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Ben Karlin, the funnyman former Daily Show producer who is, unfortunately, kind of a dick, is currently suing some company over a book about Spain. Mario Batali is involved, too. What in the world is Ben Karlin doing working on a book about Spain, which does not appear to be a comedy project? We don't know, but it sure sounds like the guy is (wisely) just signing up for any old book that'll cut him a check:

Karlin signed a contract for a book that was going to be tie-in for a new PBS series called "Spain ... on the Road Again," which starred flame-haired fatty celebuchef Batali and blonde actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

But in November 2007, a conflict arose when Mr. Pinsky allowed Mr. Batali to engage designers for the book, including one of Mr. Batali's relatives, instead of leaving the design to Mr. Karlin, as previously agreed, the lawsuit states. Mr. Karlin contends that Mr. Batali also expected him to write the book in its entirety, and refused to contribute recipes, pictures, or other material to the project, claiming to be too busy.

When Mr. Karlin asked to lessen his involvement in the book, the lawsuit states, Mr. Batali asked that the writer be fired from the project. He has not been paid, and is suing for $125,000, including the cost of two trips to Spain, according to the lawsuit.

Well, it sounds like Batali really flaked out here, and Karlin deserves to be paid for his hard work. Unless he's just making it up because he's, you know, a little bit of a dick.

[NYS; pic via NY]