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This week, Glenn Beck has broadcast a series of shows covering the National Endowment for the Arts’ attempt to influence artists to participate in propaganda programs for the Obama Administration (see videos below). To be specific, Beck did several interviews with Patrick Courrielche, a blogger for BigHollywood.com. During the interview, Mr. Courrielche told Beck that the NEA had sent out mass emails to many artists and bloggers, and that he had participated in a conference call with the NEA (that he recorded and that Beck played on his show) in which Yosi Sergant of the NEA said the following—
“We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally.”
And, Mr. Sergant also said this little gem—
“Take photos. Take video. Post it on your blogs. Get the word out. Like I said, this is a community that knows how to make a stink. Do it.”
OK folks—this story is a big deal for three reasons. Number one is that the National Endowment for the Arts is is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. Independent is the operative word here. In other words, the NEA shouldn’t be bringing any community together to “speak with the government.”
The second reason that this is a big deal is because, like it or not, pop culture influences elections. We all remember the will.i.am “Yes we can!” video and the Obama HOPE poster, right? Moreover, a tax-payer funded independent agency of the US federal government should not be involved in ANY kind of behavior that could be perceived as trying to influence elections.
And finally, the third reason that this NEA business is a big deal is because of the Skool-Aid (H/T to $peciallist for the creative name)—i.e, the Obama Administration’s recent foray into public education. Our own Steve Foley and Caleb Howe have both reported extensively on this subject, and Michelle Malkin has as well. (Furthermore, it should be noted that no other past president has ever proposed this kind of “lesson plan” when speaking to school children.) In fact, Malkin walks us through some of the details of Skool-Aid when she writes the following—
Education Secretary Arne Duncan dispatched letters to principals nationwide boasting that “This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation’s school children about persisting and succeeding in school.” But the goal is not merely morale-boosting. According to White House event-related guides developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching Fellows, grade-school students will be told to “listen to the speech” and “could think about the following:”
*What is the President trying to tell me?
*What is the President asking me to do?
*What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?
• Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
After the speech, teachers will ask students:
*What do you think the President wants us to do?
*Does the speech make you want to do anything?
*Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
Now, in a vacuum, the NEA emails and conference calls to all kinds of artists wouldn’t be all that bad. Well, I take that back—they would be bad, but not extremely damaging. However, the NEA stink that Glenn Beck reported on, coupled with the Skool-Aid, is starting to make the Obama Administration look like they are engaging in blatant propaganda and indoctrination. Now, I realize that propaganda and indoctrination are heavy handed words, but hey, facts are facts. And if the Lanvin sneaker fits, well……
Oh, and in conclusion, I almost forgot the most important part of this whole saga—George W. Bush. Yes, you heard me correctly—I said George W. Bush. Now, I know what you are asking—“Susannah, how in the heck does George W. Bush fit into all of this?” Well, I’ll tell you. Simply put, if the Bush administration (or any other past president for that matter), had been engaging in the same tomfoolery that the Obama administration has been recently (i.e., the Skool-Aid and the NEA funny business), those same artists that made all of those posters and videos for Barack Obama would be screaming “fascist!” at the top of their lungs. Just sayin’.
Update: The Washington Times has an excellent editorial that contains even more details regarding The NEA acting as a propaganda arm of the White House. I highly recommend it.
This diary is cross-posted on The Minority Report.