Hallmark warns grads: ‘Stay away from tea party’

By Dave Tombers

Hallmark, the greeting-card company that lays claim to making “the world a more caring place,” is under fire for producing a graduation card emblazoned with an image of Barack Obama that warns graduates to stay away from the tea party.

Now some are even calling for a boycott of the company, though Hallmark insists its line of political-humor cards is not meant to offend and pokes fun at both sides.

The card in question says on the front, “You graduated! Time to go to a lot of parties!”

And on the inside, “But avoid those tea parties if you can. Trust me.”

The 102-year old company carries this disclaimer on its website: “Never, ever do we intend to offend, be hurtful, or make social or political statements with our products.”

An Illinois man, who founded the Lake County tea party, is asking why Hallmark has embroiled itself in political messages and debate, contrary to its claims of never doing so.

Lennie Jarratt, who also maintains a blog called Champion News, titled his most recent blog entry, “Hallmark joins the Obama re-election campaign with anti-tea party graduation card.”

“It’s offensive,” Jarratt told Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio.

“Why is Hallmark getting political?” he asked. “What’s the point of this? Why would they want to bash a whole group of people?”

The greeting card company says on its website, “Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people laugh, love, heal, say thanks, reach out and make meaningful connections with others.”

“Through moments big and small, and through both happy and challenging times, Hallmark helps give voice to caring thoughts and emotions with tangible reminders of appreciation, belonging and love.”

Hallmark offers another graduation card that might be more acceptable to tea party activists.

This card provides another image of Obama telling recent graduates, “You’re going to be a success Grad …”

Inside, it reads: “Just don’t make over 250K a year or I’ll tax the heck out of you!”

In a Hallmark statement, the card giant says, “Humor is a funny thing. What makes one person chuckle can be puzzling, or even off-putting, to the next, and there can be a fine line between edgy and startling, between gently playful and boringly safe.”

Hallmark then provide an apology to anyone who is offended by the Obama graduation card.

“We know that some people have expressed concerns about one of our humor cards that references President Obama and tea parties.

“That line of cards has successfully poked fun at both sides of the political debate for many years. It is never our intent to offend anyone.

“We apologize if anyone was offended.”

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