Rachel Maddow, Roger Ebert Have a Field Day With Tennessee's New Harassment Law



As Brantley Hargrove reported last week, Gov. Haslam recently signed into law a measure that could make posting a picture on Facebook or a blog a crime, if it causes "emotional distress" and is posted "without legitimate purpose," whatever that means.

Now Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert and MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow are having a field day with the three-ring circus known as our state legislature. First, Ebert posted a slew of images on his blog that might "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" to someone who sees it. Among the images: Steve Buscemi doing the always scary "thumb cut in half" trick, a dog with fake human breasts, a confederate flag, an amateurish painting of what appears to be Rod Blagojevich with his pants pulled down in a federal prison, van Gogh's "Starry Night" reproduced with nothing but bacon, and an image that I always find personally distressing, a photo of Bruce Vilanch.

On Monday night, in a segment titled "Public Image, Ltd." (above), Maddow did her own part to demonstrate the absurdity of the law. As she puts it, "Thanks to Tennessee's supposed small-government conservatism, you could be looking at up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines for ... violating the 'I'm afraid of that picture' law."

And finally, Maddow offers these parting words: "Between this and the 'Don't Say Gay' law, trying to make it illegal to say the word 'gay' in their state schools, Tennessee Republicans are having a banner year."

Tennessee Republicans — making our state a laughingstock since taking control of the legislature. At least they're good for something.

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