Washington: Free Speech, Part 2

Free Speech, Part 2

Would George Washington have run for office, asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, if he had been the target of vicious parodies? But Washington was lampooned, replied Attorney Alan Isaacman. In 1789 he was depicted riding an ass. "I think George could handle that," said Scalia. "That's a far cry from committing incest with your mother in an outhouse."

The parody under discussion last week was aimed not at a Founding Father but at the Rev. Jerry Falwell. In 1983 Hustler magazine had portrayed Falwell in a drunken rendezvous with his mother. Although a lower-court jury cleared Publisher Larry Flynt of...

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