Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tennessee Democrat Demands Obama Satire Be Banned

“I guess Joe Armstrong must have found this satirical box of Obama Disappoint-Mints objectionable under the “personal offense” clause of the First Amendment,” writes Ed Morrissey about a Tennessee Democrat getting a line of breath mints taking aim at President Obama pulled from a university bookstore.

Breath mints packaged in a tin can poking fun at President Barack Obama have been pulled from the shelves at the University of Tennessee bookstore after local legislator Joe Armstrong told store officials he was offended by the mints.

Armstrong, D-Knoxville, said he got a call from a student who had seen the satirical mints in the bookstore and was bothered by the depiction of the president.

The tin can reads: “This is change? Disappointmints.”

Armstrong followed up Tuesday with a visit to the bookstore, located in the basement of the University Center, where he talked to director David Kent.

“I explained to him that I felt those mints were politically specific products that had no educational value,” Armstrong said.

“If it was a book or something of that nature, fine, but that’s sort of a discretionary product they have there. It wasn’t viewpoint neutral. It was very specifically insulting to the president.”

To which I say…so? Since when does anyone have a right not to be insulted?

I guess, since we’re talking about a state-owned university, that the state can decide what is and is not sold there. But aren’t campuses supposed to be centers of free speech and expression? Is this really the message we want to sell kids? That political messages they disagree with should be driven from the public square?

Given the state of free speech on campuses, where conservatives are routinely shouted down if not assaulted by angry liberal students, I guess the kids are already getting that message loud and clear.