A spokesperson for animal rights advocates Last Chance Animals claims the MTA unfairly rejected the group’s advertisement about carriage horses. The MTA put a ban on political advertising into effect in April, after that freedom of speech was abused by anti-Muslim crusader Pamela Geller. But Last Chance Animals’ Nina Hauptman told WNYC that these ads weren’t political.
“It doesn’t address any specific law, it’s a message to the community regarding the safety of horse carriages for the animals and the people,” she said.
Hauptman says that even if the ad was political, the MTA shouldn’t have the right to censor free speech. The rejected ad shows a collision between a car and a horse-drawn cart and some statistics about injuries to humans and animal deaths due to such accidents. The use of horse-drawn carts in New York is controversial, because the horses are often mistreated and, of course, accidents happen.
This dispute shows how suppressing free speech goes both ways: The MTA has barred people like Pamela Geller from spreading hate, but has also stopped important, potentially mind-changing information from reaching the public.
(Photo: Poster Boy)