A man who rides Washington, D.C.’s Metro underground rail system has written to the Washington Post to complain about poster ads for Fallout 3 which appear in the Metro Center station.
Joseph Anzalone criticizes the ads as well as Metro management for accepting them:
In one ad, the Washington Monument and the American flags surrounding it stand ravaged, as if hit by missiles. In another, the Capitol dome is partially caved in, while the rest of the building and the city behind it lie in ruins.
The people of our city do not need a daily reminder that Washington is a prime target for an attack. We do not need a daily reminder of what our worst fears look like. Since any First Amendment objection would be irrelevant (the ads do not present a true viewpoint or political message and would therefore not be protected), there is no reason for these ads to be part of our daily panorama.
The ads should be removed, and the appropriate office at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority should be directed to exercise better judgment regarding what can be displayed in our transportation system.
GP: Whether the ads are in poor taste is a matter of opinion, but Anzalone gets his constitutional argument wrong. The First Amendment protects more than "true viewpoints" and "political messages". That’s why they call it free speech.