So in the wake of the lead-painted toy scare, the Omnipotent Federal Government has reached ludicrous heights of nanny-state-ism. Of course, there was the story Glenn Beck relentlessly pursued about banning ATVs and dirt bikes for under-12s, based on unsafe levels of lead in the gears and brakes which could cause damage if ingested (for the record, I agree with Beck on this: if your kid is stupid enough to lick the brakes or gearbox of a dirt bike, they probably deserve whatever happens to them).
But now they’ve gone even further into dictatorial realms. The Imperial Government has decided that “mommy blogs”—sites where parents share personal experiences and recommendations about various products—fall under advertising laws, and anyone who posts a positive review of a product that turns out to be dangerous could be held liable.
These are not professional advertisers, claiming the product is safe despite knowing that it’s not. These are everyday people, honestly relating their experience with something. If it didn’t hurt them as of the time of the review, they had no way of knowing it could have (or would soon) do so. Holding them liable is ludicrous. And it’s dangerous. If expressing an opinion, based on incomplete or faulty information, makes you criminally (or civilly) liable for damages done by someone else’s negligence, there’s really no way to safely express an opinion anymore. McCain-Feingold, Fairness Doctrine, and now this—free speech is dead.