Archive for February, 2006

February 28, 2006

Wednesday Night in NYC: Ted Rall & Stephanie McMillan

I’ll be joining cartoonist Stephanie McMillan (her book, “Minimum Security”, is part of the “Attitude” series that I edit) to sign our books at the Barnes & Noble on Sixth Avenue at West 8th Street in Manhattan tomorrow night, starting at 7. There will be a talk and Q&A beforehand, and we hope to see you there!

Directions: A B C D E F subway to West 4th Street, 1 9 to Christopher Street, PATH from NJ to 9th Street.

February 27, 2006

Geek Love

As numerous comics fans pointed out and as I should have known better, “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” was a trademark statement by The Thing from The Fantastic Four, not the Hulk. Doh.

February 26, 2006

Coulter!

It’s the start of a brand-new week–and as the Incredible Hulk might say, it may just be NEOCON CLOBBERIN’ TIME! Pledges total $19,712 and if they keep coming in, we’ll be able to do this thing. I’m waiting by my in box so if you’re so moved to hold her accountable and draw a line in the sand between protected free speech and slander, please pledge at chet@rall.com.

February 24, 2006

Ann Coulter Update

I’m starting to feel optimistic. As of this minute pledges for the Rall v. Coulter slander and libel lawsuit fund total $13,716.00. If pledges keep coming in, especially some big ones (though the vast majority of those so far have been modest sums, so the little ones do count for a lot), we may have enough money to move ahead with holding the right-wing attack dog to account for her lies.

Some have asked about Garry Trudeau and the New York Times, both of whom were falsely said to have entered Iran’s Holocaust cartoon contest as well. As far as I know neither party intends to pursue legal action. So it’s all up to me–and you.

Others have asked what I will do if I win a judgement. My conclusion: I will return any net winnings to each individual donor in direct proportion to their contribution. So if you give 5% of the up-front funds, you’ll get 5% of the winnings.

Another question concerns what I will put up towards the cause. Besides my own time and effort staving off the Right-Wing Attack Machine that will no doubt go after me I will be responsible for any legal fees over and above contributions. If I were rich and could afford to do this on my own, I would. Just to be clear.

Please send pledges via email to chet@rall.com. Do NOT send money until I contact you with the news that we are moving forward with the suit as I do not want to have to issue refunds if nothing happens.

February 23, 2006

Ann Coulter Update

Pledges currently total nearly $11,000. That’s seriously encouraging but we’re still short of what’s needed to launch a successful libel and slander lawsuit against the Queen of Mean. If you’re interested in pledging a donation to help fund such a suit, send your email with pledge amount to: chet@rall.com. If enough pledges come in to make a suit viable, I’ll contact you with instructions about where to send your payment. (Both PayPal and payment by check will be accepted.) Thanks to all who have already made pledges.

February 23, 2006

Who Will Let Me Draw The World’s Most Offensive Cartoon?

Not most of my clients, as I’ve found out by asking. I want to draw a cartoon that offends everybody on every level, but I can’t find a single newspaper or magazine willing to even entertain the idea, much less run the actual final art. And they call this America.

February 23, 2006

Ted Rall at New York Comiccon

Hours posted below still apply; I will NOT, however, be there on Sunday. Be sure to stop by the NBM table if you happen to be there. Stephanie McMillan, the brilliant cartoonist whose book “Minimum Security” was edited by yours truly, will also be on hand to sell and sign her book, so be sure to pick up a couple of those.

February 20, 2006

Ann Coulter Update: TIme is Running Out

My lawyers and I will determine later this week whether we have received sufficient pledges to pursue a libel and slander case against Ann Coulter for her statement, first issued verbally at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting in Washington on February 10, where she falsely said that I had submitted cartoons to Iran’s anti-Holocaust cartoon contest, a claim that she repeated in her nationally syndicated column on February 15.

I have not entered, nor do I intend to enter, this contest.

Coulter and her fellow conservatives frequently use this tactic. Rather than express an opinion (“The Iran cartoon contest is just the sort of thing you’d expect Ted Rall to enter!”) they up the ante to actual libel and slander by saying that it’s actually true. It’s a vile, illegal tactic–but unless someone challenges it in court, it will continue to be deployed against patriotic liberals, Democrats and political progressives of all stripes. After all, these are the same people who smeared war hero Max Cleland as a coward. And it works–mainly because Democrats don’t fight back.

I am willing to wage this fight. Unfortunately, at this point I am increasingly pessimistic that I will be able to raise sufficient funds to sue Coulter. Current pledges total $7,871, which is far short of the mid-five-figures needed to pursue a libel and slander case all the way to trial. I will NOT start a fight I cannot fight to the finish.

Unless pledges pick up dramatically in the days ahead, Coulter will get off the hook–again.

February 18, 2006

Ann Coulter Fund Drive

Thanks to everyone who has pledged so far to fight the slanderous hate speech of Ann Coulter. Pledges currently total nearly $8,000! It’s a lot of money but it takes a lot more than that—at least four times more—to stand a chance of giving a libel and slander lawsuit a fair chance. A few choice donations and mentions on big liberal sites would get us there, but we’ll have to see what next week brings.

Ted Rall at NY Comic Con

New Yorkers attending next week’s New York Comic Con should bring their Ted Rall books for me to sign. I’ll be at the NBM Publishing table 6-8 pm Friday and 3-5 Saturday—Sunday TBD. I’ll also bring copies of my rare and out-of-print early books and galleys, as well as original cartoons, for sale, so bring your checkbooks and credit cards if you have some loose cash. See you next weekend!

Norah Vincent on Ted Rall Show

Tomorrow’s Ted Rall radio show features, at 10 am, Village Voice writer and author Norah Vincent, talking about her new book. She spent months undercover—as a man! Check out one woman’s insights on the trials and tribulations of life as an American male at 1069freefm.com (if you have a PC) or live in San Francisco at 106.9FM.

February 17, 2006

I Will Sue Coulter, But I Need Your Help

Editor & Publisher 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:

Some highlights:

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 AnnCoulter.com, 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.