a recent letter to the editor published in the Washington Post, D.C. resident and frequent Metrorail rider Joseph Anzalone criticizes ads for Bethesda's upcoming post-apocalyptic blockbuster, Fallout 3, which are plastered all over the city's various forms of public transportation. The ads in question depict a number of Washington D.C.'s more recognizable landmarks, which look "ravaged, as if hit by missles." Anzalone suggests that such imagery only serves as "a daily reminder that Washington is a prime target for an attack."
We certainly understand Anzalone's point, though we disagree with the justification behind his request to remove the ads -- he claims they aren't protected by the First Amendment as they "do not present a true viewpoint or political message." The commercial speech doctrine clearly states that advertisements which don't contain false or misleading messages are completely protected under the First Amendment.
Legality aside -- what do you, dear readers, think about the situation? Are the ads insensitive? Should they be removed?
Fallout 3 ads criticized by Washington D.C. Metro rider
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