Another attack on free speech: US legislator introduces bill to ban photoshopping of head on porn star’s body

earnestsmith

First of all, the above image is quite disturbing — I apologize but it is necessary to convey the gravity of this story. Georgia State Representative Earnest Smith has introduced a bill to ban the practice of imposing the facial image of a person onto an obscene depiction (in the state of Georgia only — Smith isn’t part of US Congress but rather Georgia Congress). More specifically, he wants to ban people from photoshopping his head onto a porn star’s body.

“No one has a right to make fun of anyone. It’s not a First Amendment right,” said Rep. Smith. His bill would impose a $1,000 fine, one year in prison or both to anyone that “causes an unknowing person wrongfully to be identified as the person in an obscene depiction in such a manner that a reasonable person would conclude that the image depicted was that of the person so wrongfully identified.”

Are there people that can’t actually tell these are photoshops?! That probably explains the “Fake Image” label placed by blogger Andre Walker, who has created images of Rep. Smith in these indecent situations. Here’s what he had to say:

“I cannot believe Rep. Earnest Smith thinks I’m insulting him by putting his head on the body of a well-built porn star. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects all forms of speech, not just spoken word.”

To add to to Walker’s sentiment, free speech in the USA is a lot more flexible when directed at public figures than it is when directed at everyone else. In other words, what might be considered hate speech at an average person may not be hate speech at a public figure like a representative. You would think a publicly elected representative would know that.

I think if there’s one thing that Rep. Smith has done by introducing the bill, it’s show more people the images of himself. Oh well, too late now.

[via Ars Technica, The Verge, image via Georgia Unfiltered]

Related Posts

  • Seamus

    @Shawn: thnx

  • Enrique

    @sl0j0n: Thanks for the correction! :)

  • sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    @ “Enrique”.
    You wrote, incorrectly, “Georgia Congress”.
    Its ‘proper’ name is “Georgia General Assembly”, which is divided into the upper and lower houses, the “State Senate”, and the “House of Representatives”.
    You can verify this at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_(U.S._state).
    According to “Ballotpedia”, [ http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php /Earnest_Smith ], “Earnest Smith is a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing District 125”.
    Unfortunately, Mr. Smith is typical of almost *all* so-called “elected officials” in the United States.
    Just more of the fraudulent excuse for “government” that Americans suffer under.
    Also, typical of why anyone that supports politicians or politics is an ‘enemy of the people’.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  • Mike

    I guess I am in the minority–what is wrong in outlawing another’s doing harm to one? It’s the Internet that is allowing this reprehensible behavior, under “protection” of anonymity.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    If you elect idiots, this is the kind of government you get. Georgia is just a microcosm of the clown posse we have in DC. Vote by vote, our country is being taken from us and the masses don’t even realize it.

  • AT

    I have a counter to this bill. Prove it that this picture was photoshopped. Just saying a picture is photoshopped is just speculation. Where’s the original picture(s)?

  • Rediculous!

  • John

    FREE SPEECH should NEVER be infringed upon, but it must not be forgotten that FREE SPEECH comes with RESPONSIBILITY!
    The fact that there are more and more stupid laws, is also in part a result of the fact that people do not know their boundaries, and do not understand that one individual’s freedom stops where the next person’s freedom starts! The USA is a great nation, NONE other compares, and the Constitution does protect free speech, yes, but do not forget the words of John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Know what that means? That if the people are amoral and respect nothing, then… the Constitution will be gone, liberty will be gone, and the protections the Constitution and Bill of Rights were created to secure will be gone!!!
    That is why the country is in such a mess and we have nincompoops everywhere, from the White House to the blogosphere!
    Why on earth is this Andre Walker blogger spending time Photoshopping people’s faces onto porn stars (?) bodies? Nothing better to do? What a loser!
    There are better ways to use one’s time! Grow up! Get a life! Learn to respect others!… So, no, I am sorry, this is not an attack on free speech, because this loser just lost his rights when he disrespected and infringed upon another man’s freedom!
    Sheesh!!!

  • kevbo

    I can’t believe the type of buffoons who are elected to make laws in this country, or the laws they try to enact. Depressing, really. Great line by the ‘artist’, though: “I cannot believe Rep. Earnest Smith thinks I’m insulting him by putting his head on the body of a well-built porn star.” Gave me a good chuckle.

  • V

    For our less observant friends, it should be noted that this is a proposed *state* law for Georgia, not a US law.

    Most US residents would prefer NOT to think of Georgians as residing in the same country as the rest of us.

    Interesting, though, that he considers free speech not to extend to comedic mocking. He’s wrong, of course, and Federal judges will quickly tell him so but it is interesting to note that his view would not only wipe out the comedy industry but Right Wing hate-talk radio as well.

    The latter is not entirely a bad thing.

  • Shawn

    @Seamus

    Here you go a gimp script to analyze photo’s

    https://sites.google.com/site/elsamuko/forensics/ela

    Check the Error Level Analysis =)

  • chuck

    That can’t be his head,as his is tucked firmly in his a$$.The US has much bigger problems that need the attention of our elected officials.

  • Enrique

    @Seamus: Hi Seamus! A quick look around pointed me towards a program called JPEGsnoop. I’ve never tried it myself but maybe you can look into it or check it out :) Hope it works!

    @Tom: Please post a link here when you’re done! :p

  • Tom

    Can’t resist… but I’m ‘shopping a pic of Earnest Smith as I type this. His mother will be so proud!

  • Seamus

    Just a quick question … is there software that can be used to analyze an image and identify whether or not it’s been altered or photoshoped? Thnx

  • Shava Nerad

    Must be something in the water in Georgia.

    Georgia Representative Johnson, in this video, expresses his concern to a 4-star that if the population of Guam grows, the island might tip over:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp1YjpNxn54

    I have to admire the general’s restraint. Fine military training. I couldn’t have faced that with such a stoic bearing.