Power Line's John Hinderaker has the background on the White House summons to NEA grantees to propangandize for the Obama agenda.
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.Read the rest.
Novelist Andrew Klavan responds to this tactic:
But as subtle as the effects may be, the rule is ironclad: the more areas of life are funded and regulated by government, the less free you are, and the more corrupt and servile you ultimately become.RTR.
[. . .]
Through the work of artist and blogger Patrick Courrielche, Andrew Breitbart’s new website Big Government—reporting the news so the mainstream media won’t have to—has just released a sickening transcript of an August 10 conference call jointly hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve, an initiative overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. The purpose of the call was to urge a group of pro-Obama artists to get out there and start creating art that would support the president’s agenda on health care, the environment, education, and community services. Speaking at the request of “folks in the White House and folks in the NEA,” Michael Skolnick, political director for Obama-mad hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, told the assembled artists, “All of us who are on this phone call were selected for a reason, and you are the ones that lead by example in your communities. You are the thought leaders. You are the ones that, if you create a piece of art, or promote a piece of art or create a campaign for a company, and tell our country and our young people sort of what do and what to be into, and what’s cool and what’s not cool.”
As an artist, I feel it incumbent upon myself to pause here to become violently ill.
Roger Kimball comments:
But the White House explains that it was just a "misunderstanding."
It is an amazing document, breathtaking and alarming by turns. I knew that the Obama administration was moving fast to socialize the United States. I had no idea that its efforts at enforcing conformity through propaganda had reached such an advanced stage.
"The point of the call was to encourage voluntary participation in a national service initiative by the arts community," White House spokesman Bill Burton told ABC News. "To the extent there was any misunderstanding about what the NEA may do to support the national service initiative, we will correct it. We regret any comments on the call that may have been misunderstood or troubled other participants. We are fully committed to the NEA's historic mission, and we will take all steps necessary to ensure that there is no further cause for questions or concerns about that commitment."Especially when they're being recorded.
[. . . ]
Today White House officials are meeting with the chiefs of staff of the executive branch agencies to discuss rules and best practices in this area, a conversation during which they will be told that that while White House lawyers do not believe that the NEA call violated the law, "the appearance issues troubled some participants," Burton said. "It is the policy of the administration that grant decisions should be on the merits and that government officials should avoid even creating the incorrect appearance that politics has anything to do with these decisions."
How about Congress calling for an investigation? And while we're at it, let's just abolish the NEA.
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