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11 February 2013

Rep. Earnest Smith Shows His Thin Skin, Says I Have No Right to Make Fun of Him

Last week, I had a little fun at the expense of state Representative Earnest Smith (D - Augusta).

After learning that the Augusta lawmaker co-sponsored a bill to criminalize using programs like Photoshop to electronically impose the facial image of a person onto a visual depiction of an individual displaying nudity or sexual conduct, I did exactly what Rep. Smith wants to make illegal. I pasted a picture of Smith's head onto the body of a male porn star (shown right).

Well, my little artistic creation caused a stir down at the State Capitol.

Representative Smith, in an interview with Morris News Service reporter Walter Jones, "said Monday that he learned last week that someone had digitally pasted his head on the body of a nude man, but he doesn’t know who did it."

An Augusta legislator has found himself the victim of the type of photo manipulation that he is working to outlaw.

Rep. Earnest Smith is cosponsoring House Bill 39 that would make it a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine.

The bill received no action last year, but Smith hopes this year will be different, perhaps because the picture targeting him illustrates how vulnerable all politicians are.

"No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It’s not a First Amendment right," he said.

Jones, Walter (2013-2-11). "Nude photo spurs action on Georgia House bill." Savannah Morning News. Retrieved on 2012-2-11.

I would simply remind Representative Smith that he's a public figure, and just like someone had the protected right to depict former President George W. Bush as a monkey, I have the protected right to Photoshop the head of any elected official onto the body of anything I chose.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects all forms of speech, not just spoken word. That's why House Bill 39 is so asinine. It attempts to regulate speech and I doubt it would stand up in a court of law.

Rep. Smith needs to grow some thick skin if he's going to be an elected official. Trust me when I say the altered photograph shown above was not the worst I could have done.

And by the way, I cannot believe Representative Earnest Smith thinks I'm insulting him by putting his head on the body of a well-built porn star.