The Mayor of Peoria, Illinois found out there was a satire Twitter account regarding him. So he did what any tinpot despot would do, had the person that set up the account arrested.
Apparently this Mayor has no knowledge of satire in our political history. As well as several judges, police officers and their chief, and twitter and comcast.
This sort of political abuse of power was once incomprehensible.
The warrant, filed in Peoria County Circuit Court, details a two- to three-week process whereby Peoria police tracked down the location of the Internet address used for the account as well as the identity of the person who paid for the Web access.Two judges signed off on warrants to get information from Twitter and Comcast. Another judge approved a Tuesday afternoon raid of 1220 N. University St., which led to one arrest for marijuana possession but no charges related to the Twitter account or any of the posts.Jacob Elliott, 36, of the University Street address, was held on $3,000 bond for marijuana possession. Elliott, who has no criminal record, was released from Peoria County Jail on Thursday. His next court date is May 15 for a preliminary hearing.
Satire is an important part of American political history. And an acceptable way of expressing one's viewpoint.
"Benjamin Franklin was a prolific political satirist, in works such as Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One, written in 1773," Speel says.I wonder how many grams the Peoria cops would have busted Benji for?
Political cartoons—which became increasingly popular in the 19th century, a time when many Americans were illiterate—remain a popular form of political satire today. The cartoons also helped shape modern-day politics. Explains Speel, "The cartoonist Thomas Nast became famous in the second half of the nineteenth century for his political cartoons in Harper's Weekly magazine, in which he created the symbols of the elephant for Republicans and the donkey for Democrats."
Nast published a series of cartoons critical of New York City's Boss Tweed, head of the Tammany Hall political machine, notes Speel. Tweed, who eventually went to prison, was reported to have said, "Stop them damned pictures. I don't care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures."