This Is Exactly Why The MBTA Accepts NO Advocacy Ads

Major dustup in New York around this transit ad “submitted by a group opposed to the construction of a mosque and Islamic center near ground zero” (via Thursday’s New York Times):

The back story:

The [Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s] advertising firm initially rejected the advertisement as unsuitable, repeatedly requesting changes to the photograph of the twin towers, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week by the advertisement’s sponsor, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, and its leader, the prominent right-wing blogger Pamela Geller, who argued that her right to free speech had been infringed.

On Monday, the authority relented, saying it would allow the advertisement to run in its original form. It is expected to appear next week on more than 20 city buses.

That’s because once you accept any advocacy ads (which the MTA has done on numerous occasions), you have to accept them all.

And that – along with tens of millions of dollars squandered on hopeless legal action during the past two decades – is why the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority no longer provides the public with even a semblance of political/public policy debate.

The MBTA has been burned so many times in court, it should be checked into the Shriners.

So they checked out.

No matter what you think of the New York ad, though, isn’t it better to have more public discourse than less?

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