Thursday, July 03, 2008

Philly Tour Guides' Quest to Remain Clueless

"...Three Philadelphia tour guides are challenging an ordinance that will require guides in the city to pass a history test and be licensed.

Mayor Michael Nutter signed the law in April and it goes into effect in the fall. Supporters say it will ensure that guides don't distribute misinformation in a city that is home to some of the country's most historic sites, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

But in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, three guides say the law violates their free speech rights. They say their tours are accurate and they don't want to have to ask the government's permission to earn their living..." (source)

With this logic I guess perspective teachers could hire the same law firm (Institute for Justice) and argue they shouldn't have to be certified. They went to school to teach, so who is the government to test that knowledge...?

The interesting thing is a while back one of the local news stations did an undercover report on Philly tour guides (which is what brought all this to fruition) and guides were telling paying customers some messed up stuff. Honestly just making it up as they went along.

One tour guide was telling a group of out-of-towners how Ben Franklin had "more illegitimate kids than anyone could keep track of", but the truth is just as interesting as this misnomer. Ben Franklin had one illegitimate son, William Franklin. He was the last colonial governor of New Jersey and broke his Patriot dad's heart when he he remained a loyalist to England during the Revolution.

Philadelphia tourism is based on our city's history --not only do I support testing the people charged with imparting that history, but I'm appalled it hasn't been a requirement all along...

No comments: