Rep. Moran Calls on WMATA to Remove Offensive, Disrespectful Metro Ad


    (Thanks to Rep. Moran for jumping on this. For more background, see here. Also note that Metro’s ad guidelines clearly state that ads have to comply with a variety of guidelines, including not be “false or misleading,” be “truthful,” “shall reflect a high level of good taste and decency in copy and art,” etc. – promoted by lowkell)

    Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, wrote the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) today asking for the immediate removal of an offensive advertisement disparaging the recent health law which contains the phrase “Go to h[—] Barack” in reference to the President.

    The ad has been reported to be up in Clarendon Metro station. It is unclear if and how many ads are located at other Metro stops.

    Rep. Moran’s letter to WMATA can be found here:…

    UPDATE by Lowell: ArlNow has some better photos of the ad.

    UPDATE #2: Politico has picked up the story.

    • totallynext

      To the rescue.  

      Talk about political discourse levels being extreme pretty sure no democratic leaning institution would put something so disgusting and so disrespectful to the President of the United States

    • independent in arlington

      ..tell anyone to “go to hell.”  Its even less appropriate when the person in question is the President of the United States.  I hope they take it down.  If someone wants to run an ad which says everything that’s on the current one but the “Go to Hell Barak” quote, more power to them, but I think that’s over the line.

      Presumably Representative Moran would have been equally outraged by an ad which said:  “Hey W, get the hell out of Iraq!”  (I’m pretty certain no one ever actually tried to put such ads up on Metro).

    • aznew

      this is clearly constitutionally protected speech, and I for one celebrate that.

      While it’s risky to rate our freedoms, I would say the right to free speech is the most important, because it is the right upon which all others depend. We should not threaten that core principle just because someone, in the exercise of their right, is using it to be disrespectful to the President.

      Congressman Moran is wrong.

      I’m actually very surprised at the number of people here who seem to think that content-based censorship is acceptable.

    • “I am disappointed by WMATA’s defense of this inappropriate advertisement. If their current advertising guidelines do not prohibit profane advertisements on taxpayer-funded property, then WMATA should take the initiative and update them. Profanity has no place in the public forum.

      “The specific language in the WMATA-approved ad that should be removed is not political, it’s profane. It defames the President of the United States in a way that coarsens the public discourse. All Americans have the right to make their voice heard under the First Amendment. But when we are talking about an advertisement on tax-payer funded facilities, as is the case with Metro, it should meet the minimum standards of propriety. I repeat my call on WMATA to exercise appropriate judgment and remove this offensive ad.”

    • pontoon

      are disturbing….extremely disrespectful.