The White House tried to ignore the NEA scandal, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, but Andrew Breitbart made that impossible. Breitbart's Big Hollywood website posted audio of a conference call in which Obama administration officials asked "grant recipients to plug Barack Obama’s domestic agenda." That finally got media outlets interested, and the White House had "to do the obligatory issuance of 'new guidelines' to avoid a repeat."
A repeat of what, angry readers might ask, said Kevin Drum in Mother Jones. Conservatives are "going ape" over the intrigue at the National Endowment for the Arts, but all that happened was that "a White House flack and an NEA flack arranged a conference call with a bunch of artists and encouraged them to create artwork in support of the president's National Day of Service." The Right will regret making a big deal of this "nothingburger" unless another shoe drops.
Nice try, said Ben Shapiro in Big Hollywood. But at least six federal laws and regulations were violated when then–NEA communications director Yosi Sergant and White House Office of Public Engagement deputy director Buffy Wicks tried twisting the arms of artists and arts groups interested in getting federal arts grants. If Congress doesn't launch a full investigation, it is endorsing "the misuse of taxpayer funds."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- Keira Knightley on Laggies, relationships, and surviving your 20s
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Gamergate might be gaming sexism's Waterloo
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