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June 21, 2005

Clear Channel responsible for "Our Leader" "public service" billboard in Florida.

-- by Thomas Leavitt

The "poo flags" article below tipped me off to this story: "Clear Channel cedes responsibility for ‘Bush: Our leader’ billboard to local market" (source: "The Blue Lemur"). We can thank "our" media for this being a "story", because:

The Orlando Associated Press bureau said they had seen at least one sign but didn’t plan a story. They suggested that the signs would only become a story were there a public response to the billboards, and that the county in which they were situated would probably meet the signs with “a warm response.”

How nice. So, if I pay for a giant billboard in Santa Cruz with a picture of Dubya, saying, "Commander in Thief" (or something equally pithy), it isn't newsworthy, because the people in Santa Cruz county would probably meet the signs with a "warm response"?

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at June 21, 2005 3:03 AM

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Comments

Well, why don't you do it? Why still have free speech in this country, or has McCain-Feingold completely destroyed the first amendment?

Posted by: Pericles at June 21, 2005 3:26 AM

Pericles, perhaps the next time you post something on this site, you might actually take a few minutes to study a topic which you bring up as part of your neoconservative "straw man" argument. I suppose that's actually asking too much, though.
McCain-Feingold does NOT impinge on any ONE'S freedom of speech. It only impinges on the alleged freedom of spending money (not even mentioned in the Bill of Rights) and the timing of "issue ads" prior to a Federal election for Federal candidates (i.e., someone running for the US House or Senate or for the Presidency). Now, if you can find a Constitutional guarantee for someone to spend money on allegedly non-campaign purposes but which may fund partisan issues, or if you can find a similar guarantee for "issue ads", then your point has a bit more relevance.
Then, too, that's one of the reasons that so many businesses and corporations opposed McCain-Feingold because they somehow have a belief that they have Constitutional rights (granted, there was that pesky 19th Century Supreme Court decision, but somehow I don't think that those so-called "strict constructionists" from the Federalist Society would find any problem allowing big business to have the same Constitutionally-guaranteed rights that you and I enjoy and often take for granted).
The fact remains, though, that Clear Channel (through its rather shady shifting responsibility to its local markets) has plenty of cash to waste on billboards while I doubt Mr Leavitt has the same financial resources at his disposal. Let's also not forget that Clear Channel is financing its political ideology from the revenue it's raised from the ads its stations have received from companies which may not support that same ideology.

Posted by: JosephW at June 21, 2005 6:47 AM

You playing devils advocate pericles?? Is that what you're up to?

Posted by: Anonymous at June 21, 2005 7:16 PM

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