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White House to Onion: Stop using seal

Symbol 'being used inappropriately,' says spokesman

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George W. Bush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House is not amused by The Onion, a newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration, and has asked it to stop using the presidential seal on its Web site.

The seal was still on the Web site www.theonion.com on Tuesday at the spot where President George W. Bush's weekly radio address is parodied.

With headlines like "Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country" and "Bush Subconsciously Sizes Up Spain For Invasion," The Onion is popular with readers looking for a little laughter with their politics.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said people who work in the executive mansion do have a sense of humor, but not when it comes to breaking regulations.

"When any official sign or seal is being used inappropriately the party is notified," Duffy said.

"You cannot pick and choose where to enforce that rule. It's important that the seal or any White House insignia not be used inappropriately," he said.

Duffy said while he does not personally read The Onion, he admitted knowing others in the White House who do. "Like everyone else, we like a good laugh."

Scott Dikkers, editor-in-chief of the satirical newspaper, said its lawyer disagrees with the White House assessment.

"I've been seeing the presidential seal used in comedy programs most of my life and to my knowledge none of them have been asked not to use it by the White House," Dikkers said.

"I would advise them to look for that other guy Osama (bin Laden) ... rather than comedians. I don't think we pose much of a threat," Dikkers said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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