March 18, 2006

"Worrying" about free expression

Controversial cartoonist Ted Rall -- who has shown very little regard for people's feelings in the past -- demonstrates just how utterly thin his own skin is. He's asking for reader donations to help fund a potential lawsuit against [equally] controversial pundit Ann Coulter:

Columnist Ann Coulter made a provocative remark Friday about "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. Trudeau is shrugging it off, but Rall is considering a lawsuit.

Coulter reportedly said 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."

Giving her remark another twist is the fact that the conservative Coulter has the same distributor -- Universal Press Syndicate -- as the liberal Rall and Trudeau.

When asked Monday if he wanted to respond to Coulter's comment, Trudeau told E&P via e-mail: "Nah."

Say what you want about him, at least Trudeau knows the position in which his career places him. Poor pantywaist Rall shows yet again how too many fringe radicals can't take the cheap shots they're so often shooting at their opponents.

Still, Rall is no dummy. He won't use his own funds to take on Coulter:

Rall said people were voting roughly 3-1 in favor of suing. And he told E&P Monday that pledges are coming in fast. "If pledges continue to come in at the present rate, I'll have the $6,000 available by tonight," Rall said. "A lot of people are fed up with how Coulter has turned slandering liberals into a cottage industry and want to see her held to account. I'm actually fairly overwhelmed by the response -- more than 300 pledges, many in the $20 to $100 range."

Here's the great line, though:

The "no" votes, according to Rall, are "mostly from people who worry that what she said is protected free expression."

Well, how 'bout that! People -- probably even many liberals -- are worried that Coulter's comments should be protected as free speech! Funny then that Rall, whose career has been made on such protections, doesn't so worry. Xrlq, keen lawyerly mind that he is, pontificates similarly.

By the way, Rall also unintentionally gets laughs:

"She (Coulter) has no reason to believe that I am less patriotic than any other American."

Yeah, whatever, Ted. While I'm certainly not one that prescribes to the notion that disagreeing with your government equates to being unpatriotic, many of your past statements and cartoons can certainly give someone a reason to believe you are "less patriotic than any other American."

Posted by Hube at March 18, 2006 10:09 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Actually, the writings and cartoons of Ted Rall contain many things which could lead one to believe he is less patriotic than the average American. Folks have raised that uissue repeatedly over the years.

However, Rall's complaints here potentially lead to additional reasons for questioning his patriotism. Is it Rall's contention that he has a right to determine what others are and are not allowed to believe? Is it his intent to deploy a thought-control device to ensure that none of us believe that which Ted Rall determines we have no acceptable reason to believe? Isn't such imposition of thought control antithetical to American values as contained in the First Amendment? Wouldn't such actions to undermine the First Amendment rights of every American constitute a basis for believing that Rall is less patriotic than other Americans?

Besides that, isn't it clear that Coulter (a Menckenesque satirist) used Rall (a public figure, especially as regards editorial cartooning) as a foil for her craft? And wouldn't her words fall under the same rubric as the old parody piece in Playboy (or was it Penthouse or Hustler -- my memory of the Supreme Court case fails) in which Jerry Falwell was quoted as saying he and his mother got drunk and had incestuous sex in an outhouse? Her words are clearly less damaging to Rall's reputation.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 18, 2006 11:45 AM

I love Rall's work and I've been checking in on this case for a while. I think he just needs to shut the hell up and get over it. This is ridiculous. I think Rall has done a great job at being that annoying bug that never lets up on the Bush Administration. But this is just stupid.

Ted Rall is about as extreme as Ann Coulter...only on the opposite side of things.

Thank God for Falwell and Hustler, RwR!

Posted by: Mike M. at March 18, 2006 11:57 AM

Mike, you and I are essentially in agreement regarding the importance of that case.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 19, 2006 11:51 AM

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