush Limbaugh. The film is apparently also riddled with factual errors and distortions; former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has completely refuted one of the key scenes in the show. It's simply stunning to think that as this fall's election approaches, a major television network would devote six hours of prime-time programming to air such a slanted and inaccurate program.
UPDATE: In an odd coincidence (or is it Liberal Media Bias?), NBC informs us that it's actually been under the Bush Administration that the U.S. military has been too touchy-feely sensitive to strike at the Taliban.