Thursday, May 12, 2005

Silly politicians, the First Amendment is for individuals

As I head off to St. Louis for the Free Press Conference, I look forward to meeting George Lakoff, a person who knows how important language is when it comes to politics. Sadly, many prominent elected officials, including Democrats, do not.
Case in point, the argument that by placing limits on pharmaceutical advertisements would be a violation of the First Amendment. Now, you can call me crazy, but I really don't think that our founding fathers wrote the First Amendment with corporations in mind. While individuals and members of the press are guaranteed freedom of speech, corporations should be held responsible for the content in their advertisements. Ads depicting people who are unnaturally happy to promote drugs with, often, life-threatening side effects, is down right unethical. When people began to wise up to similar advertisements, cigarette ads in the 1970s, the ads were banned from finite media (radio and television). Now, I'm not saying to ban all pharmaceutical ads, just those on television. Despite the hushed or microscopic (when in print) disclaimers, these ads are still marketing potentially harmful substances. Aside from that, these ads are so much more damaging to the health of our country because they contribute to the sky-rocketing costs of all medications. Because this is a unique situation and because there is infinite media (online and print), we as a nation really need to limit the content of advertising on finite media. Therefore, it is not a violation of First Amendment rights to ban pharmaceutical ads from television.
Remind your politicians of this.

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