Alan Dershowitz says this about the MTA’s new regulations, which state that ads will be barred if people may react violently to them: the rule “incentivizes people to engage in violence. What it says to people, is that if they don’t like ads, just engage in violence and then we”ll take the ads down.”
We have already begun the process of testing this unconstitutional new regulation.
The MTA ought to be deeply, deeply ashamed of the stance it has taken: they have validated and encouraged violence, hatred and oppression.
“Joe Lhota wimps out,” an unsigned editorial from the New York Post, October 1:
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota seems to get it.
“You deal with a free-speech issue with more free speech,” he said Thursday.
But then why did the Lhota-led MTA board unanimously approve a new category of banned bus and subway ads that’s guaranteed to ensure less free speech?…
But the MTA”s policy instead now prohibits any ad that “contains material the display of which the MTA reasonably foresees would immediately incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”
And any political ads that do pass muster have to include language to the effect that the message isn’t necessarily endorsed by the MTA “” which is reasonable enough.
But the new prohibition is loaded with so many ambiguities and subjective judgments as to render it laughable.
What constitutes a “reasonable” expectation of violence? Seems like that’s left entirely to the MTA”s judgment.
And what exactly is meant by “breach of the peace”?
That would seem to include the well-publicized incident in which self-promoting Egyptian-American activist Mona “Pretty in Pink” Eltahawy defaced one of the anti-jihad posters with spray paint.
All in the name of the First Amendment, of course.
Which is utter nonsense.
The way to deal with a “breach of the peace” is to arrest and prosecute the breachers, so to speak. Vigorously.
Simply banning an ad that may “provoke violence” is little more than a call for anyone objecting to a particular message to threaten just that in the hope “” and now the expectation “” that the MTA will take the easy way out and veto the ad.
In other words, a heckler’s veto.
Which is completely antithetical to the free speech Joe Lhota claims to support….