Approaching the Weekly editorial department's fax machine these days can be a really annoying experience. Among the press releases, listings requests and letters to the editor as of late, have been pages and pages of faxes, all virtually identical.
It turns out these faxes are from Laptoplobbyist.com, "America's First and Foremost Online Conservative Community," whatever the heck that means, and they're being sent en masse to Universal Press Syndicate and more than a dozen newspapers. The subject? "Drop Ted Rall."
Then the faxes get really stupid.
"You distribute the work of responsible journalists and cartoonists from the Right and the Left--Richard Reeves, William F. Buckley, Maggie Gallagher, 'Dear Abby,' 'Pat Oliphant,' 'Cathy' and 'Garfield,' to name but a very few."
Um, no. I mean, jeez. "Cathy"?!? We run none of these columnists or cartoonists, and I'd poke myself in the temple with a sharp stick before I ran "Cathy." Instead, we have Dan Savage and Emil Franzi. And "Yonder." (Note to Wes Hargis: If Topher ever lets out an "aaaaaack," you're fired.)
But we do run Ted Rall's comic, and apparently the folks at Laptoplobbyist.com don't like him. They say he is "melodramatically ideological," "snarling," "stuffed with half-truths" and that he "lowers the level of discourse."
I disagree. I think fax campaigns, consisting of pages after pages of the exact same form letter--the only difference being the name of someone who didn't even really sign the fax--lower the level of discourse. Plus, it wastes paper.
There's a lesson to be learned here: Mass campaigns like this do not work.
ESPECIALLY when you imply that we may be a paper than runs "Garfield."