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Lyle Zapato

GPM #11: The Terrible Secret Of State

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-03.6100 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots
Mayor Anthony Williams

Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and his friends, anti-segregationist Mary Church Terrell and 1920's baseball pitcher Walter "Big Train" Johnson, welcome you to Kids' Capital! Kids, be sure to click the shield on the top of the screen to learn the terrible secret of what lurks beneath the U.S. Capitol Building. Perhaps it is waiting FOR YOU!


Richard Pombo

This doesn't really fit with the normal GPM thesis, as it doesn't involve a unique mascot pushing a discernable agenda, but U.S. Congressman Richard Pombo (daguerreotype to the right) of the 11th Congressional District of California has created a kids page on his Government-allotted website so godawful that it deserves attention.

The actual content of the page isn't noteworthy or unusual -- mostly some "fun" "facts" about Congress, a few simple games, and links to other Government kids sites. However, this banality is turned into a sublime crime against all that is decent by the gratuitous use of stolen animated GIFs (including a dancing hillbilly critter band), embedded WAVs ripped from the Hampster Dance page and the incidental music from The Brady Bunch, and other examples of blatant copyright infringement and/or bad taste. To top it off, he includes one of those Javascript elastic mouse-trail things that are popular on GPM sites, only his seems specially engineered to trigger seizures. The only thing the site's missing is a voice in the background continuously saying "Welcome to POMBO!!!"

End of post.