Gentle readers. I’m sorry for getting political. The Supreme Court decision on 1/21/10 declaring that Companies, Unions and anyone with tons of money and an axe to grind can buy all the time they can afford to express their political views and influence ours, is just so very wrong to me. I have a suggestion to combat this.
It seems like Freedom of Speech is no longer free, that is if you really want to be heard. An average citizen can scream at the top of their lungs, but the wealthy corporation can buy huge oil-fired amplifiers that “go to eleven”, drowning everyone else out in the process.
— if you want to comment, feel free to, I’ll print any support, slings and arrows and about anything else as long as it stays within reasonable, and polite bounds. I also promise not to do this very often and when I do, I’ll endeavor to be as moderate and populist as possible.
The Wizard of OZ law.
Companies and other large groups hide behind shell committees with nice names like “Citizens for a Completely Free America”, “Concerned Fiscally Responsible Patriots”, “People for Healthy Puppies”, etc. They don’t want to get their hands dirty in politics or reveal who they actually are – they prefer to stay behind the curtains and manipulate the controls, just like in the “Wizard of OZ”.
I believe it is time to use their tactics against them. They can advertise all they want, but there should be “rules” governing the advertisement:
- The advertisement can be no less than 30 seconds long.
- At the beginning of the advertisement, the group must disclose in large readable type what companies and persons are involved in the advertisement, along with a clear voice-over.
- Every 15 seconds of the advertisement, a box at the bottom of the picture comprising of no less than 10% of the viewable “safe image” of the screen must scroll the names of all the corporations that have contributed financial payment to the advertisement. The type must fill the scroll box and roll at a speed that is legible to the average person.
- Time must be allotted at the end of the advertisement for the CEOs of the corporations/unions that have contributed to the advertisements to announce that they are the CEO of “X company”, and that they approve the message. It must be clear, recorded and available on the company website.
No more hiding behind the curtain calling your group some flag-waving, patriotic, catchy name. We as citizens must see the truth, must see who finances the advertisements and know who’s pulling the levers and twisting the valves, just like in “The Wizard of OZ”.
I’m sure that you can think of additional ways to ensure that the public knows the truth, and to make it very difficult for people to hide behind the curtain. Let’s beat them at their own game.
Feel free to send this to anyone you wish if you agree with it. I don’t care about the credit for the idea as much as I care about doing something about only a few wealthy people holding sway and power over all of us.