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Comic retailer happy with Giffords shooting

Comics Alliance reports that in a blog post entited, “1 down, 534 to go” Travis Corcoran, the president of Heavy Ink (online comic book retailer) rejoiced in the shooting in Tucson, AZ that injured Congress Woman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others including a federal judge.

He writes on this blog that it was unacceptable that others had died, and that would-be shooters should only target politicians and their staff.

Comics Alliance notes that several comic book artists are removing their work from the online retailer.

Community Comments

#1 DJ Coffman
January/10/2011
@ 6:22 pm

I was pretty disgusted reading that yesterday on bleeding cool, and vowed never to use the heavy ink service again or any future comics sold through it if I can help that. Here’s hoping more will join an already growing boycot. That guy is off his rocker.

#2 Tom Dell'Aringa
January/10/2011
@ 6:40 pm

Yeah, I was really sad to see this too, as I have used them in the past. I am shutting down my account with them immediately. I’m extremely disgusted by his comments.

#3 Jimmy Delach
January/10/2011
@ 7:47 pm

Heavy Ink needs to go out of business. That’s disgusting!!!

#4 Michael Thorne
January/10/2011
@ 9:15 pm

There is no excuse for those kind of comments. It is about time that people in this country start being held accountable for their words. The first amendment is meant to protect free speech not hate, nor words mean to incite hate. This person is no better than the Westboro Baptist Church.It is time for us to get our heads on straight and work for a better tomorrow.

#5 Jim Lavery
January/10/2011
@ 10:44 pm

I guess Heavy Ink will be the next immediate casualty from this shooting.

Sayanora, genius!

#6 Dave Stephens
January/11/2011
@ 2:34 am

Nice to know who’s evil – usually, it’s not so obvious…

We all need to find out what actions we can take both individually and collectively against this piece of human garbage.

#7 dave nelson
January/11/2011
@ 7:35 am

yeesh! There’s always one in a crowd. @Dave, you’re right. Does he realize that whole evil villain thing is supposed to stay inside the comic books?

#8 Ja Ratr
January/11/2011
@ 8:41 am

Classless on so many levels. Beyond the total disrespect for life it is a blatant lack of compassion for his coworkers and those employed by him. This leaves them dealing with those who can’t disassociate the “president” from the company. Now they have to suffer because of knee-jerk fools who spout “Heavy Ink needs to go out of business.”

Any boycott should hopefully force Travis Corcoran to step down as president. Hopefully the rest of the employees of Heavy Ink can actually save their livelihood out of this mess.

#9 mike witmer
January/11/2011
@ 9:51 am

What the cheese is THAT all about? Was the guy just trying to be snarky and edgy in some idiotic sort of way? What an a-hole.

#10 Stephen Beals
January/11/2011
@ 10:08 am

So many people are eager to say the craziest, most immoral things. To say all that when you’re running a business is, if it’s possible, even more insane.

What a way to announce a Going Out Of Business sale.

#11 Terry LaBan
January/11/2011
@ 10:19 am

What the cheese is THAT all about? Was the guy just trying to be snarky and edgy in some idiotic sort of way? What an a-hole.

Go through the guy’s blog and read his explanation. Apparently, he loves the Constitution so much that he thinks it’s legitimate to defend it by shooting representatives duly elected under its provisions. Too bad for the people who work for him but anyone who does business with this company should immediately exercise their own right of free speech by yanking their account.

#12 Ted Rall
January/11/2011
@ 11:47 am

If I only bought from companies and individuals whose political beliefs I agreed with, I wouldn’t be buying much.

This guy is entitled to his beliefs. Personally, I think anyone who supports America’s illegal wars is far worse than the Heavy Ink guy is. After all, our wars kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people for no good reason. But people are entitled to support whatever murderous wars they want. I wouldn’t boycott someone because of their disgusting politics. Hell, if I did that, I wouldn’t buy much.

Boycotting or trying to drive someone out of business due to their political beliefs is vile, hypocritical behavior on the part of creative types who depend on the right to free expression to market and sell their ideas. The fact that you disagree with those beliefs does not change that.

(And please spare me the right-wing libertarian pablum about how only the government can censor. Look up the word “censorship” in the dictionary.)

Funny how people react to violent intolerance with violent intolerance.

#13 David Reddick
January/11/2011
@ 12:17 pm

That is just sick. A nine-year-old little girl died in this, and there is no excuse to support such a thing no matter what side of the aisle you stand on. We’re all human way before we are idealogues. At least that is the hope. Just sickening. I hope everyone boycotts this company until this jerkweed is ousted, hopefully at least saving the jobs of any of the employees therein who can’t be held accountable for his insane rant.

#14 DJ Coffman
January/11/2011
@ 1:05 pm

Whatever, Rall. I see your point about censorship, but this guy went a little too far in saying its totally okay to assasinate congressmen and their staff. WTF? So, yeah, that angers me and i Want the guy to suffer at least a little in the wallet. It’s also within our right to spend our money where we want to. Id rather not be associated in any way shape or form with that guys services or have him making money off my products (which is much harder to stop)- id rather give my money to a businessman in comics that stays professional and doesn’t tout his religion or politics or hate speech around the net to the point where its making news in industry news.

Let him have his outrageous opinions, but with words come consequences, even if it’s just something small like not getting anymore of my money or me referring users to his service.

#15 DJ Coffman
January/11/2011
@ 1:32 pm

This quote from another blog answers Rall and anyone else who wants to defend the guys “freedom of speech” or lobby censorship much more eloquently than I can without devolving into just telling him the stfu:

“But while Corcoran may have the right to say what he wishes, we conversely have a right to express our own opinions about those ideas, which personally would be that they are callous, irresponsible, and worthy of harsh public censure. Though Corcoran might advocate violence as a way to respond to deep political differences, we fiercely disagree. We believe these sorts of conflicts should be settled through speech. And beyond condemning his words with our words, capitalism also grants us another form of language: We can speak with our dollars.”

#16 David Reddick
January/11/2011
@ 1:43 pm

Ted, what is vile and hypocritical behavior is to stand with and support this person and support their endeavors while they giggle and rejoice at the death of a small child, a public servant and others, and be completely unfeeling and removed from any emotion or care.
We can’t know the hearts of everyone we deal with on a day-to-day basis, but when a venomous snake rears its head for what it is it is our right and our freedom to step away from them and let them stew in the juices they have creatwed for themselves.
get off your goddamn high horse about stolen land and how evil we all are and recognize that decent people do not want to be associated with an evil that is supportive of murder (and even instructs on the best way to enact said future murders)when it makes itself known.

#17 Stephen Beals
January/11/2011
@ 2:55 pm

If the manager of the local hardware store wrote a piece saying, “Seriously, shoot politicians you don’t like, but don’t miss.” I guarantee you that business would be negatively affected to the degree that the hardware store could go out of business.

If you’re in the entertainment industry (or, as we call it in America, News Business) you might gain a following and get rich even though many, many people hate you. But it’s insane to think you can be a nutjob and run any other kind of business.

A nine year old girl died. Sure, you’re free to say whatever you want. You’re also free to suffer the consequences. There are a few companies I don’t buy from because I don’t like their politics or policies, but this guy’s given me a solid reason to make sure he never, ever benefits from my purchases in any sort of way.

If he were selling his “Shoot Politicians” book and I didn’t purchase it, that would be one thing. He’s just another idiot. If he saying “shoot politicians” and trying to sell me an unrelated product, then he’s proven his insanity.

#18 Scott Metzger
January/11/2011
@ 2:57 pm

Ted: ?If I only bought from companies and individuals whose political beliefs I agreed with, I wouldn?t be buying much.?

Yes, of course. Your options would be severely limited and you’d miss out on a lot of great products and services.

An example: my dentist is pro-life and I?m pro-choice. I continue to go to him because he’s a great dentist (by far the best one I?ve ever had), his prices are reasonable and he’s a nice guy. If I were to stop going to him simply because his political views are different than mine, that would be stupid. I?d lose a great dentist.

However….if an abortion clinic were bombed and I found out my dentist was just giddy with excitement over it, that?s when he would no longer be my dentist.

That’s the issue here: there’s a huge difference in supporting a business run by someone with different political views and supporting a business run by someone who is just plain bat-sh*t crazy.

#19 Jesse Cline
January/11/2011
@ 3:12 pm

Well said, Scott.

#20 Ted Rall
January/11/2011
@ 3:44 pm

Yes, Scott, that is well said.

However, it’s simply a matter of degrees. I don’t see an ant’s whisker’s difference between someone who jumped up and down with glee while watching the March 2003 “shock and awe” leveling of Baghdad, and someone who slaps a “support our troops” magnet on their car. They’re both for the same cause. The effect is the same.

Actually, I have more respect for the loudmouth who expresses his controversial views than the weasely worm (sorry for the mixed animal metaphor) who feels the same way but doesn’t have the guts to admit it.

#21 Scott Kurtz
January/11/2011
@ 4:08 pm

Boycotting is not going to do anything to this guy or strike a blow for justice. I agree with Ted that it’s totally hypocritical to boycott this guy. We’re all shopping willingly at retailers who actively support WITH DOLLARS horrible ideals. They’re actually hurting people. This is just an idiot who made a stupid tweet. He’s not deserving of our ire over other companies actually DOING HARM.

to quote a good friend of mine who said it best in his blog:

Where were the sturm und drang posts over Marvel?s rela­tion­ship with rabid homo­phobe Orson Scott Card? Where were the picket signs in front of Manchester Hyatt? And not just with comic book pol­i­tics either. You still eat at Chick-?fil-?a and order from Dominoes Pizza. Best Buy also donated money to the same anti-?gay can­di­date, but it?s Best Buy and you needed an iPad for Christmas. You didn?t get actively upset about the Phelps for pick­et­ing funer­als of those who dies of AIDS until they started pick­et­ing the funer­als of our sol­diers who died in bat­tle. You care until you?re bored or until you find a new thing to care about.

My friend suggests that instead of boycotting the asshole, why not investigate and support/bring attention to the retailers who support policies and philosophies that you agree with. Stores who give back.

#22 Dave Stephens
January/11/2011
@ 4:34 pm

I agree with Scott, too: “That?s the issue here: there?s a huge difference in supporting a business run by someone with different political views and supporting a business run by someone who is just plain bat-sh*t crazy”

I don’t boycott anyone I simply disagree with – it is just not that important. However, someone who supports murdering politicians? Someone who is just plain bat-sh*t crazy? Now THAT is a good reason to NOT to give one thin dime – there are plenty of other retailers out there. And the good innocent folks who are merely employees? Well, them’s the breaks. I’ve been laid off and it wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to me…

#23 Stephen Beals
January/11/2011
@ 5:16 pm

It’s hypocritical to boycott this guy because I’m not boycotting big business? That’s a bad assumption. There are several popular businesses that I don’t shop at because I think they’re doing real harm.

I’m not out to hurt the guy by organizing a boycott. I’m choosing to personally ignore anything he’s doing because I think he’s crazy.

Scott K, have a child and keep her for nine years. Then come back and tell me how this guy isn’t doing any real harm by encouraging assassination. Then buy something from him.

#24 Scott Kurtz
January/11/2011
@ 5:48 pm

God your right. The fact that I don’t have a child of my own makes me incapable of comprehending how horrible it is to suggest that a child be murdered.

Except that he didn’t mention anything about children being murdered but that’s beside the point.

I’m just saying that there’s like, 12 other things in the realm of comics and retailers to be outraged about before we start trying to destroy someone financially for being an idiot.

Not to mention all this weighty talk about our duty to boycott people we become aware are horrible or vile is a bunch of B.S. and hypocritical. Because we don’t care about that duty when it’s inconvenient. But it’s convenient to boycott this guy. I don’t buy from him anyway and now I never will. doesn’t that make me socially conscious? Spread the word. I helped slam evil.

#25 DJ Coffman
January/11/2011
@ 6:50 pm

Maybe it’s right that “boycott” is a strong term. I, like many other comics professionals are just choosing to cease any business with the guys service. Calling for an industry wide boycott is dumb…. If people are aware of thi his brand has been damaged and it’s hurting him in his wallet. Good.

The guy did more than tweet. He was pretty much wishing for the other members of congress to be shot with his heading and saying it was totally fine to target them.

#26 Stephen Beals
January/11/2011
@ 8:55 pm

Who doesn’t care about duty when it’s inconvenient? Not me. Doing things that are inconvenient, by the way, is what defines a decent parent.

I can’t call people hypocritical unless I know for certain that they are conveniently buying from places they find morally reprehensible. Since I don’t know that, it’s foolish for me to call them hypocritical.

Scott K, I’m not saying that you can’t understand the horror of a child being murdered (another sentence I never thought I’d have to type). I’m saying …. imagine your kid is murdered by a nutcase. A Burger King president blogs that politicians should be murdered “but leave civilians alone.” (sorry, Burger King).

People at McDonalds, Wendys, Jack In The Box, etc. say “Hey, the guy can say what he wants. At least he’s not a wimp. We have other things to worry about, like a lot of people made New Year’s resolutions to stop eating our food and the dollar menu is killing us!”

No! That wouldn’t happen. They would distance themselves from the Burger King president and denounce him.

If your focus is the health of the comic industry and this guy is getting press with his idiocy, then you might have to inconveniently worry about this for a few minutes. That’s it. No boycott organizational skills are necessary. It’s not hypocritical to say that you’re not going to buy anything from this person.

#27 Gar Molloy
January/12/2011
@ 5:02 am

Now normally I’ll argue with Kurtz (because it’s more fun than agreeing with him), but Mr Beals, I’ve started reading your posts in Helen Lovejoy’s voice (“won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!?”). I think we can all agree that murder shouldn’t be advocated to kids, but it’s kind of a non-sequitor to bring it up. Take your daughter to the park or something if she’s weighing on your mind that much, enjoy some quality time.

Back on topic – This whole thing strikes me as an off-colour joke gone awry. Here’s the quote again: “It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot “indiscriminately”. Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.” Am I seriously the only one here who sees that as an attempt at dark humour? He’s basically saying “hey, if you’ve gotta shoot somebody, make it a politician!” It’s satire at its broadest and least incisive. If a plane full of lawyers crashed, would anyone be offended if someone said it was a good start? We’re cartoonists for f*ck sake, why is everyone taking it so seriously that this guy’s trolling based on a recent news story?

#28 Dave Stephens
January/12/2011
@ 6:53 am

On a college campus, would this hateful talk be considered “hate speech”?

If so, I’m assuming Ted and Kurtz are saying hate speech is protected speech and as such is A-OK in the USA.

Regardless of protection, it is also A-OK that he pays a price for such words… And his company, too.

#29 rick stromoski
January/12/2011
@ 7:10 am

Sarah Palin would stoke the coals of extremism with dangerous messaging, then delete it when something bad happens.

Sarah Palin rummages online frantically erasing her rabble-rousing Tweets like a Stalinist trimming non-persons out of photos.

I’ll say this, if your first instinct after hearing about a tragedy is to scrub yr websites, you have a problem as a political movement. – digby56

#30 Ted Rall
January/12/2011
@ 8:19 am

Of course “hate speech” is legitimate free speech. If speech is free, there are no exceptions.

#31 Stephen Beals
January/12/2011
@ 10:32 am

Gar, I’ve tried reading my post in Helen Lovejoy’s voice and I can’t do it. All I have is the one soundbite to go on. I’d prefer Homer Simpson, but you’ll probably wind up with Ned Flanders.

All you have to do to get a reaction from Kurtz is to mention your kid. I admit to that.

#32 Ted Rall
January/12/2011
@ 11:44 am

Scratch a cartoonist and find a Stalinist.

The “XYZ should pay a price for their speech because I don’t like it” meme makes me very uncomfortable. The whole point of “free speech” is that is comes without consequences.

If people fear negative repercussions for speaking their minds, they won’t. If people don’t speak freely, society will ossify. Good ideas will be suppressed along with the bad. And bad ideas won’t get an open airing. They will fester and gain strength out of public view, free from the counterarguments that could truly do them in.

Have you ever worked for a boss who brooked no dissent? You probably didn’t share your ideas to make things better. The company suffered. That’s what boycotting people because of what they say does to a society.

This is why I refuse to join organized campaigns that aim to punish people for what they say. I was asked to become a prominent letter-signer in a petition to get Rush Limbaugh fired as an NFL commentator; I said no. I defended such right-wingers as Dr. Laura and Ann Coulter and David Duke and the Danish Mohammed cartoonists.

Either we all have the right to say whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want–without fear of retaliation–or we don’t have the right to say anything.

#33 Donald McBee
January/12/2011
@ 1:19 pm

Who ever said that free speech is without consequence? Ted you are propagating a misunderstanding of what free speech is. Speech is never without consequence, even the most laid back of bosses will fire your ass if you cuss out a customer, that’s a consequence of your free speech. Most bosses don’t brook any dissent when it adversely affects their business, if I were to say to my boss that I refuse to do something, I can expect to get fired. Same goes if I told my boss to go to hell or some other insult.

The same applies to bosses/owners as well, if they say something stupid or horrendously offensive, then its the right of customers to not do business with such an asshole. Free speech means that you are free to speak your mind, but it doesn’t mean you are free from the consequences of that speech.

Also, seriously, red-baiting?

#34 Toby McGuire
January/12/2011
@ 1:29 pm

“If I only bought from companies and individuals whose political beliefs I agreed with, I wouldn?t be buying much.”

If saying “One down, 534 to go”, and “Don’t shoot the innocent bystanders, aim for the members of congress and their staffers” is just politics, then you’re absolutely wrong. It’s advocating murder and terrorism. And since it get specific about the targets, I think it goes beyond an immoral war where you’re trying to overthrow a country for its oil, you’re advocating killing your own neighbors.

Free speech does have consequences. Children in grade school are taught not to scream “Fire” in a crowded theater. If you want free speech without consequences then you don’t want to live in a free society. That’s why there are laws against inciting a riot of other violence.

And Ted, if you work for a boss that doesn’t approve of dissent, you’re free to find another job. Bad example. My advice to you is to attend a civics course.

But Ted, keep up the good work! I really like your cartoons.

#35 Ted Rall
January/12/2011
@ 1:54 pm

@Toby: Saying ?One down, 534 to go? and ?Don?t shoot the innocent bystanders, aim for the members of congress and their staffers? *is* just politics. It’s fairly extreme politics. Of course, it’s less extreme than justifying the mass murder of civilians. Or torture. Or Guantánamo.

But it’s just politics. Politics is not, by definition, automatically peaceful. Of course, the government wants us to think it is, because that helps protect their position of power. But they *love* violence. They like violence to come from them down to the people, not the other way around.

How can you “go beyond an immoral war where you?re trying to overthrow a country for its oil”? That’s far more morally repugnant than “killing your own neighbors.” For one thing, a lot more people die. Sorry, but an Afghan man is every bit as real as a federal judge. Unless done in self-defense, killing is always a psychotic act.

Also, the reason “there are laws against inciting a riot or other violence” is because riots threaten the state.

Thanks for liking my cartoons. *That’s* what’s really important, after all!

#36 Toby McGuire
January/12/2011
@ 5:08 pm

@Ted
I suppose you were fine with John Boehner putting a political opponent’s home address on the internet and told people who couldn’t stand his politics to go pay him a visit? Just say yes and I’ll put your NY address up.

#37 Ted Rall
January/12/2011
@ 6:23 pm

There’s a difference between free speech and harassment.

#38 Chris Jones
January/12/2011
@ 7:59 pm

But by that same token, Ted, there’s a difference between respecting someone’s free speech and putting up with everything they have to say, forever. If the employees at my local comic store started using racial and homophobic slurs I’d stop going there in a heartbeat, not because I’d be trying to make some grand statement but simply because I would find the people there repugnant. I think this is how a lot of people are reacting to Heavy Ink. They’re not trying to make some grand statement, they just don’t want to give their money to somebody they think is a major dilweed.

#39 Dave Stephens
January/12/2011
@ 9:03 pm

What Travis said with malice
Was monstrously callous
But as Travis soon will see
Support of murder has a fee
His verbal vomit is so toxic
It poisons all his traffic
And no-one wants to give a cent
To a man with ill intent…

#40 Zach Roberts
January/12/2011
@ 11:59 pm

I find the comments of the Heavy Ink retailer disgusting – and wouldn’t shop there even if I was near the store. I’d even sign the boycott probably.

With that said, he does have the right to say whatever he damn well pleases. The moment that we stop having the discussion of free speech is when we either drift towards from Orwellian nightmare or worse, one where we all choose to be quiet without the gov’t telling us to… I’m not sure we can save ourselves from that one.

That’s why we need people like Ted Rall and discussions like this. Hate speech is free speech. We can and should condemn every word that Limbaugh, Palin and the rest say but they have the right to say it.

As a photographer I’ve had many heated discussions with the Westboro Baptist Church and Rev Phelps’ posse. They’re probably the worst human beings Ive ever met, I wouldn’t go to their church if you paid me. But I’m the first one to stop a fight between counter protesters and the WBC… they’ve got the right to say what they want, where they want.

#41 Gar Molloy
January/13/2011
@ 4:12 am

That’s lovely, Mr Stephens.

With regards to the Stalinist thing: the right to free speech just means the government doesn’t (or at least isn’t meant to) suppress your right to say whatever you want about anything. As long as they’re not acting for the government in an official capacity, other people can suppress, ignore, misinterpret or manipulate whatever the hell they want. There are libel and slander laws for private restriction of free speech, but I don’t think those don’t cover this case.

#42 Ted Rall
January/13/2011
@ 10:06 am

You are not alone in this, Gar, but you are attempting to radically restrict the concept of free speech.

The First Amendment only protects our speech from government censorship. But the First Amendment does not truly create a right to free speech. It only gets us halfway there.

Free speech requires that an atmosphere be created in which everybody feels free to speak their minds without fear of anything more severe than strong disagreement. If we truly believe in free speech, we must respond to the racists and bigots and warmongers among us with logic and passion, not threats of physical (or financial) harm. Otherwise they will remain silent. Their beliefs will not change; indeed, because no one is aware of them, they will never be exposed to counterarguments.

The best way to make sure hatred persists is to suppress the hater.

#43 Toby McGuire
January/13/2011
@ 11:56 am

Ted: There?s a difference between free speech and harassment.

Toby: So you’re saying that threats involving violence is more acceptable than harassment? Especially if you’re the one getting harassed? Living free in a society does carry responsibilities. Advocating violence isn’t acceptable to society. I’m sure you’re just shilling for your new book which advocates violence as an agent of change.

#44 Ted Rall
January/13/2011
@ 12:49 pm

And I’m sure you’re shilling for that new brand of root beer that has electrolytes.

#45 Henry Clausner
January/13/2011
@ 3:12 pm

::::tisk tisk tisk…see,even free speech costs.

#46 William Lais
January/13/2011
@ 3:23 pm

@Scott & @Ted Are you trying to say that we shouldn’t ‘vote with our pocketbooks’?

Personally, you can call it censorship by people taking their business elsewhere, or you could also see it as people who feel they don’t want to support a retailer based on the retailer’s personal beliefs. While I’m not going to say he can’t feel that way (or even that he can’t say what he did), it’s like I’ve said already about the pitfalls of free speech. That there ARE consequences that come from you engaging in it.

And whether you like it or not, I as a citizen have the right to not do business with someone who I disagree with (especially when it comes to things they say or believe). To say otherwise is to say that everyone should be allowed to say what they want with no consequences at all. And in the end, I would rather end up not supporting someone financially versus ever wanting to do them harm.

#47 Dave Stephens
January/13/2011
@ 5:13 pm

Here in America we have free speech.

We do NOT have “free from consequences” speech. Nor should we.

#48 Scott Kurtz
January/13/2011
@ 6:18 pm

Big difference between deciding not to shop at his store anymore and organizing a boycott to harm him financially. We’re not talking about a big box store that’ll see a dip in sales and learn a lesson. We’re talking about a guy who’s probably scraping by anyway and now everyone’s looking to destroy his business with a boycott.

And then what? We win? We struck a blow to hatred?

I think a lot of people are puffing up to seem socially conscious because it’s easy to boycott a store you never shopped at. It’s much harder to get active and vote and research and support retailers with political views and activities you can get behind.

It’s a bunch of B.S.

Let the guy be an idiot. You guys aren’t champions for continuing your streak of never having bought anything from him yet.

He’s never gotten your dollars to lose. You’re being silly.

#49 Dave Stephens
January/13/2011
@ 7:10 pm

“Let him be an idiot.”

He is not just an idiot. He is an idiot recommending killing politicians.

If he was a Ku Klux Klan member and recommending lynchings, would you STILL “let him be an idiot?”

If he was exactly who he is and recommending lynchings of politicians, would you STILL “let him be an idiot?”

#50 Scott Kurtz
January/13/2011
@ 11:22 pm

Well, he’s not a Klan member recommending lynchings. So I don’t see how that’s relevant. He could also be a murderer. He’s not. So let’s just focus on what he has done, and the pragmatic way to respond.

#51 Dave Stephens
January/13/2011
@ 11:42 pm

Scott. I used a word.

The word is, “IF”.

And by the way, Lynching IS killing. Recommending lynching or recommending killing – murder either way…

You don’t have the answer the question, but for me, recommending murder whether by gun, knife, rope or jelly doughnuts is recommending murder and my response does not change one bit…

#52 Scott Kurtz
January/14/2011
@ 1:03 am

Dave, I guess I don’t see the point of discussing an “if.”

If he was a racist would it be okay? No. Of course not. That doesn’t strengthen your argument, it just starts a new one.

Let me ask you this. Where do you live? Do you live near his store? Did you ever buy from him before? Would you have ever bought from him?

#53 Dave Stephens
January/14/2011
@ 2:40 am

Hmmm. I don’t see the point in answering that question.

But I’ll answer it anyway. I don’t care where he lives. This is the age of the internet. If he is online, he IS my neighbor by default. On the internet, he may as well live right next door.

I answered your question as far as I know. Would you be so kind as to answer mine?

Does it REALLY make a difference to you what kind of murder he advocates? Murder by gun? Murder by hanging? Murder by lynching? Murder by suffocation? Aren’t these equally heinous? Are are some ‘more heinous than others?’

Which of these kinds of recommended murders would cause you to say, “let him be an idiot.” All I know right now is that you refuse to answer all but the generic ‘murder’.

“Let him be an idiot.” Is that your final answer? Remember, he’s your neighbor too. ;)

#54 August J. Pollak
January/14/2011
@ 8:08 am

I agree with Scott Kurtz here (other than the small caveat that, no, despite living in Atlanta for three years, I HAVE chosen to not eat at Chik-Fil-A for exactly the reasons your friend mentioned. I just, you know, haven’t made a website about it and demanded all my friends act the same way. It’s a personal choice I make, just like it’s a personal choice to avoid products that are tested on animals, or for some people to choose to be vegan, and so on and so on.)

I can’t really “boycott” something I was never buying in the first place. This guy’s a tool and he needs to work on his sales skills. It seems like he’s doing a good job eliminating potential customers on his own without anyone else making an effort to “destroy” him.

I dunno, I guess I find a lot of this talk ironic given it’s on a site populated by cartoonists, who are often the most frequent victims of losing work and livelihoods because one 70-year-old reader in Bumblesquat, Nowhere called the local paper and said they were offended this week’s cartoon used the word “poopie.”

#55 Gar Molloy
January/14/2011
@ 8:38 am

“recommending murder whether by gun, knife, rope or jelly doughnuts is recommending murder and my response does not change one bit?”

Is it wrong that I kind of advocate murdering people with jelly doughnuts now? You know…if you were going to murder someone ANYWAY? I just think it’d be more creative than shooting or stabbing.

“Free speech requires that an atmosphere be created in which everybody feels free to speak their minds without fear of anything more severe than strong disagreement.”

Well…that’s a really nice ideal, Mr Rall. Unfortunately it completely ignores what people are LIKE, but it’s still a nice ideal.

#56 Scott kurtz
January/14/2011
@ 12:05 pm

Wow. This is Skokie 1977 all OVER again.

#57 Matt Bors
January/14/2011
@ 12:43 pm

“If he was exactly who he is and recommending lynchings of politicians, would you STILL ‘let him be an idiot?'”

Let’s turn that question on its head, Dave. How is it you will NOT let him be an idiot? Can anyone here “let” or “not let” a person make stupid statements and/or threats?

What he said was horrible. Not buying from him is fine and continuing to buy from him doesn’t mean you hate puppies. I just don’t understand the basis of this discussion.

#58 Dave Stephens
January/14/2011
@ 2:04 pm

Matt, it’s a simple point – if he was calling for specific kind of killing like LYNCHING, I am fairly certain that Scott (and you) would NOT say, “Just ignore him. Let him be an idiot. Not a real problem worth taking any group action over…”

But that is what Scott is saying about pretty much the same thing.

#59 Scott Kurtz
January/14/2011
@ 3:58 pm

Dave,

I agree with Matt that I don’t understand what we’re even arguing about. I said a boycott was pointless and you want to argue that if he had said something more specific, I would be angrier.

You’re not making a lot of sense and the discussion is pointless now.

#60 Ted Rall
January/14/2011
@ 4:25 pm

@Dave et al.: So you’re pissed off at this guy for calling for the murder of politicians. Or more precisely elected officials. Fine.

I’m just wondering, does this anti-murder stance only apply to murdering politicians? Or does it also apply to murdering Afghans and Iraqis, many of whom are not politicians?

Since murder is murder, I expect you to organize economic boycotts against anyone and everyone who advocates the murder of Afghans and Iraqis. This would include, but not be limited to, all major oil companies, both major political parties, members of the armed forces, and anyone who has a “support the troops” magnet on the back of their cartoonishly oversized pickup truck.

#61 Dave Stephens
January/14/2011
@ 4:54 pm

Agugust said: “I can?t really ?boycott? something I was never buying in the first place. This guy?s a tool and he needs to work on his sales skills. It seems like he?s doing a good job eliminating potential customers on his own without anyone else making an effort to ?destroy? him.”

True enough. A boycott only involves folks who are currently buying from or selling to or allowing to advertise, basically everyone who interacts with him in a business related way.
Boycotts are limited in that way, however, history has shown them to be often effective.

The Comics Alliance folks above are asking us to vote with our dollars and I agree with that, however, all I can do is make sure I don’t buy from Travis in the future since I haven’t in the past.

Basically, the Comics Alliance folks are recommending a type of boycott. I agree with that regardless of whether his business is harmed or not, it is a good idea to try. In this way, quite a few people are NOT “letting him be an idiot.” Quite a few people are instead taking action.

#62 Dave Stephens
January/14/2011
@ 5:36 pm

Hmm… A letter writing campaign might be effective – Diamond Distributors would be the best bet since that’s probably where HeavyInk gets its comics from… Already individual creators have spoken out again Travis. He must already be feeling the major hit that he thought would be so minor – his attempt at damage control on his website simply made things worse since from that dialogue it has been established that: 1. it was NOT a joke – he meant every word. 2. he doesn’t want a war, just assassinations.

Maybe his employees can start a campaign of their own and find a buyer of their company who is NOT a reprehensible scumbag…

#63 DJ Coffman
January/14/2011
@ 6:46 pm

In my case I had bought and subscribed through Heavy Ink before. When I found out about all this nonsense by the owner, it disgusted me and made me not want to spend my money there anymore. I don’t know if you can call that a personal boycott or not, it’s just me being disgusted with someone’s political views and deciding not to give my money to businesses they run.

I guess this goes for any business, it’s just common sense that it’s bad business to spout off political beliefs or outrageous statements. There was a local convenience store we use to go to until we heard the owner say some crazy things. It sucks because I like the feeling of supporting the little guy in my community… unless the little guy is a right wing racist. I’ll gladly buy my milk elsewhere.

#64 Ted Rall
January/15/2011
@ 6:38 am

So, DJ, you would have continued shopping at that store as long as it’s owner kept his thoughts to himself.

In other words, you reward those who self-censor and punish the honest and forthright.

#65 Gar Molloy
January/15/2011
@ 9:28 am

Um, is being openly racist really better than being secretly racist?

Let’s put a more positive spin on ‘self-censorship’. Keeping quiet about a belief you hold but which you know to be liable to cause offense to others? Let’s call that ‘manners’. And lets twist it into a freedom: people police their own words to prevent others policing their thoughts.

#66 Wanderlei Silva
January/15/2011
@ 11:21 am

@DJ,

If a female fireperson is hauling your whimpering ass out of a burning building and, while dangling over her shoulder, you spot a Glenn Beck tramp stamp over her butt, would you:

a) demand that she immediately drop you to the floor because you’d “rather be hickory-smoked live than be saved by the likes of her”

or

b) wait until you’re safely in the back of an ambulance before calling her a “right-wing racist”?

Just wondering how far your disgust for another person’s politics affects your judgment.

This has been a highly entertaining thread so it would be disappointing if AG takes out the comments function.

Since I may get banhammered to the Daily Cartoonist banzone, may I first propose a new Godwin-style Law?

“If an online discussion includes Ted Rall as a participant, the certainty that the Iraq War will be mentioned is 100%.”

I’ll call it the Rallcats Law.

#67 Mike Peterson
January/15/2011
@ 11:52 am

Is this whole thread some kind of sock puppetry being posted so that Alan can justify cutting off comments? ‘Cause I’d rather talk about web vs print than see this degenerate into anything stupid enough for pseudonymous MMA fighters to comment on, and it has apparently reached that point.

#68 Ted Rall
January/15/2011
@ 2:06 pm

Wanderlei=Danny Hellman

#69 Steve Skelton
January/15/2011
@ 7:40 pm

I give Mike 2 points for working in the phrase “sock puppetry”!

#70 Wanderlei Silva
January/15/2011
@ 8:11 pm

Never heard about that Danny Hellman situation of yours until today. I have to agree (from the limited info I found) that what he did wasn’t right. However 4 of the 5 charges were dismissed, so what do I know?

But what I also found out and find interesting- and it relates somewhat to the topic of this thread – is that you sued Ann Coulter for libel and slander as well.

For a guy who believes that we should be able to “say whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want?without fear of retaliation?”, it’s surprising that you’ve used or threatened to use the legal system against other opinionated individuals.

Your assertion, then, that this comic book retailer is entitled to express whatever his beliefs are without facing possible boycotts is a little weak if you yourself threaten to damage others financially for doing the exact thing you do – express an opinion.

I’m probably just naive and confusing lawsuits with brilliant marketing savvy.

#71 Wanderlei Silva
January/15/2011
@ 8:23 pm

Correction:

Ted Rall did not sue Ann Coulter.
He threatened to sue Ann Coulter.
That rhetoric sounds too heated.
Proposed the idea?
That sounds too romantic.
Formed an exploratory committee?
Too businesslike.

Whatever.

#72 DJ Coffman
January/15/2011
@ 9:37 pm

@Ted and others… No I don’t condone self censorship, I just think it’s really bad business to talk about those things among customers you don’t know, you’d lose business! A convenience store owner should be there to sell goods to neighbors, does that make sense???

It’d be impossible to know what people “secretly” believe… And thank goodness!

As to the burning building remark… That’s just apples and oranges. You simply do your job.

#73 Crissa Kentavr
January/17/2011
@ 7:08 am

Boycotting a guy because he supports violence is not ‘violent intolerance’.

It’s no different than going to the store that doesn’t have the sticky floor. And yet more important: He supported violating the social contract. He still does, saying it’s morally good to kill elected officials.

Last time I checked, killing people was against the law. So is planning, supporting, or aiding someone in doing so.

#74 Henry Clausner
January/17/2011
@ 8:08 am

if it were your dry cleaner talking like that…would you bring your shirts to be dry cleaned there again?…I personally, don’t care what the man thinks…just give me my shirts!

#75 sean richardson
January/20/2011
@ 11:54 pm

“If we truly believe in free speech, we must respond to the racists and bigots and warmongers among us with logic and passion, not threats of physical (or financial) harm.”

Yeah, because racists have reached their conclusions through logic, so of course pure logic is the best way to break down those conclusions.

And, yes, I don’t care what anybody thinks — it is absolutely reasonable to ostracize somebody socially or financially for their beliefs. If this results in people still believing stuff, but not openly espousing it, that is a better situation.

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