The First Amendment Can Take a Joke

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 – 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. Continue reading “The First Amendment Can Take a Joke”