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In re: NEA Scandal, What Wasn’t Recorded?
(At NEA & other agencies)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - September 21, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Democratic Scandals,New Media

As we bloggers pore over the tape and transcripts showing Obama Administration officials attempting to use the National Endowment for the Arts to further its political ends, I got to wondering how much of this politicking goes on in the various departments and agencies of the federal government that has not been recorded?

I’m betting there is a lot of this going on in the Obama Administration.   Only this time, someone with access to conservative media was in on the call.

UPDATE:  I expect to blog on this matter later today, but the thought just struck me as I was reading the blogs and the web and preparing my posts for the day.

UP-UPDATE:  Best stuff I’ve read so far is Roger Kimball’s piece on the renaming of the NEA as the National Endowment for Propaganda (via Glenn) and John Hinderaker’s long post (but well worth your time).*  Like me, John wonders why Buffy Wicks (of the Orwellian-sounding Office of Public Engagement) hasn’t been let go or reassigned:

First, if Yosi Sergant was “reassigned” for sending out the email [announcing the call], how about Ms. Wicks? The NEA’s reassignment of Sergant was an acknowledgement that the effort by a government agency to enlist artists in support of a partisan agenda was improper. The NEA’s mild disciplinary action suggests that the call was the action of a relatively low-level employee who got carried away. But it wasn’t. It was sponsored by the White House and was led by the deputy to one of President Obama’s closest friends and advisers. This was no marginal, rogue operation. It was, rather, an element of Barack Obama’s political strategy.

Second, the operation may well have been illegal. Public funds are not supposed to be expended to support partisan projects. Beyond that, it is unconstitutional to grant or deny federal funds on the basis of the recipient’s political actions or opinions.National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley.  The NEA is the single largest funder of the arts, and several participants in the August 10 conference call had recently received NEA checks. It would have been entirely reasonable for those on the phone call to conclude that future NEA funding could be influenced by their willingness to play ball with the Obama administration’s political agenda.

My expectation is that Buffy’s will be soon joining Van Jones in the nonprofit sector.  As Mr. Sergant’s reassignment should be to a job where he is not on the public payroll.  Conservatives should not let up until the White House says bye, bye to Buffy.

UP-UP-UPDATE:  Talented artist Jude (I’ve heard him sing, really quite good) offers:

This whole administration really needs to stop campaigning and start governing within the boundaries set for government within our society. . . .

These people don’t play by the rules because they believe they are right and the rest of us be damned.  Or, they may not even know they’re not supposed to be doing this stuff and just think they’re running the high school now, so there.

Read the whole thing!

*And I’ve only just begun to scan the blogs.

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6 Comments

  1. ARTIST UNITE!!!. PROPAGANDA IS NOT ART. IT MAY BE A LEGITIMATE POLITICAL EXPRESSION AND EVERY ARTIST HAS THE RIGHT TO PRODUCE SUCH WORK. BUT DO NOT BE CONFUSED. IT IS NOT ART. NO GALLERY WILL LEGITIMATELY SHOW IT AND/OR SELL IT. NO MUSEUM WILL INCLUDE IT EXCEPT MAYBE AS AN EXAMPLE OF PROPAGANDA OF THE TIME. COLLECTORS WILL NOT BUY IT AND ART CRITICS WILL IGNORE IT OR REVIEW IT AT THEIR PERIL, RISKING BEING ACCUSED OF A LACK OF CRITICAL LEGITIMACY AND BEING IGNORED. FINALLY AND MAYBE MOST IMPORTANTLY; EXCEPT FOR LIKE MINDED AND LIKE ACTING OTHER ARTISTS, REAL ARTISTS WILL SHUN YOUR WORK AS LACKING ARTISTIC LEGITIMACY AND YOU PERSONALLY AS A POLITICAL SELL OUT. DO NOT FALL FOR THE CALL TO PRODUCE PROPAGANDA.

    Comment by Kate — September 21, 2009 @ 7:48 pm - September 21, 2009

  2. The whole thing stinks to high heaven…. heads should roll…. and if there is a way of linking the L-I-C to this action… then there are grounds for impeachment….

    Comment by thestraightaussie — September 21, 2009 @ 7:50 pm - September 21, 2009

  3. Read this new truth web site
    It has all the latest Obama Democrat Big Government corruption. Questions about the latest NEA corruption?
    Read it……very interesting….
    http://biggovernment.com/

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 21, 2009 @ 9:20 pm - September 21, 2009

  4. #1

    I don’t think many will give a crap as long as they can feed at Uncle Sugar’s tit. Money for nuthin’ and chicks for free.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 22, 2009 @ 4:30 am - September 22, 2009

  5. I remember when the Republicans in Congress fought to limit the NEA and wanted it to refuse to fund anything anti Christian , anti American policy, etc, and how hard the Left fought against the politicization of the NEA. Now they are doing the same thing, trying to turn it into a propaganda machine. I thought we clamped down on this can of worms. But they want to re-open it.

    Are they nuts? If they do this, what do they think will happen under the next Republican presidency?

    Or do they want to see a world where artists are refused funding depending on who is in the white house? And artists will preferentially get funding depending on how much propaganda they create? because that is the next logical step after recruiting them.

    This is a good reason non profits and artists should avoid taking government money. It’s like taking money from the mob.

    Comment by plutosdad — September 22, 2009 @ 12:36 pm - September 22, 2009

  6. This whole administration really needs to stop campaigning and start governing within the boundaries set for government within our society. . . .

    Why? No one else has, at least not since FDR if not before.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — September 22, 2009 @ 1:51 pm - September 22, 2009

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