Walmart has pulled a T-shirt that jokes about killing journalist from its online store today, shortly after the garment—featuring the charming phrase “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”—was pointed out to the mega-conglomerate by journalists from the Radio Television Digital News Association. The shirts—which first caught public attention during last year’s election, when a Trump supporter was seen wearing one at a rally—were on the Walmart store courtesy of third-party provider Teespring.
This isn’t the first time Walmart’s online store has been used as a portal for right-wing, violent, shirt-based ideas of late; last year, people noted that the company (and its fellow online retailer, Amazon) was selling shirts promoting metal group Burzum, whose founder, Varg Vikernes, is known for his Nazi and Nazi-adjacent views.
Teespring is a custom shirt company, which allows people to submit their own designs for printing; the company has reportedly removed shirts bearing the “Rope. Tree. Journalist.” slogan in the past. But the sentiment has become a disturbingly popular one in certain quarters, especially in an era where the president of the United States makes a habit of painting news outlets as enemies of the people.