Reporting from Washington — A Virginia congressman is seeking the removal of a subway station ad that tells President Obama to "go to hell."
TheWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority says the ad for a movie critical of the Obama-backed healthcare overhaul is protected by the 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech.
But Democratic Rep. Jim Moran says the ad is disrespectful of the president.
The ad for the movie "Sick and Sicker," produced by Logan Darrow Clements, says: "Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system. Go to hell Barack."
"When we are talking about an advertisement on taxpayer-funded facilities, as is the case with Metro, it should meet the minimum standards of propriety,'' Moran said in a statement.
In an interview outside of the House chamber Thursday, he added, "I don't think we want our children to see a public facility like this displaying words telling the president to go to hell."
Reached by phone in L.A., Clements said in response to Moran's efforts: "I’m offended that government bureaucrats and politicians think that they have a right to control my life."
The ad is due to come down anyway in a few weeks.
The transit agency said in a statement: "We may not decline ads based on their political content."
The Washington transit agency lost a 1984 court case when it denied advertising space for a poster that satirized the Reagan administration.
"Are You Tired of the Jellybean Republic?" was the headline above two pictures, one depicting the homeless and the other showing Reagan and his Cabinet enjoying a good laugh.
An Oklahoma congressman in 2003, upset over marijuana legalization ads on the Washington Metro system, put a measure in a spending bill to withhold transportation funds from transit agencies that allowed such ads. But a judge struck down the law.
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