Ethics Dunce: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority [ UPDATED]

[UPDATE: The original version of this post designated the dunces as the D.C. government. This was not accurate, as reader deery helpfully pointed out. You can read about the baroque and diffuse organization and leadership of the D.C. area’s transit system…currently in bad repair and financial distress…here.  Good luck. The text has been revised to reflect the correction in the title. Frankly, the exact organization of the DC. area Metro is less central to the post than the fact wherever the leadership is, it is government, it is dominated by the local Democratic leadership, and it is censorship. That’s what matters.]

Quick, now: what controversial political position does the above Washington, D.C. area  public transit ad promote?

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the transit agency of the local  and state governments in and surrounding the nation’s capital,  has pulled ads for controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos’ self-published memoir after determining the ads violated the transit system’s policies banning issue-oriented, political and other advocacy advertising.

An independent contractor sells and installs ads across the system, but ultimately Metro’s leaders have the final say…providing that they follow the Bill of Rights. This appears to be a problem for them.

The relevant Metro policies  restricting advertising content include:

  • “Advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions are prohibited”
  • “Advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited”

There is no argument here about what the banning of the book ad is: the Transit Authority is engaging in censorship.  This is especially obnoxious for an agency that represents the locality that hosts of the national government, and where the Constitution is on display.  It is also ignorant. Read the damn thing, you politically corrupt dolts. And it is arrogant. The District’s population, stuffed with Democrats like no other jurisdiction, with a majority African-American and conservative-loathing populace, figures to revile a right-wing troll like Milo, and the reliably Democratic riders served by the Metro in Northern Virginia and Maryland are hardly more tolerant of hard-right trolls. But Milo’s name and book cover by no stretch of the imagination are advocacy or efforts to “influence” anyone regarding public policy or “an issue.” Like all ads, here’s the position that it advocates: “Buy this!”

Milo Yiannopoulos is an ugly and cynical right-wing provocateur, but he does not forfeit the protection of the First Amendment because of who he is. When did liberals and Democrats lose their comprehension of this basic democratic concept? What ever the origin of their confusion, it makes them untrustworthy, sinister, and almost as revolting as Milo.

He’ll probably sue the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for infringing his rights, which it has. He will win. Keep it up, Democrats! Keep indulging that inner totalitarian just screaming to get out.

See what happens.

7 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Marketing and Advertising, Rights

7 responses to “Ethics Dunce: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority [ UPDATED]

  1. Based on the headline and email tagline I figured you got a speeding ticket.

    Good analysis though.

  2. deery

    I’m not sure why the DC government is the designated ethics dunce here. They don’t run the Metro system, nor are they the ones in charge of advertisement approval. The Metro board, made up of people appointed by the President, the DC mayor, Maryland and Virginia governors, would be the ones to designate, if you were going to do that. https://www.wmata.com/about/board/index.cfm

    • You’re right…it’s actually a multi-jurisdictional monster. It is called the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and it is not a national agency. In this case, I don’t really care exactly who is responsible: it’s a government agency, and it’s engaging in censorship. And because it carries the name of the Capital, it reflects on the Capital.

      I’m going to revise it to reflect all of this. Thanks.

  3. Phlinn

    I think this needs a “This will help re-elect Donald Trump” tag…

  4. They should leave it. The sentiment that Milo Yiannopoulis is the Kanye West of Journalism is all the deterrence needed.

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