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yet more commentary on ted rall being a festering sore on the face of mankind

Continuing with yet another observance Bitchslap Ted Rall Day, Jim was kind enough to send along some amazing news from the world of political cartooning:

Ted Rall has won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for 2002 in the category of social justice graphics or "Cartooning with a Conscience." the Aronson Award is administered by the department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York....The committee told Ted that it was "impressed with your mordant portraiture of a grim political scene and your work in graphic and print journalism, as well as the generosity embodied in your efforts to bring forward the work of your colleagues."

What, I wonder, do they mean by "social justice" and "cartooning with conscience?"

Could it be:

Allowing a site called copkiller.org to use one of your strips?

Accusing the firefighters of September 11 of being in it for the money?

Implying that the widows of those firefighters were greedy bitches?

Taking a cheap shot at Daniel Pearl's widow?

Using the death of a friend as an excuse to write a strip about how many women he used and discarded in one year?

For claiming over and over that America is to blame for terrorist attacks on its own land?

For constantly being deceptive and misleading in his essays and never backing up his numbers and accusations with facts?

And what exactly do they mean by "efforts to bring forward the work of your colleagues?"

Do they mean suing them?

For publicly slamming them? (Does anyone else see the bitter irony of Rall winning an award previously won by Speigelman?)

The man claims to be all about dissent, then publicly rips apart anyone who dares to disagree with his views. He continuously posts his childish, baiting, name-calling idiocy on the Comics Journal boards (most of the threads that I wanted to link to have since been deleted. Reading them would just have killed some of your brain cells, anyhow).

What else do you expect from a guy who thinks the world owes him a living?

As far as his drawing style goes, it has been described as thus: "Ted Rall prepares to shove a pencil up his ass and do the Hustle against a piece of paper producing yet another work of acclaimed genius."

Sure, it is the right of the department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York to give out awards to whomever they want. But somehow I see this as this as on par with giving Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize. "Cartooning with a Conscience" works on that same bizzaro world level.

I almost forgot to mention (thanks to Kevin - who also has a post on Rall today - for reminding me):

Ted will appear on Bill Maher's new "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO
(Fridays, 11:30 pm) both on February 28 and March 5.

They are taking live calls from the East Coast.

Of course, I'll be calling. Anything you want me to say for you in the thirty seconds I'll get to talk before they hang up on me?

A big thank you to Danny Hellman for the Rall strips.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference yet more commentary on ted rall being a festering sore on the face of mankind:

» Tasteless? Inappropriate? Or just not Ted Rall? from cut on the bias
Earlier this week, Rachel Corrie died when a bulldozer driven by an Israeli accidentally ran over her while attempting to [Read More]

» Ted Rall: Winning Hearts & Minds from fredschoeneman.com
I've long had issues with the anti-American Left exemplified by Ted Rall. But his latest is far beyond the pale, just a personal attack against a dead man. A dead man that I consider a hero, but can no longer... [Read More]

» Ted Rall: Winning Hearts & Minds from fredschoeneman.com
I've long had issues with the anti-American Left exemplified by Ted Rall. But his latest is far beyond the pale, just a personal attack against a dead man. A dead man that I consider a hero, but can no longer... [Read More]


While we're on the subject of the cartooning world's biggest cockdribble, Ted Rall's going to appear on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO (Fridays, 11:30 pm) both on February 28 and March 5.

You know, MICHELE, they take live calls from viewers during the show, MICHELE, just in case anybody I know wants to call into the show with a question for Ted, MICHELE.

Ok, Ted Rall's a complete punk, his humor is cruel and unfair, and he's also very funny. Get over it.

A comedian who's a punk? Who'da thought?

Lenny Bruce wasn't a role model for your kids either. Some guys joke offend you once a week? I'm crying.

If by 'very funny', you mean 'mediocre', then, yeah, Ted's very funny. Ted Rall's Search and Destroy is the Marmaduke of political cartooning.

From the Politically Incorrect transcript: "The reason that so many Arabs are out dancing in the streets in places like Karachi is because we have this incredibly snotty, arrogant attitude about our culture."

Once again, I feel the need to paraphrase Dizzy Dean: It ain't arrogance if it's true.

What a shithole.

Oh, and Joshua: Lenny Bruce was funny. George Carlin is funny. Ted Rall is not.

Lenny was a scream (man in the street, etc) until he became an obsessed junkie... then he was just another boring stoner... nobody wanted to pay to listen to him bitch about his legal troubles...

Ted skipped the funny early stuff and went straight to obsessed "humor" without the excuse of herion addiction or being busted for pornography just for telling dirty jokes...

Ted Rall is a punk, but not in the cool way, more like the prison meaning of the word... as a synonym for bitch...

My advice: these shows always have their calls screened. So, when you're on with the screener, pretend you think Rall is the Second Coming of Thomas Nast and that you've called for the honor of publicly kissing his ass. They'll let your call through and then you can rip him to shreds.

Ted Rall is about as punk as a backup dancer for Madonna.

Jim I didn't say he was punk I said he was "a punk". It's not a compliment. I think the guy's thick, but I also think he's funny and I'm really offended at all the hypocritical piling on. The right wingers are always complaining about how the left tries to squelch freedom of speech for everyone who doesn't agree with them... Then without stopping to take a breath, Ted Rall is an unamerican, traitor who should be shut up, preferable by being beaten to a pulp.

So, do you believe in freedom of speech or don't you? Hell, this is about political speech the kind that the first amendment was specifically written to protect.

I defy you to point me in the direction of ANY work by Ted Rall that's actually funny, (of course, humor is subjective, and you might be one of those people who thinks seeing someone get stabbed or blown up constitutes a killer punchline).

Since Ted Rall can't draw, and isn't funny, I wonder why he's called a cartoonist. He’s offensive, uniformed, and his drawings do look like they were done with a pencil up his ass.

Joshua, when I say something like that, it's 'criticism'. As Tom Tomorrow said, “There's nothing in the Constitution that guarantees your right to exercise freedom of speech free from criticism.”

Has anyone here said that Rall should be forbidden from publishing his cartoons? Has any ‘right winger’ said that? Do you have links?

The sad thing about this is that the award to this sad figure reflects what this particular circle thinks of the great mass of Americans. His values are theirs. To them the reat of America is a bunch of grasping idiots beneath their notice or concern.

I don't have a problem with Ted Rall's politics as much as the way he uses his politics to act superior. I could say lots of negative things about his writing and art, but none of these factors even matter. The fact that he's suing a member of his own profession is in itself enough for me to find him loathsome. (See dannyhellman.com for what provoked the suit and rall.com for the text of the suit)

Anyone who thinks Rall really believes an injustice has been commited against him, that he really was a victim of identity theft whose career was jeopardized, that he's fighting for his rights; in other words-- anyone who seriously believes his lawsuit is anything more than him taking advantage of legal language to intimidate a colleague over something that at worst inconvenienced him for half an hour-- is either disingenuous or naive.

No no -- we "right wingers" are the ones censoring Tud Roil by criticizing him and misspelling his name and stuff. Soon the magic spell of our words will have rendered him deaf, blind, and dumb!

"The right wingers are always complaining about how the left tries to squelch freedom of speech for everyone who doesn't agree with them... Then without stopping to take a breath, Ted Rall is an unamerican, traitor who should be shut up, preferable by being beaten to a pulp."

My goodness, I don't remember saying any of that. From time to time I've mocked and belittled him, but that's hardly squelching his free speech. I mean, that is free speech. Free speech doesn't mean immunity from being criticized for what you say and how you say it.

It almost sounds like you're saying anybody who criticizes Rall is a right-winger, not to mention an active supressor of free speech. And somehow "hypocritical." But that can't be it, because that's very silly. Take a breath, give it another try.

Where's the Ashcroft Iron-Booted Dissent Squashing Brigade™ when there's some
squelching of freedom of speech to be done?

There isn't one?

Ohhh, me bad.

Imperial Falconer

What about the death threats, "Jim"? Are death threats your idea of "constructive criticism"? I may be going out on a limb here, but I think that even if your politics are to the left of Ann Coulter -- i. e. "with the terrorists" -- you still have a right to defend yourself if someone threatens your life. But I've been wrong before...

And speaking of loathsome, I wonder if Sam has gotten any more visits from the Secret Service.

What "death threats?' Are we talking about vomit here?

Oh, I forgot. The death threats were only a joke. "I hope the NYPD won't be drawing any chalk outlines at Ted's book signing." LOL. Funny stuff.

Wait, don't chase "Sara Pi" away until "she" says unleashes a rhetorical bombshell about the vomit threats.

Hey, where's the death threats? Did I miss something? Did someone threaten to actually shove a magic marker up Rall's ass?

I saw one that might fit... it was tied down to the roof of the local Wal-Mart... just about 20 feet tall... where should I deliver it?

"And speaking of loathsome, I wonder if Sam has gotten any more visits from the Secret Service."

Yes. They told me they're sick of being used as a red herring by people like you.

This is a reference to a prank I played on another cartoonist 12 years ago. I sent a death threat to Bush and signed his name to it. Though ultimately nobody was hurt, it was incredibly mean-spirited, and I've regretted it ever since.

I have never been proud of it, and people who know about it are more forgiving of it than I am myself. The only time I'm ever attacked for it is when people (like Ted Rall) who heard about it second-hand use it in an attempt to discredit anything else I might say about other matters. People who didn't seem to hold it against me before, but suddenly become outraged when I call them on something they can't answer for.

Yes, I played a dangerous prank on someone back in college and I'm eternally thankful he chose not to press criminal charges against me. That doesn't negate my defense of Danny Hellman's far more trivial prank.

Actually, the "chalk outlines" remark was one I made in reference to a book release party for Sammy "Wanted By The Feds" Henderson's THE MAGIC WHISTLE BLOWS, (published by St. Martin's Press). As far as I know, no one has ever said anything about "the NYPD drawing chalk outlines at a Ted Rall book signing," (after all, chalk outlines require the presence of actual human bodies).

The "chalk outlines" remark was a general statement, and wasn't directed towards any specific individual. In an effort to beef up his weak claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, (one of five original claims in Rall v Hellman) Rall tried to misrepresent the chalk outlines remark as a death threat, but the emotional distress claim (along with two others) was thrown out by the New York State Supreme Court long ago.

Now we're down to two remaing causes of action: Libel Per Se and Injurious Falsehood, (and the Injurious Falsehood claim will be the next to go).

Sara dear, why don't you come out and make yourself known. It's obvious you are someone who has a history with both Ted and Sam. If you are going to throw slings and arrows, do it without hiding.

Sam, college indescretions are always forgiven. At least by people with any sense of decency.

p.s. to Sara Pi: Carole Sobocinski just phoned; she says she still loves you, and wants the rolodex back.

Yeah, well... at least I'm not a drunk like Tony Millionaire.

P. S. I love you, Catwoman!

[This message edited by Sara Pi. Edited 2-23-03.]

It's crap like this that sucks away my will to live.
I can't get the syndicates to give me the time of day, and this butthat is getting contracts and awards.


What do bears and racoons and foxes have to do with BUSH STEALING THE ELECTION???

Ok, I didn't know anything about Rall's suit. I was reacting to the "KILL HIM!" attitude I saw everywhere after his 9/11 widows comic. Sure it was in poor taste, but get a grip. After that the it was a nonstop internet lynch mob. The lynch mobs attitude scares me. Lynch mobs have to stop.

Au contraire, Joshua. Anyone who doesn't think St. Marianne should make millions from a best-selling book about her husband's death deserves to be hounded, impersonated, censored and lynched. You go, girl! Write ten more books! Keep churning out that war propaganda. It's not like the rest of us have books we want to sell.

I can't help but notice that "St. Marianne's" taking a lot longer to get her book on the shelves than Ted "GAS ATTACK" Rall. What's the matter with her, anyway---doesn't she want to make money?

Is it me, or is "Sara Pi" is starting to walk that fine line between "shrill Rall-supporter" and "parody of a shrill Rall-supporter?"

"After that the it was a nonstop internet lynch mob. The lynch mobs attitude scares me. Lynch mobs have to stop."

Yeah, it's terrible how a lynch mob will make fun of somebody and point out his numerous factual errors. You rotten lynch mobs! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!

It's not like the rest of us have books we want to sell. Shhhhh. Listen, you hear that little voice?


Only four days to go until BILL & TED FIGHT THE POWER and I still haven't figured out which of my nine (9!) HBO channels I'm going to watch it on.

P. S. Is there anyone else here who has ALWAYS bought duct tape on Valentine's Day?

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. Lynch mobs? Listen, a lynch mob would be where a gang of rioting people invade Tud Roil's office, drag him out, beat the living shit out of him, throw a rope over a tree branch, and hang him. A bunch of people saying he's a mean-spirited asshat who looks like he draws his strips wearing boxing gloves is not a lynch mob.


Rall called Bush a pussy on TV! IT WAS HILARIOUS! Too bad he didn't call him by his proper name -- CUNT!

HAHAHA! Rall also called himself a pussy (talking about childbirth and male pain tolerance), instead of his proper name -- BITCH!

Hey, I did a comic on this whole thing. It's not very good, more of an informative thing.

My argument would be that Rall has no right to be bitter - he's insanely popular and not really all that good. Now, I may be no syndicated cartoonist or anything, but I really think the way Rall is acting is retarded. He once even said "I want to stop Hellman, not destroy him".

And that's why you file a $1.5 million lawsuit.

[Comment deleted. Hey buddy, I may not like Rall, but I'm not gonna let you use my space to libel him like that. Go find somewhere else to spread your rumors]

This sob says that a young man who died in a war was an idiot? Well, I pronounce the "artist" right here as a coward, a piece of crap, a semi-human vermin filled up with envy for the huge moral superiority of the guy who died for what he thought correct. This piece of crap wouldn't give his life even to defend his most beloved ones, like his children, parents or spouse. He would surely run away and hide under the bed trembling with fear. Extremely disgusting fellow. Puke.

I did get a response from Ucomics, the syndicator of Ralls crap. Here it is:

> Hi.
> We appreciate your suggestions. While we can't always accommodate our
> users' requests, we do make efforts to do so.
> Thanks
> PS Several other patrons have written with similar feelings, thank you.

When you have someone call you a bad person, because you disagree with their bad ideas, you no longer have the option of dealing with them by rationality.

That requires a new tack. Lets try some humor.
Just as Fisk spawned a new term in the blogosphere, and "Kos'd" appears to be catching on, lets start a contest for the situation where a cartoonist either specifically or generally has crossed the line from "not funny" to "despicable".

Here is my suggestion: "Turd Roll"ed


Pardon my cynicism here; but provoking death threats is an OOOOOOLLLLLDDDD stunt, and a cheap one. The idea is to get people talking, get some buzz going - and of course, the feeble minded who agree, more or less, with your politics, will see it as an attack on THEIR politics and beliefs.

Of course, you can achieve the same results with actual talent and wit - Garry Trudeau comes to mind - and raise the same issues in ways that are serously uncomfortable for the target. For instance, GB representing GB sr as a feather floating in mid-air was freaking brilliant. Horribly unfair, but political cartoons aren't supposed to be fair.

But Rall - well, he ain't funny. So he goes for shrill, and he seems to be pretty tactical about who he pitches his strips to. Now he's an "award winning cartoonest."

Wup de-do. Call me when it's a Pulitzer.

I read in Psychotronic Video that Ted Rall had some kind of ambulance chase going on with a cartoonist. What are the details of this case? I've always hated Rall, esp. after Sept. 11 when his true colors came shining. His drawing is really scrub league and his politics remind me of a hateful 9th grade girl. I hate this weakling so much I won't even "buy" the free Washington City Paper anymore!

Wouldn't it be funny if somebody started a charity to care for the family of any suicide bomber that takes out Ted Rall? I bet that's the kind of sick humor he would really appreciate. Poetic justice at its finest!

Right. Let's get a few things straight hear.

France is DEAD.

Spain ?


If I see you in wellington you is dead!

Fuck Off

Die 2 Billion


outersound : osu : distribution : article

How To Increase Your Online CD Sales
by Tim Sweeney


As the music industry quickly evolves into a more digital and virtual world, Amazon.com and CD Baby have taken the lead in regards to selling the greatest amount of independent artist's CDs. According to various independent researchers, Amazon.com is responsible or approximately 94% of all independent artist sales online. CD Baby is responsible for approximately 3% and the artist's own web sites are responsible for (almost) the remaining 3%. This means that besides your site, Amazon and CD Baby are (practically) the only online retailers music fans will buy your CD from, if you are a true independent artist. What does that mean to all the others? Not much.

Most of the other major music sites focus on selling well known past or current major label artists. Often their largest percentage of sales are Greatest Hits CDs of well established past or current artists. According to research, most if not almost all, of the most popular sites are not interested in carrying independent artist's CDs because of the lack of sales. Which brings us to our key question. If Amazon.com and CD Baby.net, are the two biggest sellers of independent artist's CDs and they want to obviously work with you, how do you sell a lot of CDs through them? Well from my own interviews with the key people at Amazon and CD Baby, it is clear that they almost see identically to what sells CDs through their sites and what doesn't. So lets clue you in, on where you should focus your promotional efforts in the future (that means in the next 5 minutes!)

1. Live shows and the promotion of them. As you know, live shows are now more than 75% of all independent artist's CD sales around the country. Obviously, people who come to your shows are interested in your music. If you do a good job selling your CDs to them after you have played great show, you will see the sales results you want. If people don't have the money to buy one at your show, push them online with a reminder card and emails the next day. As we have talked about before, the promotion of your live shows beyond your mailing list is critical. Giving out sample tapes to new fans (especially the right ones) which include your contact information, your web site address and the performance date, is still selling yourself short. Put on your sample tapes (or sample CDs) that your CD is available at Amazon or CD Baby. If someone drives around with the tape and likes it, but doesn't want to go to the show and they see Amazon or CD Baby on it, there is a good chance they will buy it from them. Ironically, the independent artists I am working with are selling more CDs from sample tapes, than at live shows. Why? Because they are not waiting for an upcoming show before they hand out sample tapes.

2. Pushing sales to Amazon & CD Baby through your own site. Lets face it. Dealing with merchant accounts is not only costly early in your career, it be a pain in the neck. If you are not getting a lot of direct sales (25+ per week), you may want to consider placing a link on your order page to send people to buy your CD at Amazon or CD Baby. For thousands of artists, it has been easier to deal with. Plus some people just like shopping there. Even in my own case, even though we get thousands of direct orders for the books and audio workshops I have written, Amazon get thousands of orders simply because some people just normally shop there.

3. Free standing Internet radio stations While live shows and the promotion of them, motivate the greatest percentage of online sales, free standing Internet radio stations have moved up to third place. For those of you who may be confused with the term, a "free standing Internet radio station," is one that does not just "simulcast" what the commercial or college radio stations, (which they are part of), is playing. They are Internet only and make up their own playlists of what they are playing. Obviously, music fans have been frustrated by the fact, that they have to sit in front of their PCs to hear the station. But as technology keeps developing, we will take internet radio wherever we go. We have already seen it come into the car and the cell phone. Internet radio stations offer a great advantage in that, if people hear something they like, they will look further online for it and possibly buy it right then. A great advantage over having to drive to the store to get it or even just look for it. While there are hundreds of Internet stations out there, most are fans of or a band themselves, primarily promoting their own music. Look for Internet stations that "personalize" the station to the individual music fan that listens to them. Make sure they have a CD sales program with Amazon or CD Baby. My personal favorite is TuneTo.com.

4. Online magazines - The future of CD reviews While the sales percentages are still small, there is increasing optimism about CD sales through online publications. Many, including myself, feel that online magazines could possibly replace most printed music magazines, simply because of their ability for someone to read the review or article and then instantly hear the music. This is very important. As I have said for years, no one can hear your music on a piece of paper. Even if the reviewer tries their best to describe your music, its still not the same as hearing the songs. So your job is to search for online publications that you feel, best appeal to the right audience for your music. Email and mail them your Artist Profile. Now that you know what generates the largest and the smallest amount of sales on Amazon.com and CD Baby.net, let me share with you those promotional strategies which basically do not generate any sales.

  • College & Commercial radio airplay While it seems odd even to say it, college and commercial radio airplay, does not generate any real sales online for independent artists. That's not to say there isn't a few sales here and there, but we want to focus on what is going to bring us the greatest amount of sales. Basically, people who listen to traditional radio stations will instinctively look for the CDs at record stores. Unfortunately, if they don't find it, most do not look for it online. Their interest just fades away. This is why online radio stations provide you with more value. When someone hears something they like, they can easily push a few buttons and buy it!
  • Reviews in the print media As we talked about before, no one can hear your music on a piece of paper. Amazon and CD Baby will get copies of print reviews from bands who are all excited about the reviews until, they see it has done nothing to sell CDs. My suggestion: a lot of traditional media is waking up to the fact that they can't just "reprint" what's in the print version of their magazine. To add more value, they need to cover other items online to make their web site more valuable. Look in your home market to start with and see if this is the case with, your major daily newspaper and alternatively weeklies. So now that you know what to focus your efforts on and what to take your attention off, there are 3 key points to leave you with.

1. Your web site is key. Having one that is built upon the proper elements of your Artist Profile, will generate sales. DO NOT use your press kit for a foundation. Your web site is there for information and a means in which fans can contact you, but its main purpose is to generate sales.

2. Deal with Amazon and CD Baby directly. Both agree that it is a great disadvantage to have your distributor try to place your CD in their sites. In the case of Amazon, if your CD comes from a distributor, it will be listed as "special order" and they won't stock it. By the time someone places an order it could be 4-6 weeks before they get it! Explore the Amazon Advantage Program. Amazon will stock your CD, list that it ships in 24 hours and pay you directly in 30 days! Plain and simple. They have it and ship it to the person who gets it in the mail in 2-3 days and you get paid shortly after. CD Baby works the almost the same way. Dealing with them direct means they stock it and ship it in 24 hours and pay you in a week! The distributor isn't going to pay you the full amount for 3-6 months. Good luck, if people still want your CD after they are told it will take a month to get it. Deal with Amazon through the Advantage Program and CD Baby direct.

3. Think creatively when promoting your shows online. Don't make the same everyday mistake, thousands of bands do when sending out email announcements for their upcoming shows. Bland doesn't work. Do it in a charming and personal way that continues the "bonding" feeling your fans have. Visit sites and fan clubs of larger established artists, who are your influences. Let them know how, that artist has influenced your music and invite them to check it out for themselves through your site. One point that should be obvious but is commonly forgotten, is to place the "order" link on every page on your site. Don't be humble; your site is there to sell CDs. I know this is a lot of information to take in but hopefully this will help thousands of you, who email me asking the question, "How do I increase my sales on Amazon and CD Baby?"

Copyright © 2001 by Tim Sweeney


Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, an artist development company based in Temecula, California. His book The Complete Guide To Internet Promotion For Musicians, Artists & Songwriters , has an excellent outline of exactly what a web site that generate sales should look like and what you should have in it. You can read the first chapter at www.tsamusic.com.

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