Don't these Secret Service agents have any real criminals to hunt down?
President Obama target game gets feds' attention
By Christopher Baxter, OF THE MORNING CALL
11:05 p.m. EDT, August 4, 2010
The Secret Service is investigating a Hellertown amusement company's use of a target-shooting game that challenged players to hit the heart and head of an image resembling President Barack Obama.
Irvin Good Jr., president of Goodtime Amusements, said Wednesday he didn't imean to offend anyone by offering "Alien Attack" at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Big Time fair in Roseto. But the game sparked a complaint.
"I guess we made an error in judgment, and we apologize for that," said Good, who has had the game for about six weeks. "I voted for the man. It wasn't meant to be him. If they took it that way, we apologize."
The game's target is a painting of a black man in a suit who is holding a scroll labeled "Health Bill." He sports a belt buckle fashioned after the presidential seal, antennae and a troll doll on his shoulder.
Players paid $1 per shot, or $5 for six shots, to fire foam darts at targets on his head and heart. Those who hit their mark won a stuffed animal.
Cindy Wofford, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office of the Secret Service, said her agents are looking into the game and will determine if there were any direct or indirect threats to the president. They will share their findings with the U.S. attorney's office.
"We take these kinds of things very seriously," Wofford said. [Of course they do! It's a jobs program for Secret Service agents. If they didn't take every trivial threat seriously they would have to fire 99 percent of their agents. It's a jobs program for these over paid police thugs]
The White House issued a statement Wednesday through spokeswoman Moira Mack saying it disapproves of using the president's name and likeness for commercial purposes. The longstanding policy precedes Obama. [I guess the 1st Amendment is null and void when it comes to making political fun of the President]
Federal law prohibits anyone from knowingly displaying any print or likeness of the presidential seal. [This law is almost certainly unconstitutional. It's only purpose is to supress free speech that mocks the President!] Violators can face a fine and up to six months in prison. The U.S attorney's office in Philadelphia declined to comment on the matter.
Good said the game's design periodically changes and has again been changed to no longer depict the image of the man. It was designed by one of his workers, Good said, and he should have realized it would create a problem. Goodtime Amusements has been in business for 26 years, he said.
Good said he received one complaint about the game after it first appeared. He decided to remove it if another person complained, which happened during the recent Roseto fair, which dates to 1883 and raises money for the church's school.
The Rev. Jim Prior of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a parish of the Catholic Diocese of Allentown, was not available for comment, according to a woman who answered the phone Wednesday at the church. Matt Kerr, spokesman for the diocese, said Prior would have pulled the game if he'd known it was there.
But Kathryn Chapman of Medford, Mass., said her family told the church about the game. She visited the fair July 24 as part of her family's reunion, which has been held in Roseto for decades to celebrate the family's roots in the borough, named after Roseto Valfortore of Italy.
She said her brother, Bob, noticed the game the night before and told her she had to see it. When she visited the next day with her 14-year-old son, she said, she was flabbergasted.
"I couldn't believe they would have a game where you could shoot any president, George W. Bush or President Obama, and that there were targets on his forehead and heart, and that you would win a prize for shooting the target," Chapman said. [If you ask me the game should have an option of picking the President you want to shoot. Some people would rather put a few rounds thru Bush then Obama]
"You got a stuffed animal for becoming a sniper," she said.
She said she spoke with the operator of the game and later with Good, both of whom cited "freedom of speech." Good said he told Chapman he would remove the game. But Chapman said the last thing Good told her was, "I don't care what you think."
Other members of her family spoke with church members, who said they were unaware of the game, she said. Chapman said if the game's maker disagreed with the health care bill, the game should have been shooting darts at the bill, not the president.
"What are these messages we're sending our kids?" Chapman said. "The fact that this was held on Catholic Church property blows my mind."
Roseto Council President Michael Romano said he didn't see the game at the fair and did not receive any complaints. But he said the depiction was "clearly Obama" and was in "poor taste," especially considering the number of young children at the fair.
"I was sad to hear it was there," Romano said. He added that Goodtime should guarantee that there will be no other political satire-type games in the future. The diocese's Kerr said using the company will be up to the parish.