Boston Magazine has a fair, balanced and reasoned analysis of today's court battle in Boston. The writer, a Boston College college professor was interviewed here on FOX.
"The Court Battle Over ‘Pro-Israel’ Billboards Could Be a ‘Tough Win’ For the MBTA" Boston Magazine, December 3, 2013
An expert from Boston College weighs in as the transit agency takes on a ‘freedom of speech’ case on Wednesday.
As the MBTA heads to court on Wednesday to defend its decision to keep anti-Islamic ads off of certain train platforms and vehicles, they may have a tough time convincing a judge that their opposition to the signage was in the public’s best interest.
“I wouldn’t say they have no leg to stand on, but I would say they have a difficult standard they need to prove,” said Matt Sienkiewicz, an assistant professor of communication and international studies at Boston College.
Sienkiewicz, who became interested in the MBTA’s pending case in federal court due to his studies in global media cultures and media theory, said the T will have to prove that their decision to deny an organization’s request to post billboards was not an infringement of their First Amendment rights. “It isn’t impossible. There is nothing wrong with banning demeaning speech, but you have to show you are doing it consistently,” he said.
The court date is the result of a suit filed against the transit agency in November by the American Freedom Law Center, on behalf of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, members of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).