I first read about a conference call to the National Endowment for the Arts a few weeks ago. It has been flying under the radar because of ACORN and the health care 'debate', but it is time it gets some attention. Why now? Because there is more afoot than just a phone call.
First of all, why should a conference call with the NEA be of concern? Well, the topic of the call was how the various artists funded by the NEA (which, in turn, is funded by our taxpayer dollars), could help the Obama administration 'get the word out' about the president and some of his major policies that the administration is pushing, such as health care and cap and trade.
This is a big no-no - taxpayer dollars are not allowed to be used to push political agendas. This is one of the big beefs people have with ACORN (yes, it all does come back to ACORN!), and for good reason. Watering the weeds of far-left organizations from the seemingly bottomless, yet ever drier well of taxpayer funding is a bad thing - our very own grass roots are feeling the pain of it already.
For the Executive Office to initiate a phone call to the National Endowment for the Arts to work with them on a campaign to help pass legislation is questionable, at best.
No matter how you slice it, it's propaganda, pure and simple.
Now the administration wants to 'set up guidelines' to make sure something like this never happens again. What bothers me about this is that their statement implies ignorance of the rules. But this quote from Yosi Sargent, the (now ex-) NEA representative from the actual phone call, tells a different story (emphasis mine):
""This is just the beginning," Sergant says on the call. "This is the first telephone call of a brand new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally. We're still trying to figure out the laws of putting government websites of Facebook and the use of Twitter. This is all being sorted out. We are participating in history as it's being made, so bear with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely. And we can really work together to move the needle to get stuff done.""
They knew that what they were setting up was illegal, and they were/are in the process of finding ways around those laws.
Tweaking the system, you might say.
So now the administration is 'setting up guidelines'. Hey, I've got a guideline for you, champ - don't dictate to artists what propaganda you need them to produce. Not even suggestions. In my opinion, political art should automatically be exempt from governmental funding, period. That is what private sponsors are for.
The left collectively roll their eyes when some point to the socialist (progressive, thankyouverymuch) theme this administration seems to be adopting and try to shame their critics, claiming paranoia and ridiculousness. But then something like this comes to light, and all those niggling doubts come back to the fore. This, in combination with an unprecedented power-grab and in-the-tank media harkens back to eastern European socialist bloc countries of days gone by.
The media, for the most part, has already morphed into Pravda West, merely taking dictation from the White House and Congress instead of reporting news, and now our art communities are working on their very best Leni Riefenstahl impressions.
No, I'm not calling Obama Hitler. Those crazy Lyndon LaRouche democrats seem to have cornered that market. However, Leni was propagandizing a socialist utopia, and quite magnificently, too.
It just seems as though this attempt at propagandizing our art communities is yet another check mark on some list.
Doesn't the fact that they knew this wasn't allowed, and yet still tried to do it anyway say anything?
Propaganda is priceless, especially when one is promoting the Cult of Personality.