Beck sought $25,000 for bobblehead of president in fake urine
Glenn Beck's "Obama in Pee Pee," a work of art he created Tuesday by dunking a bobblehead of the president in fake urine, has been pulled from eBay after Beck sought to sell it there for $25,000.
Beck's website said the item had been "removed by eBay" and urged visitors to "stay tuned" for plans on how the auction would continue. EBay said in a statement to TheWrap that it "prohibits the sale of items that include bodily fluid."
But despite it's name, "Obama in Pee Pee" does not contain bodily fluid, according to Beck. He said on BlazeTV Tuesday that the amber liquid in which he dumped a flag-draped Obama statuette is actually beer.
Nonethless, eBay said, the listing "referenced bodily fluids, which is a violation of our policy."
The company said in a letter to Beck, posted on his website: "Even if the liquid in the jar is not urine, you are describing it as such. We do not allow this type of listing and we ask that you do not relist this in any way."
Beck created the work to suggest the hypocrisy of people who object to an image of the president soaked in urine, but don't object to the use of Christian iconography. He was responding to a painting now hanging in a Boston community college art gallery, "Truth," which depicts Obama hanging on a cross with a crown of thorns. Beck was also reacting to the 1987 photo "Piss Christ," which depicts a crucifix in urine.
But Beck's attempted statement about how others see the First Amendement took a new turn when it was pulled from eBay. If the website shut down the auction — as it sometimes does with controversial or potentially illegal auctions — it would raise questions about whether it shut down Beck's views in the process.
While Beck rails against big government, this wouldn't be an issue of government censorship, since eBay is not a government agency. But one could argue it's a case of the company shutting down unpopular speech.
EBay did not respond to a request for comment on the free expression issue.
Former eBay president Meg Whitman is active in Republican politics, though Beck is widely seen as out of the Republican mainstream because of his sometimes outrageous statements and fondness for complicated conspiracy theories.
Beck has said he plans to donate the $25,000 he is seeking for the work to charity. The bidding climbed as high as $11,300 before eBay cut off the auction.