New Term of the Supreme Court

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court started a new term this week. Today, they're taking up a free-speech case involving the distribution of dog-fighting videos. Jami Floyd, host of "Best Defense" on TruTV, discusses this case and the most interesting of the other cases on the docket in the new term.


Jami Floyd

Comments [22]

Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

I do not approve of dog fighting and/or people watching such videos. I had 3 dogs in my life and I would have died if anything like that had happened to them. My German Shepherd (Rubio) was especially protective and he would have given his life for me. I would have done the same for him. Now I have a cat and I feel the same way towards her. Animal cruelty in any shape is inmoral. Eugenia Renskoff

Oct. 06 2009 02:05 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Guess I should have refreshed my browser, the previous comment was for #18, not #19, but to #19… It was common for some nature shows of the past to provoke interactions to get the shot. They did not have the production luxury of waiting days, weeks, months or years to capture the activity they wanted on film so they made it happen. It is not common practice now (that I know of) but I think Disney did admit to it previously. This probably would be banned, even re-airings or DVD sales, under the current legislation.

Oct. 06 2009 12:12 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

#19, It is not that #2 confuses fiction with reality, it is that some are concerned the rule, as written, doesn’t clearly differentiate what is banned and that exceptions carved out to protect something as artful or educational are subjective which would chill all depictions out of fear of prosecution. That is why the case is before the Supreme Court. Think of what happens in the movies and literature to Sounder and Bambi or activists distributing videos of what happens in some slaughter houses. What about old nature programs that basically staged predator/prey interactions. All of these videos could be subject to censure under overly broad legislation.
If the intent is to squash all depiction, the #2’s observation is correct. You won’t be able to see Sounder get shot in the movie which is integral to the story line, but you will be able to watch rape, murder, and torture on prime time television.

Oct. 06 2009 12:04 PM
Cynthia from long lsland

The nature channel doesn't provoke animals to hunt other animals. Dog fights are produced by violent and unethical humans.

Oct. 06 2009 11:56 AM
Jason from Midtown

the fact that number 2 confuses reality with fictional movies scares the living bejeezus out of me.

Oct. 06 2009 11:27 AM
LH from Manhattan

Birthers: give it a rest. George W. Bush was clearly Satan, but we never questioned his constitutional right to be president based on the fact that he was born in hell. Jami Floyd: you are so obnoxious! This is NPR; tone it down.

Oct. 06 2009 11:27 AM
JP from The Garden State

thetruth from bkny,

add the backwoods of NYC to that if you think this kind of stuff does not happen here....

Oct. 06 2009 11:26 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

From earlier reports on NPR and to counter Brian’s statement about this overly broad law pertaining only to actual violence against animals. This seems not to be the case. The Schwarzenegger movie (Conan the Barbarian) could be banned under this law. The broad interpretation of the law would ban acts of violence to animals real and fictional. The same is the case with child pornography. Anything that can be interpreted as child exploitation, including an adult pretending to be underage is illegal. These bans might both be good ideas, but while we ban these things, Law and Order can still show rape in prime time. Universal, Warner Brothers, Fox, and the such can still show people getting shot, tortured, and blown up. You can still show fictionalized killings of children on screens big and small, and depictions of hate crimes will still be legal.

Oct. 06 2009 11:24 AM
thetruth from bkny

Can't wait to see how they plan to enforce this in the backwoods and rural areas of the State of Georgia!

Oct. 06 2009 11:21 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

the difference with all these other movie references is, no one is actually hurt in movies were people are killed or blown up. These dogs are hurt and often killed in dog fights. They should be as illegal as snuf films.

And just to head off any comments on ultimate fighting matches, people are active partipants, dogs are animals who have no say in thier lives. A film with children forced to fight and kill eachother would be considered highly illegal.

Oct. 06 2009 11:18 AM
Julia from Skillman, NJ

The first Amendment should not allow for the filming for commercial distribution any illegal act. If it is allowed to film the disgraceful mutilation of animals, then I guess by the same logic, disgraceful acts of child porn should also be legal.

Neither should be permitted. It is stomach turning that somebody is actually having the audacity to hide behind the constitution to promote their disgusting and evil hobby.

Oct. 06 2009 11:18 AM
Jennifer from NYC

@ #2 The movies are not real and it has nothing to do with gambling - it has to do with protecting living things - your reasoning is faulty

Oct. 06 2009 11:18 AM
JP from The Garden State

How about Nature shows that show animals killing and eating other animals?

Oct. 06 2009 11:17 AM
Shana from Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Andy, those are fictional depictions of illegal activites. In the end no one is hurt. Do you think that someone should be able to record actual rapes, murders and robberies and distribute them for public consumption? In the end it is the same thing whether you think it is cute or not.

Oct. 06 2009 11:17 AM
Josh from Washington Heights

Crush Videos?!?!

Come on, this has got to be a media-hyped "phenomenon" that has an actual audience of about two freaks (as opposed to all those that are now going to google "Crush Videos" out of curiousity).

Oct. 06 2009 11:16 AM
Caitlin from Jersey City

There are whole TV channels dedicated to hunting (and, obviously, killing) animals for sport; would those be affected as well?

Oct. 06 2009 11:16 AM
Jennifer from NYC

I am sure this is not what our forefathers had in mind when penning our constitution - bringing harm to children or animals...

Oct. 06 2009 11:16 AM
hjs from 11211

are snuff films legal?

Oct. 06 2009 11:16 AM
Jennifer from NYC

Absolutely revolting - it is a crime - and the action movies are fake! Horifying... It is not criminal to have adults in pigtails! Wow this is so sad and sick...

Oct. 06 2009 11:15 AM

If they ban these videos maybe the guy could just sell videos of industrial meat packing or pharmaceutical testing instead...

They will probably ban them because it puts them closer to the governments holy grail: banning jihadi videos of beheadings and attacks on US troops.

Sure that violates the first amendment but let's face it both parties consider the constitution an inconvenient old scroll that should deprecated as soon as possible.

Oct. 06 2009 11:15 AM
Andy from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

We go to the movies and watch bank robberies, assaults, murders, etc, and it's a pretty big business if I'm not mistaken. Those are all illegal activities, at least in the US. This is an issue because people think dogs are cute (I should know I have a German Sheppard that I love) and that dog fighting means gambling. The problem is that you can't gamble on a movie.

Oct. 06 2009 11:14 AM
Cynthia from long lsland

Just like it's illegal to do anything to cause harm humans like yell "fire" in crowded theater; it should apply to animals as well. People are provoking these animals to fight. If someone is making money filming it then they should be held accountable as well as those who produce the actual events. Free Speech does not apply!!!

Oct. 06 2009 11:13 AM

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