Bush Derangement Syndrome, or just another case of 'free speech?'
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- An Alameda artist got a surprise visit from the U.S. Secret Service last week for displaying artwork some people thought was threatening to the president, NBC11's Jodi Hernandez reported.
Artist Michael McDonald, 55, routinely displays art in his front yard. One of his latest pieces is a cardboard representation of President George W. Bush being impaled by a knife.
The cutout shows painted blood running over the president's eyes and down the bridge of his nose.
McDonald said the piece intended to spark discussion about controversial topics.
"The knife is used as a hook, basically to bring you into the piece," McDonald said.
McDonald said the Secret Service grilled him for 90 minutes about his art and his beliefs, Hernandez reported. They also asked him to allow access to his medical records, he said.
McDonald said the federal agents asked if he interpreted his work as a threat against the country's chief executive. He said he didn't.
"They said, 'You've got a knife sitting in the head of the president of the United States,'" McDonald said. "I said, 'No, I got a knife in a piece of cardboard.'"
The display prompted at least three people to complain, Hernandez reported.
Jeff Segurson said he was so disturbed, he called the police.
"I don't think he's a threat to the president, but I don't think it's the best thing for this to be out here with the knife and the F-word and the blood all over the president. I don't think it's that respectful," Segurson said.
McDonald said the art is in no way meant to threaten the president, but to get people thinking about Bush's policies and the war in Iraq.
Yes, when I see photos like the ones over at the linked story, it sure makes me think 'gee, what's our goal in Iraq.' It certainly doesn't make me think 'here's a real lunatic, who also happens to take the Holocaust pretty lightly.'