Washington’s beleaguered Metro system has removed advertisements for former Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ new book ‘Dangerous’ after liberals complained via email and Twitter.
— William Goodman (@goodmanw) July 5, 2017
One rider named Katie, told DCist she filed a formal complaint with Metro and received response from the customer relations team that said in part “The display of this ad is consistent with Metro’s policy of remaining content-neutral when accepting advertising. Although Metro understands that feelings and perceptions will vary among individuals within the community, we cannot reject advertising because some find it inappropriate or offensive.”
But after pressure built from liberal riders, Metro quickly reversed course and removed the ads stating that they violated two of Metro’s advertising guidelines.
- “Advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions are prohibited”
- “Advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited”
Exactly how the ads violated the guidelines isn’t clear since they only contain quotes about Yiannopoulos and a picture of the book cover and make no mention of any policy issues.
Yiannopoulos responded on his Facebook page.
Is my face a hate crime?
The Washington D.C. Metro — the public transportation system of the swamp itself — has banned ads for my book. You already knew the mainstream media doesn’t want you to read DANGEROUS. Now you can add the government to that list. What leftists fail to realize is that every banned ad, every negative review, and every nasty article about me is a ringing endorsement to the people that really matter — real Americans.
The Metro has a sordid history with advertising. They banned “issues” ads after conservatives wanted to run posters of Mohammed cartoons. But their own advertising campaign was branded as sexist just a few years ago!
Here are the rules they claim we broke: “Advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions are prohibited.” and “Advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited.”
Our ads promoted my smash #1 bestseller DANGEROUS just by stating my name, its title, and a quote from the press. We didn’t have anything to say about issues or policy, unless you consider my face to be a political statement. So I have a simple question for the D.C. Metro. What advertisement could we have posted that *did not* break those policies?
We were not contacted by the DC MATA or given an opportunity to speak with anyone before our ads began to be pulled down. We believe that the removal of our billboards constitutes unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by a government regulator in violation of the First Amendment and are preparing our response now. We continue to fight to defend free speech against pressure groups that prefer to suppress speech rather than allow the marketplace of ideas to operate.
And where is the liberal media on this? The so-called defenders of free speech have remained silent because it involves a conservative and more importantly someone they violently disagree with.