In its constant attempts to maximize business opportunity, the city of Los Angeles has now forced Clear Channel to remove digital billboards across the city. Digital billboards rotate more frequently than conventional moving billboards, and are significantly brighter due to their digital screens. So far, 82 such billboards have been turned off thanks to a court order that said that permits for the signs were invalid.
Originally, Clear Channel and CBS Outdoors made a deal with the city of Los Angeles in 2006 to put up the billboards. A court held that the companies got sweetheart deals from the city, but now Clear Channel is threatening to sue the city for $100 million unless it can put the signs back up.
Both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, current Los Angeles mayoral candidates, signed off on the deal when they were on the City Council, then turned around and feted the judge’s ruling. “I feel very strongly that those digital billboards were not the right thing for the city to do,” said Greuel. “I welcome the decision that was made by the judge.” Garcetti added, “It’s a great thing for Los Angeles.” Greuel’s excuse for signing off on the deal: she said she didn’t realize the signs would be bright. Because it’s not like they’re called digital billboards, or anything.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).