Feds demand ideologically confessional “corrective ads” from tobacco companies

by Walter Olson on April 14, 2013

As part of the wrangling over remedies imposed by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, the federal government is demanding that tobacco companies be made to run ads declaring that the government was right and they wrong on various controversial issues, and in particular that they confess to having lied on purpose. A demand for judicially imposed self-denunciation, and in particular a demand that private actors be ordered to assert ideologically charged propositions that do not reflect their actual inward beliefs, should disturb civil libertarians, it seems to me, even if it does not disturb the U.S. Department of Justice. I’m quoted at 4:47 in this report by the BBC’s Ben Wright.

{ 3 comments }

1 John Burgess 04.14.13 at 11:47 pm

Hey! China’s Cultural Revolution went so well, why not emulate it here?

Besides, if confession is good for the soul, isn’t self-denunciationconfession at least as good for the lawyers who will then promptly file suit?

2 Richard Nieporent 04.15.13 at 8:39 am

It is either confession or the Ministry of Truth Department of Justice releases the rats.

3 Anonymous Nicholas 04.15.13 at 12:52 pm

Gosh it’s about time we do this. This should have been part of the tobacco settlements in the 90s. Just like Apple was forced to admit on their website that Samsung didn’t infringe their patents, this is an appropriate step to correct the public record after decades of intentional lies on the part of the tobacco companies. Nobody is allowed to use lies to prop up their business and it is wholly appropriate to regulate truth in commerce. Good job, nanny state!

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