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Free Speech: The Fine Print

Federal judges seem to agree that a documentary titled Hillary: The Movie should be regulated under campaign finance laws. The production company "would be required to disclose its funding" and "pay the costs of airing it on cable television from … Read More

By / January 10, 2008

Federal judges seem to agree that a documentary titled Hillary: The Movie should be regulated under campaign finance laws. The production company "would be required to disclose its funding" and "pay the costs of airing it on cable television from a political fund," according to the Associated Press. The producers argued that the documentary was a work of journalism, and therefore exempt from regulation, which caused a judge to "laugh out loud from the bench."

Although the judges aren't censoring the movie, as hysterical right-wingers are sure to claim, the case raises many First Amendment questions: when does opinionated speech count as a political contribution? Is it possible to legally quantify the degree of a filmmaker's partisanship? And should Michael Moore finally disclose the Hardee's Monster Thickburger as an official contributor?

(To be fair, Hillary: The Movie features Ann Coulter, so it should just be fucking illegal.)

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