9
Mar/03

Reading Other People's Mail – Lynne Cheney v. WhiteHouse.Org


Time on their hands.  The Counsel to the Vice President (of the U.S.) wrote a demand letter to the operator of whitehouse.org asking that it remove this fictitious bio of the VP’s wife, Mrs. Cheney.  Some might view the fake bio to be political speech.  The VP’s lawyer believes that the disclaimer indicating that the website is a parody is insufficent.  They’re probably bummed about the clown-nose photo as well.  Perhaps VP Cheney has coulrophobia. 

Go to the site - you be the judge.

I appreciate that the government should incur expense for ensuring Mrs. Cheney’s physical safety.  However, while the letter does mention mis-use of the presidential seal, the thrust of the letter alleges violations of Mrs. Cheney’s rights of privacy and publicity, torts suggesting economic harm.  As such, it’s interesting that the government pays for the lawyer (I’m not familiar with the law on this – if you are, please share).

Practitioner’s Note: Further proof that protesting something is the best way to ensure its universal dissemination.

Side note: in checking this out I mis-typed and wound up at www.whitehous.org, which I recognize from previous matters as a Zuccarini typo-site. Don’t hit that link if you don’t want to spend several hours killing pop-up ads.   It’s great that children might be searching for info on the White House and find “Hanky-Panky-College.”

Further aside: Coulrophobia is the term for fear of clowns.  I read that on the Volokh Conspiracy so it must be true.