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Mysterious ‘George W. Bush: Our leader’ Clear Channel political public service billboard graces Orlando freeway

Raw Story | November 22 2004

A billboard recently put up in Orlando bearing a smiling photograph of President Bush with the words “Our Leader” is raising eyebrows among progressives who feel the poster is akin to that of propaganda used by tyrannical regimes.

RAW STORY confirmed the billboard’s existence Monday evening. At our behest, a member of an Orlando media organization drove past the billboard on two occasions and verified that it was indeed the one pictured.

The billboard pictured, which is on I-4, says that it is a “political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel Outdoor.”

The member, who declined to be named out of concern for their employer, discovered a second billboard bearing the same image along the same route, paid for by Charles W. Clayton Jr.

Clear Channel Outdoor Orlando said they could not respond to requests for comment this week because their press person was “away.” They referred calls to their San Antonio corporate parent, which did not return two messages for comment.

One Orlando resident penned a concerned letter to the (registration-restricted) Orlando Sentinel on Saturday about the billboard. As the site is restricted to members, the letter appears below.

“The first thing I thought was, when was the last time I have seen a president on a billboard?” wrote resident Dianna Lawson. “Didn’t Saddam Hussein have his picture up everywhere? What next, a statue?”

Reporters at the Orlando Sentinel told RAW STORY they’d also seen the photograph.

Others said they’d seen a similar sign in Jacksonville along I-95.

“We don’t do political advertising,” said Clear Channel sales representative Brad Parsons in Jacksonville. He said the photograph was bogus.

A second Jacksonville rep acknowledged the company did political advertising but only when paid for by a third party. When asked if he would look at the picture for verification, he declined to give out his email address.

The posted was first noticed by the liberal forum Democratic Underground.

Developing… Additional photographs forthcoming…

The letter in the Orlando Sentinel:

Billboard message

On my way to work Wednesday morning, I looked up and saw a giant billboard with a picture of George W. Bush and the words “OUR LEADER” under it. The first thing I thought was, when was the last time I have seen a president on a billboard? What is going on? Didn’t Saddam Hussein have his picture up everywhere? What next, a statue?

I am so concerned with our country and the division. I still stand by my vote, which was for John Kerry. George W. Bush has a lot of work to do to change the way I feel. Putting him up on a billboard does not make him a better president. His actions speak louder than words.

I wonder if anyone else finds the president’s picture on a billboard odd? I’m sorry, but it reminds me of countries with dictators, and it seems people are making him out to be the messiah, the savior of our world.

Fear, fear, fear. I’m tired of being afraid.

Dianna Lawson
Orlando

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GUESS WHO ELSE HAS BILLBOARDS! THAT'S RIGHT! KIM JONG-IL AND SADDAM HUSSEIN!