Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Onion makes me cry

The most disturbing thing about the below story is not what the White House did, but the cave job by the Onion:

White House Orders Satirical Paper 'The Onion' to Stop Using Presidential Seal

By E&P Staff

Published: October 24, 2005 2:25 PM ET

NEW YORK Despite White House spokesman Trent Duffy's admission to New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye that "more than one Bush staffer reads The Onion and enjoys it thoroughly," the White House is seeking to stop the satirical paper from using the presidential seal on its Web site.

Seelye's seal scoop, printed in Monday's paper, reveals that associate counsel to the president Grant M. Dixton sent a letter to the Onion on Sept. 28 stating that the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement."

Given that this post is about fair use, I'm not going to reprint the entire E&P article. But I will tell you that the Onion fired back a response that humorously pointed out the publication's satirical nature. But it also went one step further:

Klaskin also asked that the Onion be considered f[or] an official exception to the rule, which is allowable by law.



A publication as obviously satirical as the Onion must not ever EVER feel an obligation to get an exemption to use a "copyrighted" American image (which, by the way, is not owned by President Bush or the White House but by the American citizenry as a whole). No public figure/entity that is the target of satire should ever get veto power over that sort of thing, particularly the government itself. To even ask for an exemption gives too much power to the government to control speech.

It's gross, actually. I knew the Onion had lost something recently, but I had no idea they'd ever consider prostrating themselves wholly before the jerkos currently running the show. Bottom line be damned, there are some fights you fight. Damn lawyers.

Hmmm. Wonder if "West Wing" and that Geena Davis thingy ("Commanderette-in-Chief"?) have been given allowable exceptions? Or are those visuals too fleeting to threaten the dignity of the presidential seal?

Personally, I think just seeing Bush standing anywhere near it diminishes the presidential seal.
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