At NRO’s Corner, former National Endowment for the Humanities deputy chair Lynne Munson adds:
In Patrick Courrieliche’s latest Big Hollywood post regarding the National Endowment for the Arts, he reveals that the federal agency is now refusing to return calls from the media. The Boston Globe, Washington Times, and Fox News have called to inquire about the leadership role the agency recently took in arranging and hosting a conference call in which artists (read: potential grantees) were “encouraged” to agitate in favor of the president’s agenda, including health care. I posted previously on how unethical it is to ask potential grantees to engage in politics. And how outrageous it is to do all of this while sitting in your office at a federal agency? Now, to make things worse, the agency has decided to cut itself off from the press. Not only does this look bad — it is wrong. The appointees who are refusing to explain themselves to the press and the public are public servants. Their $100k+ salaries are paid out of the NEA’s $160+ million budget (up $5 million in Obama’s first year). The NEA and NEH are not ivory towers. They are taxpayer-funded agencies and their appointees need to remember to whom they report: us.
This story represents a huge scandal involving the corrupt misuse of a government agency. The mainstream media, however, have already enlisted in the cause that the government agency is peddling, and the dereliction of the media is appreciated by the public servants answering to our Dear Leader.