'Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required': Walmart Removes Threatening Shirt From Store

03 December, 2017, 02:15 | Author: Pamela Mathis
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Visitors to Walmart's website could purchase a shirt calling for violence against journalists, up until the retail giant took the shirt down on Thursday.

Walmart has removed a controversial T-shirt with a simple message - "Rope".

According to CBS News, the Radio Television Digital News Association claims Walmart alerted them to the removal of the shirt online about five hours after they filed their initial complaint about it. "At worst, they openly encourage violence targeting journalists", the letter stated.

The item was listed on Walmart.com through a T-shirt marketing company, Teespring, the New York Post reported.

Shortly after the tweet went viral, one of Teespring.com's competitors pulled the shirt from its e-commerce site.According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which RTDNA is a founding partner, at least 34 journalists have been physically assaulted in the U.S.so far during 2017. "Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED" from its website. Walmart replied saying it had been removed.

The same shirt design had previously been spotted at a Donald Trump rally in Minnesota just before he was elected in November 2016.

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RTDNA noted in its emailed complaint that almost three dozen journalists have been assaulted in the US this year "merely for performing their Constitutionally-guaranteed duty to seek and report the truth".

T-shirts or any other items bearing such a sentiment "simply inflame" the passions of people who either don't like or don't understand the media, Shelley's letter continued.

The T-shirt gained notoriety a year ago after people wore it at United States election campaign rallies.

RTDNA Executive Director Dan Shelley said: 'We are grateful for Walmart's swift action, but dismayed that it, and anyone else selling the shirt, would offer such an offensive and inflammatory product.

Shelley also said that while RTDNA is "a fierce proponent of the First Amendment that is politically nonpartisan" and that Walmart is within its legal rights to sell the T-shirt, "that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do".

Walmart and Teespring have been contacted for comment.

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