POLITICS

Philly’s mayor looks into censoring bad journalism

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Somebody wrote an article in Philly Mag titled “Being White in Philly.” By most accounts, it’s pretty bad. I haven’t read the piece, but I don’t have to read the piece to come to the following conclusion: The Philadelphia government shouldn’t be allowed to censor the article.

What am I talking about? This letter from Philly Mayor Michael Nutter. Read this passage (via Volokh Conspiracy) and ask yourself what you think Nutter is trying to do:

While I fully recognize that constitutional protections afforded the press are intended to protect the media from censorship by the government, the First Amendment, like other constitutional rights, is not an unfettered right, and notwithstanding the First Amendment, a publisher has a duty to the public to exercise its role in a responsible way. I ask the Commission to evaluate whether the “speech” employed in this essay is not the reckless equivalent of “shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations an incitement to extreme reaction.

I hope Mayors Bloomberg & Gray aren’t taking notes.

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