QoTD, Promises, Promises edition.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman*, on why the federal government needs to subsidize mimes:

“The marketplace shouldn’t be the sole determinant of what is allowed to flourish,” Landesman said, adding that the renowned San Francisco Mime Troupe would likely not be able to survive solely on ticket sales.

Given that the renowned San Francisco Mime Troupe – no, I’ve never heard of them, either – apparently also can’t survive solely on private philanthropy, perhaps the marketplace is merely giving here what we in the agitprop business call a subtle hint.

Via Ace of Spades HQ Headlines.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*No, I’m not going to make fun of his name.

Friday snarkfest: Gutfeld, MSNBC & the NEA. #rsrh

[UPDATE] It’s Greg Gutfeld, sorry. Shout-out to Little Miss Attila for the correction; hit her tip jar, and all that.

I am almost going to miss MSNBC, once it goes away. Which I suspect that it will: ‘white guys screaming incoherently’ is less demographic gold than you’d think, unless you’re Greg Gutfeld and mocking it savagely.

Via The Other McCain. Seeing as I only watch MSNBC when somebody catches them doing something dumb – OK, I guess that that does mean that I watch MSNBC, then – anyway, I’ve never seen this Dylan Ratigan guy before, I think.  Presumably, I won’t have the opportunity for too much longer, either.  Unless they score a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, of course.  Contra Reason (and via Instapundit), we’re always going to have the NEA around anyway, if only because the Left would whine so about cutting it; and at this point subsidizing MSNBC as performance art almost makes a crazy kind of sense…

Breaking: Yosi Sergant fired in NEA payola scandal.

ACORN/OFA crony Buffy Wicks unaffected.  Of course.

Another win for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government. Jake Tapper has the details:

Embattled former National Endowment for the Arts communications director Yosi Sergant is out of a job. Late this afternoon, the NEA released a short statement saying, “This afternoon Yosi Sergant submitted his resignation from the National Endowment for the Arts. His resignation has been accepted and is effective immediately.” The agency provided no further details.

Sergant had been under scrutiny after leading a controversial conference call on August 10, where he encouraged artists to create work to promote the Obama administration’s agenda. Sergant was initially removed from his post as communications director, but continued to work at the NEA.

See also here for more, including a link to new guidelines for the NEA.  The firing is not surprising, considering the way that Sergant was hung out to dry by his superiors. No word yet whether ACORN / Obama for America crony Buffy Wicks will suffer a similar sanction – or, indeed, any punishment at all for attempting to set up a shadow Ministry of Propaganda within the American governmental system.

It’s supposed to look ominous when written out like that. That’s because it is.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

A roundup of the NEA propaganda scandal.

here’s not much to say about the NEA propaganda scandal that hasn’t been said by others, but a link round-up will be hopefully useful for those getting up to speed.

  • We begin here with the Big Government articles themselves.  Summary: transcripts and audio reveal that the conference call of August 10th involving the federal agencies NEA, United We Serve, and the Office of Public Engagement; and various artist groups‘ involved the explicit recruitment of said artists’ groups to assist in pushing the administration’s legislative agenda.
  • This despite claims by the NEA that said call did not pursue any legislative agenda.
  • Note also that OPE Deputy Director (and Valerie Jarrett crony) Buffy Wicks has long-standing ties with ACORN.
  • Patterico points out the obvious: that both the NEA and the administration lied when they claimed that no legislative agenda was addressed.  Despite the fact that this call was ostensibly hosted by Michael Skolnik, Skolnik explicitly stated that he was working on the behest of the NEA and the White House – a claim that was not refuted either by Deputy Director Wicks or at-the-time NEA Director of Communications Yosi Sergant (both of whom were on the call).  For that matter, the primary interest of Nell Abernathy, director of outreach for United We Serve (also on the call) is to make clear that Skolnik is the cutout between the artists’ groups and the government.
  • I should point out at this point that Sergant is, of course, linked with Shepard Fairey, who had his own representative on the call.
  • Ace of Spades notes that Winner & Associates were on the conference call as well.  You may remember them; they were a Axelrod-affiliated PR group that got traced back as being behind some rather nasty anti-Palin fake grassroots astroturf during the election last year.  They were apparently on the call at the invitation of OPE Director Wicks.
  • You can refresh your memory of the Winner Incident here at The Jawa Report.  How interesting that they were there, and invited by an administration official, no less.
  • Ace of Spades, again, quotes Slublog on the Hatch Act.  As in, this is actually technically forbidden by federal statute (I personally note ‘technically’ because Hatch Act prosecutions are few and far between).
  • Ed Morrissey has what is probably the line of the day (“We do not fund the NEA for it to produce Leni Riefenstahl-type art”), and notes that the Washington Times would like help tracking down some of the call participants.
  • And finally, I would like to remind everybody reading this that groups involved in pushing the administration’s health care agenda had racked up roughly 2 million dollars in grants from the NEA prior to it.

So… the administration lied about their role in a conference call that was nakedly about using NEA client groups to pursue an explicitly pro-administration agenda – a call that, when revealed, resulted in an immediate reassignment of an NEA staffer and an attempt to scrub the record.  Of the groups involved, at least one was not an actual artist organization, and it was made clear throughout the call that the goal was to create partisan political materials, not nonpartisan art.  And, of course, the players involved were all of them affiliated with each other in various, sundry, and in some cases non-artistic ways.

But sure, other than all of that we have nothing to worry about.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Big Government going after NEA next?

Regarding Ace’s thoughtful sound about Patterico’s speculation on what Andrew Breitbart has scheduled for our enjoyment this week: PUNCH Politics reminds us that transferred NEA/Ministry of Information staffer Yosi Sergant was partnered with “HOPE” artist Shepard Fairey.  Which may explain why Big Government went to the trouble of pointing out the tagging done against Fairey last week.  It’s a nice transition: ACORN to Fairey to Sergant… and if you don’t think that mainstream journalists aren’t keeping track of what Big Government is running now, well.

Moe Lane

PS: It really is that incestuous, among the professional activists of the Left.

Crossposted to RedState.

Art for politics’ sake.

Via Instapundit, the funniest thing that you’ll read all day.  From Patrick Courrielche:

I find it hard to believe that the Obama Joker creator is the only serious detractor (assuming that it is a critical commentary) within the art community. And I’m sure the incendiary criticism will keep others from creating similar images. But regardless of political affiliation, the art community must embrace all rational dissenters. Art must not exclusively serve the interests of any presidential administration.

(Bolding mine) Not because any of it’s actually wrong, of course.  Well, at least it’s not ‘wrong’ in the narrow, technical sense of ‘general ethical guidelines.’  In the more important sense of ‘elementary political reality,’ on the other hand I suppose he can’t be more wrong.  In that sense, art of the type that Mr. Courrielche apparently produces is expected to exclusively serve the interests of a Presidential administration, assuming that the President is a Democrat.  If the President is a Republican, then the art is expected to exclusively serve the interests of the Democratic party in general.  Quid pro quo.  The Democrats make sure that Mr. Courrielche – or at least his friends – have enough NEA grant money to survive; surely he doesn’t think that this largess was being given out for free?

Most artists would not want to be referred to as tools of the state, but in the case of Obama’s administration, that’s exactly what they’ve been so far.

Bless me, but I think that he very possibly did.  I don’t know whether to be disgusted, or envious.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.