Robert Mueller’s law firm Wilmer Hale, whose client list includes Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, is now representing Pepe creator Matt Furie in threatening to file a lawsuit against Mike Cernovich, Baked Alaska, The Donald subreddit and Richard Spencer for using the meme.
The law firm sent those involved cease and desist letters on Monday.
“This Pepe image is clearly fair use, it’s protected under the First Amendment, and any lawsuit threat is frivolous,” Cernovich wrote of the lawsuit.
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) September 18, 2017
Originally from the comic series “Boy’s Club by Furie,” Pepe gained popularity in 2008 with the “feels good man” reaction image. From there sad, smug, angry, and a variety of other reaction-Pepes were born. The comic frog has been a staple of internet culture ever since. It gained more popularity on the right after Hillary Clinton declared war on the cartoon frog during her campaign.
Clinton’s campaign even went as far as posting a Pepe “explainer” on her website, which immediately became the top result for the meme on Google. “Donald Trump, Pepe the Frog, and White Supremacists: An Explainer,” the article is headlined, continuing, “That cartoon frog is more sinister than you might realize.” It was hilarious.
The anthropomorphic frog is a popular meme that originated, along with many other popular memes – from Doge to Scumbag Steve – on 4chan message boards. It is widely used across party lines by those who enjoy internet culture. While it has become a sort of unofficial mascot for those on the right and certainly has been used by some who aim to offend, it is still just a reaction meme.
“This lawsuit threat is frivolous, and moreover, contains a knowing falsehood. The letter links to an article where I specifically disclaim any involvement with the alt-right. Thus this lawyer has committed fraud by lying about my being ‘alt-right,’” Cernovich asserted in his Medium post responding to the lawsuit.
Tim Treadstone, better known as Baked Alaska, told Big League Politics that he has not received a letter about the lawsuit — but that his book was removed the Amazon store with no recourse to fight for the project he spent over a year working on. He provided Big League with the letter he received from Amazon, which stated that the company expects “that you’ll compensate this party appropriately for any infringing copies sold.”
“It was fair use, my graphic designer recreated a Pepe for my cover that wasn’t Furie’s original drawing,” Treadstone said. “My Amazon book was taken down with no appeal process. They filed DCMA takedowns — but when looking at the trademark on Pepe — it’s expired. It’s fair use regardless, though.”
Treadstone added that they also removed his ‘Build the Wall’ app from the Google Play Store, effectively crushing his livelihood.
Something that most meme-lovers know is that once their pet meme is embraced by “normies,” or people who don’t get internet culture, it is no longer cool. For this reason, Clinton’s demonization of Pepe and this absurd lawsuit by Furie may actually be the thing that keeps the smug frog going forever. Has nobody ever heard of the Streisand Effect?
Update: Previous headline stated the lawsuit was already filed. They have only been threatened with one.
Donald Trump’s Team Officially Disavows the ‘Patriot Party’, Affirms the GOP Belongs to Trump
Now is not the time to divide the ranks.
Former president Donald Trump’s team has officially disavowed the “Patriot Party,” a fringe outfit that has tried to draw Trump’s supporters out of the Republican Party into a new third-party effort.
Fake news had been circulating that Trump was connected to the efforts of Michael Joseph Gaul of Georgia, who had suggested in a Jan. 22 filing that Trump may be connected to his incarnation of the Patriot Party. Trump’s team has made it clear in a separate FEC filing that this is not the case.
“On January 22, 2021, Patriot Party filed a Form 1 (Statement of Organization) listing [Trump’s presidential organization] as a participant in purported joint fundraising activities under 11 C.F.R. 102.17. [Trump’s presidential organization] did not authorize the filing of this Form 1, has not entered into any joint fundraising agreement to fundraise through Patriot Party, and has no knowledge of Patriot Party’s activities whatsoever,” Trump’s team wrote in the filing.
To be clear: [Trump’s presidential organization] has no affiliation with Patriot Party, which is not authorized by Mr. Trump or [Trump’s presidential organization],” the filing continued.
“[Trump’s presidential organization] is placing this disavowal notice on the public record out of concern for confusion among the public, which may be misled to believe that Patriot Party’s activities have been authorized by Mr. Trump or [Trump’s presidential organization] — or that contributions to this unauthorized committee are being made to [Trump’s presidential organization] — when that is not true,” they added in the filing.
Previously, Trump had previously flirted with the idea of starting a Patriot Party or a separate third-party organization away from the GOP, which was seized upon by opportunists trying to exploit the former president’s name to make a buck.
Big League Politics has reported on how rank-and-file Republicans overwhelmingly want the party to adopt the agenda and the posturing of Trump:
Recent polling indicates that the overwhelming majority of Republicans side with President Donald Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in their struggle over the future of the GOP.
McConnell has used last week’s violence in the Capitol to agitate against Trump, even flirting with the idea of impeaching the president. Ten Congressional Republicans joined the Democrats to impeach Trump for a second time on Wednesday.
However, McConnell’s feud with Trump comes at the peril of his career prospects. Republicans side with Trump, believing that Trump is right in his complaints about corruption.
An Axios-Ipsos poll shows that a firm majority of Republicans believe Trump was just to oppose election fraud, that he bares no responsibility in what happened at the U.S. Capitol, and they hope he runs again for the presidency in 2024.
Additionally, the results of the poll show a divide that has formed within the GOP. 56 percent of respondents consider themselves “traditional Republicans” while 36 percent of respondents consider themselves “Trump Republicans.” There is likely considerable overlap between the two groups as well, which should scare the likes of McConnell and his special interest masters.
The findings show that the “Trump Republicans” are on board with their president like never before and will be the most formidable anti-establishment constituency in GOP history.
The Republican Party is the party of Donald Trump and the home of his supporters. Any person attempting to run patriots out of the GOP is trying to subvert Trump’s agenda, whether they realize it or not.
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