The End of Free Speech?
- A Federal Court convicted an author of making "false claims" in a book about how to lose weight. (Like that has never happened before.)
- The Feds required that the author post a $2 million bond before engaging in future infomercial advertising to sell books.
The Truth Police - First let me say that when I see a Kevin Trudeau infomercial on TV, my first reaction is to get a firm grip on my wallet.
But that being said, since when have the Feds and their courts become the "Truth Police" to judge the honesty of the written word of books for sale? And if the government says they do not believe the contents of your book then you can be put in prison.
No one is forced to buy a book. It is a free transaction between free men. Yes there are suckers born every minute. But if people want to freely spend their own money on books about dieting, turkey farming or alien abductions, it is not the business of Big Brother government to put the authors of those books in jail.
In this case the jurors took less than an hour to find TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau guilty of criminal contempt.
Trudeau was accused of violating a judge's 2004 order barring him from making false claims about his best-selling book, "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About."
Never mind that there are 10,000 diet books out there all contradicting each other.
The 50-year-old showed little emotion when he was convicted Tuesday in federal court in Chicago. He could face years in prison reports CBS News.
The core dispute revolved around dramatic claims in Trudeau's TV infomercials, including that people who followed the diet in the book could eventually eat anything they wanted without gaining weight.
Prosecutor Marc Krickbaum said Trudeau knew such claims contradicted his book, but he lied to sell more books.
Trudeau's lawyer had argued that prosecutors failed to prove their case.
"If the First Amendment means anything,
it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house,
what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought
of giving government the power to control men's minds."
Justice Thurgood Marshall