GOP Convention Targeted with Anti-Bush Parody of World Famous Advertising Icon

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Agitproperties.com and political cartoonist Ted Rall have unveiled an anti-Bush parody of "I LOVE NY" t-shirt to protest the continuing exploitation of Ground Zero and the 9/11 tragedy by George W. Bush and the GOP at the Republican National Convention, which begins in New York, Monday, August 30. The distinctive black letters across a white background substitute a red skull and cross bones for the iconic heart symbol to read "NY HATES W." Ted Rall was in the news earlier this year when his cartoon following the death of NFL-pro-turned-soldier Pat Tillman ignited a firestorm of indignation, including death threats.

Agitproperties.com, in association with political cartoonist Ted Rall, unveiled the newest in a line of political t-shirts, with an anti-Bush parody of "I LOVE NY," just in time for the Republican National Convention, which begins in New York, Monday, August 30. The distinctive black letters across a white background substitute a red skull and cross bones for the iconic heart symbol to read "NY HATES W." Both Rall and Richard Luckett, merchandise designer for the Austin-based Internet retailers of liberal political t-shirts, wanted to make a strong statement about the coming RNC in The Big Apple.

“What better way to make ourselves heard clearly on the subject of Bush and New York,” Luckett said, “than to send up the most successful tourism campaign in the history of U.S. advertising?”

Debuting in 1977 and rendered by renowned logo designer Milton Glaser, the "I LOVE NY" ad campaign initially featured Frank Sinatra and was enormously popular from day one. Conceived to revitalize the then-stagnant economy and used to this day, "I LOVE NY” continues to generate millions in merchandise licensing fees for the state of New York. The “NY HATES W” t-shirt came about as a result of their disgust at what Rall and Luckett say is the continuing exploitation of Ground Zero after the 9/11 tragedy by George W. Bush and the GOP.

Noting that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Five Boroughs by eight-to-one, Luckett explained that, "What is truly appalling about all this is that the majority of conservative heartland Republicans privately loathe New York as the scary, grimy, loud, multi-cultural home of America’s so-called media liberal elite. Except as a teary-eyed backdrop to peddle their patriotism to the rest of the country, they can’t stand the place. Beginning on 9/14 with the EPA's lies about air quality at Ground Zero to reassure Wall Street and ending with their laughable cooperation with the 9/11 Commission, this administration has made no secret of their utter contempt for New York and New Yorkers. Why? Because the America exemplified by New York City scares them to death.”

Deftly skewering American pop-culture and politics is all in a day’s work for Ted Rall. He was vilified in the media earlier this year as “bitterly anti-American” when his cartoon following the death of NFL-pro-turned-soldier Pat Tillman ignited a firestorm of indignation, including death threats. Rall, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and two-time winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, was dropped by MSNBC.com after his cartoon suggested that Tillman was an "idiot" who enlisted for the chance to "kill some Arabs."

Agitproperties.com first received national attention one year ago when their Fox News parody was challenged by the Fox legal department. Their "FAUX NEWS" line, created by graphic designer Richard Luckett, features almost-exact copies of the Fair and Balanced™ Channel's logo with "FOX" replaced by "FAUX" and the channel's disingenuous tagline "We Report-You Decide" slyly lampooned as "We Distort-You Comply." Fox backed down when agitproperties.com was able to counter Fox with a letter from the director of the NY Chapter of the ACLU citing parody and fair use.

As this shirt went into production, Rall and Luckett were pleased to find out that the designer of the original “I LOVE NY” was no George W. Bush fan himself. According to a recent feature in Salon.com, Milton Glaser is also an ardent anti-Bush activist. At age 75, he says, “I would hate to die with Bush in power.”

Links:

http://www.agitproperties.com
http://www.tedrall.com
http://www.miltonglaser.com
http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=17340
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/08/17/convention_protest/index.html
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20040804005164&newsLang=en

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