Margaret Engel


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The First Amendment Can Take a Joke

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues, Political Challenges

Rendering of the new Newseum building, Washington, D.C.

Margaret Engel is the managing editor of the Newseum, which will re-open Oct. 15, 2007 in new headquarters on the Mall in Washington, D.C.. She wrote this article specifically for the April 1, 2007 launch of ArtofthePrank.com. – JS


April 1 is a lighthearted celebration in America, but joking the other 364 days often gets civic pranksters in trouble.

It\”™s not that anything goes on April Fool\”™s Day, it just seems that the public gets the punchline that day, before quickly returning to a grim analysis of what is and what isn\”™t acceptable.

Although the First Amendment is supposed to defend our freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and the right to petition our government, the reality is that officialdom often can\”™t take a joke. (more…)