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MTA changes ad rules and rewards Eltahawy stunt

MTA changes ad rules and rewards Eltahawy stunt

In response to the New York City subway attacks by Mona Eltahawy, the Egyptian-American activist, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has now determined that it will change its rules to prohibit any ads that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

The decision came after an 8-0 vote on Thursday, where other antics apprently made it quite a lively meeting. In addition to this new discretion, the MTA will ad a disclaimer to all ads indicating that they do not endorse the content.

Eltahaway, who defaced a subway ad with pink spraypaint (and, it appears, a woman who got in her way) this week, is now claiming victory on her twitter stream, where she has not been shy about tweeting her frustration at critics on the Left and the Right who take issue with her actions:

From the Left, the criticism has been either that, by executing her stunt, she has in fact brought far more attention to the pro-Israel ads; or, some are accusing her of being a “fake” for apparently bringing a New York Post camera crew with her to film her antics.

On the Right, criticism seems to come down to the fact that Eltahawy is breaking the law. Her destruction of property, in defense of which Eltahawy gave the perplexing claim that it was somehow her right to free expression, has nothing whatsoever to do with the First Amendment.

But Eltahawy’s either misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution, or willingness to tweak it to suit her ends, should be exposed and put right. Eltahawy’s only defense seems to be a tired one; that anyone who asks her to be accountable is a right-wing racist, Nazi, or an Islamophobe.

In the meantime, Eltahawy, perhaps exhausted from attempting to come up with new curse words for her twitter stream after exhausting all those in the current lexicon, has said she’s taking the next 48 hours hours off to “read Neruda.”


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For the second or third time in my adult life, I am not proud of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Anyone who has raised a child…or even an animal…knows you do not reward crappy behavior.

You consistently punish for it.

AND if you reward it…and the MTA HAS…you can be assured you WILL get more and worse.

    “Anyone who has raised a child…or even an animal…knows you do not reward crappy behavior.”**

    ** Does not apply to criminal, illegal aliens – the new base of the Democratic party.

So…when Christianity is insulted, all we need to do is riot to get someone else’s First Amendment rights abridged? Do I have that correct? Any time we don’t like someone else’s point of view, we just need to commit an act of violence. Pretty simple.

First lesson in kindergarten…. Don’t reward bad behavior.

Given that this is a state action in advance to suppress speech, would the MTA regulation be in violation of the First Amendment?

Or if not, political speech being the mostly highly protected speech, do we need to get up a group to try to place an ad that walks the line — and then sue?

    Sneaky Pete in reply to janitor. | September 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    As the former general counsel of the MBTA during a time when we faced significant 1st amendment suits over our transit advertising policy, I can say that this “immediate breach of the peace” language could not reasonably be read to include graffiti defacement. The “immediate breach of the peace” might be reasonably anticipated in Kabul, but not in NYC. First amendment rights are not weighed against the violent sensibilities of religious fanatics.

“reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

sounds exactly like the Fast and Furious gun scandal to me

Throat Wobbler Mangrove | September 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Are they going to pull down the existing ads under this new standard?

End the Muslim occupation of Egypt! Or would that reverse progressive corruption?

Thug sociopathy is the standard for censorship, not any religious criterion. And by thug sociopathy I mean Mona Eltahawy and other overt criminals.

Hence the Transit Authority will continue to run ads for virulent religious bigotry like The Book of Mormon.

Thus ends freedom of speech…

    This country is “sick, sick, sick”! The primary question is whether the illness is critical or terminal. I say this not only because of the many decisions, rules, regulations and laws that are made and enacted similar to the MTA’s line of thought, but also what seems to be a lack of persons to challenge them. Is there a major “push-back”? If so, where?

    Not yet, they’re working on that in Dearborn and the UN

A hypothetical: if I go to the museum in New York where the ‘Piss Christ’ is being displayed, and I spray with pink fluorescent spray paint, will I get the same response from the museum board of directors that Mona Eltahawy got from the MTA?

No? I won’t? I wonder why not.

    Nope. Your backside would be in jail for 18-24 months plus a $25,000 fine and on probation for five years. Plus you would be required to register on Bloomberg’s newly formed Spray-Painters Offenders Registry.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to ALman. | September 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Double the fine and probation time if Dr. White sprays the offending ‘art’ while drinking a 32 oz Big Gulp.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Henry Hawkins. | September 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        What if it’s a diet Big Gulp?

          This might not be as bad. However, just be sure not to have any cigarettes, a salt shaker, a bag containing a couple of whoopers, a recipt for a donation to the Romney campaign, an award for winning a pie-eating contest, a membership to OWS, or a picture of Bloomberg that has been defaced.

    stevewhitemd in reply to stevewhitemd. | September 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I pose the hypothetical to make clear: we are losing free speech in this country. Twits like Mona Eltahawy will lead the way, and government organizations like the MTA will follow with alacrity. It is, after all, something they WANT to do.

    Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, I fear, was not a novel but a history…

It is my undestanding the only new ruling that ws passed only requires MTA advertisers to include disclosure statements disavowing the MTA from any connection to the views of the advertiser. Am I wrong?

They were a-complain’ about the MTA in ’59 (1959 that is). Courtesy of the Kingston Trio:

A jewish artist should spray her with 40 lbs of Lucite, display her on a subway platform and then go read poetry.

That is one mentally sick, deranged lunatic “woman”.