Tag Archives: 1st Amendment

Episode #107: Writers and the 1st

Pip and Tee host Michael Ventrella to talk about publishing, writing, and the 1st Amendment.

The Shared Desk has tried to remain politics free, but then politics collided with writing and publishing.

  • 8:46 : Michael has been involved in the Tales from the Archives, but he is currently a practicing defense lawyer, and has taught the Constition. He is the author of How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative.
  • Tee has some background with the 1st Amendment…. Pip has of course none.

Well, one of us isn’t…

  • 05:55 : So of course, Pip reads the 1st Amendment…
  • Michael points out why the 1st is so short and succinct.
  • 08:22 : Tee brings up, why we are discussing this on the Shared Desk. A fresh senator got his book contract cancelled, and tries to use the 1st Amendment as a shield.
  • Michael points out, that there are plenty of dumb lawyers out there.
  • Many lawyers read the Constitution to be what they want it to say.
  • 11:03 : We touch on the other hot button 1st Amendment, people being blocked off social media.
  • Pip (the foreigner) points out the very first word.
  • Michael says a smaller publisher will probably pick his book up. (Addendum: He was right… Apparently the senator has found a new publisher.)
  • 14:33 : Isn’t it more about that sweet advance?
  • That’s part of it, but also playing to the base with an eye on a presidential run.
  • 15:21 : Pip wonders about ‘morality clauses’.
  • 16:12 : On the left side of the aisle, writers have run into those too.
  • Writers have to be aware of them, and understand that they also can’t claim oppression. Most contracts have provision these days to protect the image of the corporation.
  • 18:02 : Social media rights as far as the 1st Amendment.
  • Michael points out if you want to talk about regular conservative talking points you can.
  • What you cannot talk about is violence and racism.
  • All social media platforms have Terms of Service… even if people click through them without reading. They are there.
  • Michael points out the peaceably portion of the 1st Amendment.
  • 22:47 : Tee posits a question to Michael
  • Michael says not with the 1st, but contractually there are more grey areas depending on the situation.
  • 24:27 : Michael brings up how some authors make claims of being censored.
  • The government censors, but everything else is editing.
  • No Shirts. No Shoes. No Service. But it has to be applied in a non discriminatory fashion.
  • Shout out to the Legal Eagle
  • 34:58 : Tee, Pip and Michael discuss WandaVision on Disney+ NO SPOILERS!
  • Plenty of throwbacks to Bewitched and I Love Jennie, Pip enjoyed it
  • Michael enjoyed the first ten minutes, and then wanted a bit more to happen.
  • There were a lot of deep cuts for those deep into Marvel history.
  • Tee brings up the excellent HBO Max show Snowpiercer
  • More clues are revealed in the second episode.
  • Pip enjoyed how they used vintage feel to full advantage- including consulting Dick Van Dyke!

Find Michael A Ventrella here, and pickup his book How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative. Also, his steampunk book with Teddy Roosevelt, Big Stick – which Pip highly recommends!

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