Monday, October 24, 2005
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.'
The newspaper parodies President Bush's weekly radio address on its Web site, accompanied by a picture of President Bush and the official insignia.
The Onion's lawyer, Rochelle H. Klaskin, countered the government's letter by saying, 'It is inconceivable that anyone would think that, by using the seal, The Onion intends to 'convey... sponsorship or approval' by the president.'
Klaskin also asked that the Onion be considered fro an official exception to the rule, which is allowable by law.
The Onion distributes 500,000 copies a week, and three million people read the paper online, according to the Times. "