[UPDATE: IMO, posting naked photos sort of misses the point, but anyway.]
Hello, BART, helloooooo? Don’t you realize that you’re a national laughingstock currently? So why do you still have Linton Johnson out there spinning beyond measure, today and the past few days?
Here’s his howler from last week, from “BARTtv News,” I’m srsly, BARTtv News:
“There are a multitude of groups … flying in from all over the country. They want to do surprise attacks, basically, on BART riders.”
Really, a “multitude,” which is of course a “very great number,” so what, like 100 “groups,” 100′s of people paid their way to fly to SFO (and paid 911 fees and baggage fees and x-fer fees and fuel surcharges, really?) to “attack” BART riders on Thursday evening last week?
Really? How many people actually showed up that night? Zero? Two? Nothing happened, right?
What the fuck are you talking about, Linton Johnson? Is this poetic license? You’re not selling soap here, P.R. man, correct? Do you think it’s your right to make things up?
So that was last week.
Now, here’s this week, from the KRON-TV. OMG.
So, BART passengers have constitutional “Rights to Safety*” and a “Right to Privacy” that BART should invoke to “preserve” and “balance against” the First Amendment, Bill of Rights, etc?
What the fuck are you talking about, Linton Johnson?
And oh, Linton? Law school called. They want their diploma back.
And here’s the latest boner from just now:
“Inside the fare gates is a non-public forum and by law, by the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, there is no right to free speech there.”
Jesus tap-dancing Christ, is all I can say.
Here’s the Cliffs Notes version, custom-tailored for P.R. set, of why Linton Johnson is wrong, wrong, wrong:
1987 – freedom of speech
In the case of Board of Airport Commissioners of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, Inc., 482 U.S. 569 (1987), The Supreme Court held that a law which banned “First Amendment activities” within the Central Terminal Area at L.A. International Airport to be invalid as substantially “over broad,” and therefore, invalid on its face. As Justice O’Connor stated in her opinion, such a law could even be construed to prohibit a traveler from approaching a ticketing booth and asking when the flight from Des Moines was scheduled to arrive. The municipal agency in charge of Los Angeles International Airport had barred the group from distributing leaflets at the airport “as part of a larger ban on what they described as First Amendment activities. Jews for Jesus challenged the airport’s right to institute such a sweeping ban.”
And here’s part of my bit on Saturday”
“[T]his bit here from Friday’s hastily-released release from BART is overbroad:
“No person shall conduct or participate in assemblies or demonstrations or engage in other expressive activities in the paid areas of BART stations, including BART cars and trains and BART station platforms.”
Rest assured, passengers can legally engage in at least some expressive activities (like wearing a red shirt to represent the blood of a dead passenger or saying, “Gee waiting for BART can be a pain, goshdarnit” for example) in the paid areas of the stations regardless of what BART’s PR hacks say. (Don’t you have lawyers on staff, BART? So why don’t you let them formulate your legal policies instead of having a formerly ink-stained wretch writing copy? Just asking, Bro.)”
You don’t have to go to law school to understand these issues – they aren’t that hard.
*Are you arguing about some esoteric boilerplate from the 1800′s? Is that what you’re doing today? Really? Like, those who live in the Tenderloin have a Constitutional Right to Safety? If so, I’m sure there’d be a lot of people who would like to invoke that right…
Let me tell you about a pilot (and, really, an aircrew, but anyway) who screwed up real bad over the Pacific and then had to really, really, push the limits of flight to get back to safety. He came real close to disaster. See?
But after seriously damaging the aircraft with heroics to get back to straight and level flight,** he didn’t want to divert to the closest place to land, which happened to be SFO. No no, he wanted to continue on to the scheduled destination as if nothing were the matter. He felt there was no reason to think about injured passengers or damaged control surfaces (including permanently bent wings.) O.K., that’s how he rolled.
All right, keep on trucking, BART.
Keep on trucking until the wings fall off, or you auger in, I don’t care…
BART, what’s your mission, fundamentally? Think about it.
Your mismanagement of the TASER implementation from a few years ago has killed more people than all the BART protests in your entire history.
It’ll take years for BART to recover from this crisis, this string of missteps.
**A modern Airbus aircraft might not have allowed the pilot do what had to be done, but, then again, a modern Airbus probably wouldn’t have let the pilot get into so much trouble so easily in the first place