The Johnson City Press in Tennessee carries this report about the plight of Dan Fuchs, owner of a small printing company called the “Graphic Edge,” which specializes in novelty items like bumper stickers, coffee mugs and T-shirts.
The number one seller for Fuchs was anti-Barack Obama merchandise, which accounted for over half of his merchandise. Fuchs was seeing an increase in business at his kiosk when The Mall gave him an eviction notice last Friday.
“I was upset about it, of course,” he said prior to receiving the notice. “That’s my livelihood.”
This is not the first time this type of incident has been reported. In July, Seeing Red AZ wrote about a Charlotte, North Carolina mall that terminated the lease of entrepreneur Loren Spivack‘s “Free Market Warrior” at Concord Mills. His kiosk shop which sold items such as “Impeach Obama” bumper stickers and baby bibs that say, “My parents chose life. Thanks Mom and Dad!” was given short notice to vacate.
Ever wonder how many stores had their leases terminated for selling anti-Bush merchandise? We were unable to locate a single one.
And after the Drudge Report carried the news, the Johnson City Press said its website was so overloaded, that it shut down. The small town newspaper wrote, “We only have a certain amount of resources at our disposal and at one point today we were getting roughly 5,500 hits per hour. We are making every effort possible to keep things working on our end.”
Obviously this story detailing the trouncing on First Amendment freedoms piqued the interest of readers around the country. That’s the good sign.