The NEA Flirts with Propaganda

Andrew Klavan writes:

It’s hard out here on us creative types right now. When times are tough, truth and beauty sink pretty low on the national shopping list. The NEA, according to its own website, is “the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts.” It gives tens of millions of dollars a year in grants to artists and art organizations. It does this, according to the legislation that established it, to “help create and sustain not only a climate encouraging freedom of thought, imagination, and inquiry but also the material conditions facilitating the release of this creative talent.” It is there, in other words, to protect artists’ freedom from the corrupting influence of financial deprivation.
The transcript of this phone call proves that the NEA has deeply betrayed that mission. Corrupted by the White House, it has moved to corrupt the artists who look to it for their daily bread. It doesn’t matter that it didn’t actually offer these artists money in exchange for propaganda; its very presence on the line constituted an implied offer of access. It doesn’t matter that the artists on the call were already Obama supporters. Simply by presenting a mission that excluded those who did not support the president’s agenda, the NEA violated the very first principle of its establishing legislation: “The arts and the humanities belong to all the people of the United States.”

This is another item getting most of its play on Andrew Breitbart sites and Fox News — and it is plainly a story that the mainstream media would do well to cover. It also illustrates that actual reporting on specific misdeeds is a far more fruitful tactic for conservative media outlets than hyperbolic, opinionated rants about the supposed nefariousness of all liberals. I’m curious to see what is coming next.