While covering a Trump campaign rally in Minneapolis’ Saint Paul International Airport on Sunday evening, Reuters photographer Jonathan Ernst snapped a candid photo of a Trump supporter rocking a bold T-shirt that rather explicitly called for the murder of journalists because, you know, the media has been so “unfair” to Trump’s conservative agenda.
As Jezebel’s Anna Merlan points out, this particular political fashion statement isn’t exactly new, but its reappearance at the event coupled with Trump’s months-long campaign of gaslighting the public into believing that the media is coordinating an effort to misrepresent him, made it easy to imagine more Trump believers wearing the shirt proudly and being inspired to actually attack members of the media.
While it didn’t immediately seem like the man’s T-shirt was an official piece of Trump rally merchandise, it didn’t take long before people noticed that someone with a Tee Spring account managed to whip up their own version of the original image and offer it up as sweatshirts, stickers, and mugs for a few bucks.
According to Tee Spring’s website, there are a number of things that will disqualify a piece of clothing or memorabilia from being hosted on its platform, like violating someone’s intellectual property, but it doesn’t mention anything about pieces that endorse and encourage acts of violence or are tacit threats.
This particular campaign for the shirts is set to end tomorrow, just in time for the election, but the renewed interest in the shirt’s message is reflective of the paranoid, violent jingoism that gave us presidential candidate Trump in the first place and isn’t likely to to just disappear if he somehow manages to win the race tomorrow.