So now our illustrious leader has called upon the services of the National Endowment of the Arts
; having them recruit artists (what would an artist not do for $$ in THIS economy?) to dole out artwork encouraging support for his agenda.
----------------Obama taints the artsGeorge Will
September 18, 2009
"This is just the beginning," Yosi Sergant told participants in an Aug. 10 conference call that seems to have been organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and certainly was joined by a functionary from the White House Office of Public Engagement. The call was the beginning of the end of Sergant's short tenure as NEA flack -- he has been reassigned. The call also was the beginning of a scandal that illuminates something gargantuan -- the Obama administration's incontinent lust to politicize everything.
Sergant's comments, made to many individuals and organizations from what is cloyingly called "the arts community," continued: "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." Wrong preposition. Not "with" the government, but for the government.
The NEA is the nation's largest single source of financial support for the arts, and its grants often prompt supplemental private donations. He who pays the piper does indeed call the tune, and in the four months before the conference call, 16 of the participating organizations received a total of nearly $2 million from the NEA. Two days after the call, the 16 and five other organizations issued a plea for the president's health-care plan.
Time was, artists were proudly adversarial regarding authority, the established order, etc. "Épater le bourgeois!" and all that. Now they are just another servile interest group seeking morsels from the federal banquet.