Thursday, February 16, 2006

Decency v. Degenerate Racist

Tedd Rall:

Republican columnist Ann Coulter spoke earlier today to the Conservative Political Action Committee, where the audience included 1000 right-wingers including Vice President Dick Cheney. There, among other things, she is reported to have said the following:

"Iran is soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust. So far, only Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and the NY Times have made submissions."

She lied. I have not submitted anything to any Iranian publication. I have no intention of doing so. And I have said that in public, repeatedly.

This is the same speech in which Coulter repeatedly used the term Raghead to the enthusiastic cheers of the wannabe Nazis in attendance.

Anyhow, Rall, as most of you know is a cartoonist with enough guts to speak truth to power no matter how unpopular. While other liberals parse their words and are too scared to really speak up for the little guys Rall puts his ass on the line with every comic he publishes. He isn't afraid to call out sacred cows like our military and tackles issues of moral relatavism and questions the hypocrisy of telling Iran not to have nukes when we're the only country to have ever used them. If you haven't read him, go to his archives now.

Well about this lawsuit - at this point, Rall's attorney believes there is a viable case against Coulter but it will be expensive. Astuteness doesn't equate to money in America so Rall is seeking support of this action which could take many years and lots of money.

At this point, Rall is seeking pledges to see if a lawsuit would be financially feasible. If you can, and you support the viewpoints of Rall, and feel he should be able to speak openly without being accused of being a Holocaust Denier by loathsome racists then go over to his blog and pledge to send him some money.

Update:From Ted's blog:

Editor & Publisher magazine has an update on right-wing author, syndicated columnist and frequent Fox News guest Ann Coulter's campaign to equate my opposition to George W. Bush with anti-Semitism:

Ann Coulter, in Her New Column, Repeats Holocaust Jab At 'NYT' and Rall
By Dave Astor
Published: February 16, 2006 4:30 PM ET

NEW YORK—In her latest print column, Ann Coulter repeats the verbal statement that caused much discussion in the blogosphere during the past week and drew a threat by editorial cartoonist Ted Rall to take her to court.

Coulter, a Universal Press Syndicate columnist, had said last Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.: "Iran is soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust. So far, only Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and The New York Times have made submissions."

In her latest column, posted today on, Coulter writes that one "Iranian newspaper is soliciting cartoons about the Holocaust. (So far the only submissions have come from Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and The New York Times.)"

When asked for his response, Rall told E&P today: "Now it's slander AND libel." He added that Coulter's decision to repeat her remark could make his case stronger.

As E&P reported earlier today, Rall said his attorney has told him he'd have a case if he sued Ann Coulter. But the cartoonist also said he'd need to raise more funds if he's going to take legal action.

Rall -- who, like Coulter, is syndicated by Universal -- said his supporters have pledged about $7,000 so far. Asked how much he would need to file a lawsuit and pursue it to the end, Rall said he's not sure yet. The cartoonist did emphasize that if he asks pledgers to actually send money for a lawsuit, the money would go straight into an account for his attorney. Rall said he would personally not touch that account.

If he won a lawsuit against Coulter, Rall said he would give any monetary damages to a political action committee or divide the money among those who donated to fund the legal action.

Some of the e-mails Rall received during the past week accused him of "dishing it out but not being able to take it." In response, Rall told E&P: "I'm as much a free-speech purist as it comes. But in my opinion, this is not a free-speech issue. This is about hijacking my politics and trying to equate my opposition to the Bush administration with anti-Semitism and Holocaust revisionism. Ann Coulter is planting the seed among millions of readers that I'm a Holocaust revisionist, which I'm not. I'm not going to tolerate that."

Many readers take the content of Coulter's column seriously, said Rall, even if she has claimed at times to be "joking."

Coulter's current column -- in addition to repeating the line about Rall, "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau, and The New York Times -- also seems to stereotype all Muslims as violent.

Not only did Coulter slander me in front of a thousand conservatives at a speech attended by Dick Cheney in Washington (the night before his hunting accident in Texas), she put it into print in her syndicated column. Make no mistake, there is a case. But this is going to cost major bucks to pursue correctly.

Insults, vitriol and snotty comments are all part of free speech. Deliberately misrepresenting a person's opinions in order to shut them up is not. What we're witnessing here is no less than a return to the tactics of Senator Joe McCarthy during the 1950s "Red Scare"—which shouldn't be surprising considering that Ann Coulter wrote an entire book whose thesis was that McCarthy was a great guy who ought to be loved and respected.

If you're as tired as I am of Republicans smearing liberals and Democrats as traitors, un-American and sympathetic to terrorism, here's an opportunity to draw a line, to say "here's where it stops." I have already raised about $7,000 through my pledge drive, but unless I receive a higher level of commitment from progressives to fight this battle I will only be able to start it. As you probably know, I'm a fighter—but I fight to win. That means all the way, no matter what it takes.

So here's the deal. I am NOT asking those who have already made pledges to promise more. What I AM asking is for those who haven't done so to step forward. Small contributions are of course welcome. What will get us there faster will be one or two people who have the financial means to do what conservatives do for their pundits all the time: commit to the long-term legal battle that will undoubtedly ensue. If rich liberals won't help those of us who are down in the ideological trenches, they have no one to blame but themselves for yet another defeat.

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