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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'The Other Guys' Movie Poster has No Guns in Muni Station -- But Fully Armed on Muni Buses

Posted By on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge No guns here...
  • No guns here...
Last week, we noted that the movie posters for the predictably low-brow but high-grossing cop comedy The Other Guys had been disarmed by Muni.

While Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are soaring through the air, guns drawn, in the billboard you'll see by the freeway, they're either putting up their dukes or firing off pepper spray in the version you'll see in a Muni station. This is in line with Muni advertising policies forbidding ads that "appear to promote the use of firearms." It turns out, however, that Muni cares far less about promoting the use of firearms when those ads are on the sides of Muni vehicles, however. Both Wahlberg and Ferrell are packin' heat on the city's bus billboards.

Per Muni's policy, would-be ads shall not "be clearly defamatory," "be obscene or pornographic," or "advocate imminent lawlessness or violent action." The terms are for "advertising on Municipal Transportation Agency ('MTA') property, or as authorized under any contract with the MTA" -- a milieu that is a "nonpublic forum."

Here thar be guns...
  • Here thar be guns...
"On MTA property" seems cut and dried. But "as authorized under any contract with the MTA" and notions about what is or isn't a "nonpublic forum" (the side of a bus?) seem to offer a bit of wiggle room. Enough for Wahlberg and Franken to get a gun through, apparently.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose, reached late on Tuesday, pledged to track down a rationale for Muni's apparent double standard -- and we'll publish it when he does. The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, has apparently implied that it was mistake to not allow the guns on the poster.

Leave it to the NRA: They're there to promote the Second Amendment, even for fictional characters on movie posters.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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