Ad in Washington Metro is okay under First Amendment rights.
the heat of a US presidential election year, with Americans immune to
the polarized and bitter nature of political discourse, it takes a lot
to shock them, especially in Washington.
But one ad at a DC Metro station
-- which starts off criticizing Obama's health care reforms and ends up
telling the president to "go to hell" -- goes beyond the pale, says Jim
Moran, a Democratic congressman from Virginia.
The advertisement is for "Sick and Sicker: When the Government
Becomes Your Doctor," a documentary that interviews Canadian doctors and
patients in the hope of showing how dangerous "Obamacare" is for the
"Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system. Go to hell Barack," the ad says.
Moran wrote a letter to Metro general manager Richard Sarles calling for the removal of the advertisement.
"The ad is deeply disrespectful of the President of the United States
and does not belong in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority (WMATA) network," he wrote.
It turns out that such language is within the accepted limits of
American law and such advertisements are protected under the First
Amendment of the US constitution, guaranteeing free speech.
"WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum
protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not
decline ads based on their political content," the Metro authority said
in a written statement.
"WMATA does not endorse the advertising on our system, and ads do not reflect the position of the Authority."
Democrats have accused Republicans of lowering the tone of the
political discourse in the United States during this election season, in
particular with highly personal attacks on the president.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, was widely condemned
recently by Democrats for poking her finger at the president during an
angry exchange on the tarmac after she greeted his arrival in Phoenix.
But conservatives argue that the treatment Obama gets is no worse
than what liberals dished out to former president George W. Bush,
especially in his second term after the US-led invasion of Iraq.
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