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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is an anonymous commenter with a necessary “from the article” reply to someone questioning Voice Of America’s political independence:

Who did not read the article:-

The USAGM may oversee VOA, but its officials are not allowed to breach the “firewall.” If there are questions about a journalist’s objectivity, it’s supposed to be handled in-house by VOA editors and any outside journalists/experts the VOA asks to help ensure its review is handled just as objectively.

In second place, it’s Stephen T. Stone commenting on the issue that sparked that discussion — the administration’s investigation of a VOA journalist for anti-Trump bias:

Funny how conservatives who proclaim favor for “free speech” do their best to undermine the First Amendment at every chance. “Every self-imposed label, a rejection”, indeed.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment from Stephen T. Stone, this time about the idea of bringing back the Office of Technology Assessment:

Ah, but that would undo one of the chief goals of Republicans going back to the days of Newt Gingrich: destroying independent expertise with which Congress could consult. Republicans can’t have their knowledge (and authority) questioned if they keep out of the room “experts” who can tell Congress “this is fucked up and here’s why”. Bringing the OTA back would give Congress access to people who know what the hell they’re talking about — and that scares the shit out of Republicans, especially Tea Party–era Republicans who’ve been taught to distrust science, experts, and anyone who they believe is a “know-it-all” because they know more about a given subject than do Republicans.

Democrats, for all their faults (coughfailuretofightclimatechangecough), at least pay lip service to the idea of listening to scientists and experts in their fields. Republicans, more often than not, would rather we all get on our knees and pray.

Next, it’s James Burkhardt with a very level-headed assessment of the controversy over the Cuties documentary:

The movie strikes me as another Rorschach test, Like Sandman.

If you saw the film prior to the Netflix ad campaign, you probably saw a film which used imagery disturbing to the average individual to make a point about the effects that sexualization of women in media has on children. You probably perceive that the actual volume of sexualized imagery being employed is minimal in comparison to the run time.

If you saw the ad campaign first, you probably saw an overly sexual depiction of underage girls far in excess of what was needed to make the point trying to be made. It was smut for pedophiles and nothing more.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Baron von Robber with a different response to some of the wilder accusations about Cuties:

I heard they hid kids in the basement of a pizza parlor too! Are you Qless?

In second place, it’s cpt kangarooski with a joke that someone had to make about hackable IoT chastity devices:

Hacking one of those is a real dick move.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a response from teka to the accusation that VOA must be corrupt because that’s what the commenter would be:

Theaters might be shutting down but there is a lot of projection still going on.

Finally, it’s That One Guy responding to Devin Nunes’ attempt to invalidate one of the most important distinctions in defamation law:

Same thing either way really

Honestly I can see his point here, I mean why would you want a higher bar for defamation for public figures than your average joe, it’s not like public figures have more power and reach, a greater potential impact on the people around them and might be tempted to sue anyone who said anything ‘mean’ about them to protect their power and position, resulting in a chilling of speech regarding people that most need a check on their behavior due to their potential impact.

Nope, much like how it makes perfect sense to have the same laws for bikes as there are for airplanes since both of them are methods of travel it’s only sensible for there to be the same standards for defamation for public figures as there are for your average person on the street, since in both cases it’s a matter of speech.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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