Michael Luke / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- A new sign disparaging President Barack Obama has been erected at an Uptown home. But unlike previous signs, one which had the president crying in a diaper and caused a massive uproar, this one calls the president a liar.
This time, the president is portrayed as Pinocchio with a long nose. Playing on the school yard taunt “liar, liar, pants on fire,” flames flicker at the back of Obama, who asks U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, "You smell smoke?”
Holder, also dressed as Pinocchio and also with the long nose, replies, “Your pants are on fire.” Emblazoned above both men is one word: “Liar.”
In the famous Italian story, Pinocchio’s nose grows when he tells lies. The new sign also evokes a 2009 incident, when South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson interreputed an Obama speech before Congress, yelling, "You lie!" during the president's speech.
The home is owned by Timothy Reily. In September, several previous signs in Reily’s yard – one with Obama as a puppet, another with him wearing a dunce cap and one with him crying in diapers – created a controversy and initiated protests. The signs blasted Obama’s policies and lampooned his leadership.
In September, the protestors claimed that the earlier signs were racist and disrespected Obama.
"It disrespects the nation -- and President Barack Obama represents our nation," said Rev. Samson “Skip” Alexander, a local civil rights pioneer, during the protests. "He represents everybody, not some people."
So far, the Pinocchio sign has not created the crowds nor drawn protesters like the earlier signs.
"This is nothing but pure racism," said Raymond Rock, one of the protestors.
After dozens of people protested outside the home, a visit from former Mayor C. Ray Nagin and questions from the Councilwoman Susan Guidry whether the large signs violated zoning laws, the signs quietly came down.
Not all people were against the earlier signs. "He can put up a sign if he wants to. It doesn't bother me," said Harold Gagnet, a neighbor.
"I think it's fine. It's on his property," said Katherine deMontluzin. "He can say whatever he wants."