Via Mediaite. The producers say it’s not political and that they used him just because they happened to have a spare Bush head lying around (what?), but Gothamist wants so badly to believe that it’s a Gesture Of Defiance towards our deposed Hitler that I almost hope for their sake that it’s deliberate.

The perfunctory denial:

HBO responded to CBSNewYork.com’s request for comment on Wednesday night, offering the following statement from Benioff and Weiss:

“What happened was this: we use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush. In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”

On the one hand, given the heat they were bound to take for something like this, seems weird that they’d do it with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it brevity. If you’re going to put a president’s head on a pike, you might as well make sure people notice. On the other hand, they are making sure that people notice, right? If they hadn’t mentioned it in the episode commentary, no one ever would have spotted it. Go figure that they’d make a high-profile political splash at a moment when they’re trying to drum up publicity for their DVDs.

Exit question: Innocent prop placement or no? After eight years of insanely hyperbolic Bush hatred, it’s hard to give anyone the benefit of the doubt anymore.