'Go to hell Barack' ad must be removed, Moran tells WMATA
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is calling for the removal of an ad at an Orange Line Metro station that he says blatantly offends President Barack Obama.
In a letter to WMATA General Manager Richard Sarles, Moran asks for the removal of an ad at the Clarendon Metro station that says, “Go to hell Barack.”
The ad is tied to the controversy over the health care overhaul.
"This ad is deeply disrespectful of the President of the United States and does not belong in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority network,” Moran said in the letter.
The Democratic congressman then went on to say that while he understands that WMATA should display ads, even those that are political, “minimum standards of decency must be maintained through a vetting process.”
“I assume such a process exists, but surely this ad does not meet those standards,” Moran said. "It's not about politics, it's about appropriateness."
Others likewise found the ad in poor taste.
"It is very disrespectful. You can find other ways to do it more politely," said rider Shanelle Dorham.
"I wish they would say who actually put the ad up. Put your name on it," said rider Rich Hinman.
The ad calls on readers to purchase "Sick and Sicker," a documentary produced by Logan Darrow Clements who believes the president's reforms will hurt, not help, Americans.
However, a Metro spokesperson said the ad can't be taken down because the message is protected political speech. In a statement from the transit agency:
WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their political content.
Read the full text of Moran's letter here: