Keith Cowing is a blogger on Space Ref, a science blog, and was surprised recently to receive a call from the White House. White House staffer Rick Weiss reportedly called to warn him that his inclusion of the seal of Executive Office of the President of the United States violated federal law because it could be viewed as a product endorsement. A review of the blog entry demonstrates the claim to be preposterous in my view and I am unsure why the White House is spending such much time searching for seal misuses rather than . . . let’s see . . . war crimes.
Cowing had simply posted a brief post on a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He then received the call from Weiss and distorted the image of the seal to satisfy the White House. As noted by the EFF below, the FBI has been making similar demands under 18 U.S.C. sec. 701, which is aimed at use of government seals to deceive the public.
Now, the seal is shown with the words “OSTP Logo Pixelated Due to a Phone Call Complaint from the White House.”
We have previously seen objections on the use of the image of the First Lady in advertisements.
It does not appear that Rick Weiss’s own blogging is a concern in the use of multiple seals since the White House supports his blogging. One could view this as a bit of turf protection between two blogs following science issues in government.
Weiss is described on some sites as “co-editor of Science Next, former Washington Post reporter, and current director of communications at the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.” He has his own active Twitter site with 246 followers. Perhaps the greatest defense for Cowing is that, at the low approval ratings of President Obama in the polls and growing anger from both liberals and conservatives over his performance, no one in their right mind would suggest an endorsement by the White House.
Besides as one of our regulars (Otteray Scribe) pointed out, we know someone who tosses around the seal all the time:
WARNING: THE INCLUSION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL ABOVE IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF THIS BLOG OR ITS IDEAS OR CLAIMS OR SUGGESTIONS OR HINTS OR ELUSIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ENDORSING THE LINE OF HIGH QUALITY TURLEY PRODUCTS INCLUDING “PROFESSOR ON A ROPE” SOAP, TURLEY BUSTS (IN A VARIETY OF HEROIC IMAGES), TURLEY TEESHIRTS, TURLEY COFFEE MUGS ETC. THE PRESIDENT IS NOT NECESSARILY SAYING THAT ANY GOOD AMERICAN SHOULD READ THE TURLEY BLOG AT LEAST FIVE TIMES A DAY. HOWEVER THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOT DENYING THAT THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF READS THIS BLOG AND CONSULTS ITS DAILY ENTRIES LIKE A STAR CHART EVERY MORNING.
50 thoughts on “HEY LOOK, THE WHITE HOUSE SEAL IS NOW ON THE TURLEY BLOG!”
The seal of lunacy…
This reminds me of the dispute between the FBI and Wikipedia over the display of the FBI seal. Wikipedia’s lawyers had a field day with that one, writing the FBI and stating in part “While we appreciate your desire to revise the statute to reflect your expansive vision of it, the fact is that we must work with the actual language of the statute”.
You can read about it here:
Bruce in Jersey,
As I said earlier … it’s party time.
Great SNL story.
No one better tell the POTUS that Saturday Night Live or better known as SNL has had segments about the Office…..
“Saturday Night Live” was formed in the crucible of the mid-1970s, when Watergate brought respect for politicians to all-time lows, the counterculture was taking over comedy, and many television viewers were seeking out something fresh and bold.
It was a powerful combination — and after 34 years, the combination of “SNL” and politics can still strike sparks among political observers.
The most recent example came this past weekend when Fred Armisen, as President Obama, chided “those on the right” for saying that he was “turning this great country into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.”
Dredd 1, April 26, 2011 at 9:52 am
The seal of the people’s house belongs to the people.
…made in China…
Bruce you were kidding, right?
Hey Elaine, “Birther Bob?” Love it! You should copyright that.
Otteray Scribe in response to Raff regarding tin-foil hats and black helicopters: …” do know the CIA and KGB have had those capabilities for years. They use GPS satellites to watch our every movement with the implants they put in while we are asleep.”
Uh, that’s the CIA, Apple and Google with the GPS thingy. As I recall from my primary sources Skully and Mulder, the subcutaneous implants are by the FBI and first-contact with ET is the provenance of FEMA. It’s getting to the point that we need a spreadsheet to know which rogue agencies are in charge of what.
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