After you watch the three Glenn Beck video clips which describe how the unraveling of this particular little piece of obamanation took place, I am absolutely sure that you will be as outraged as I was. I have been an artist all my life; I went to art school on five different art scholarships, so I happened to take this particular incident very seriously. What I learned about this disturbed me greatly.
In essence, in early August, when it became quite clear that freedom loving patriotic Americans were not about to be marched over by the jack boots of the Obama White House on the Orwellian Obamacare Plan, (which includes RFID chipped national health ID cards, for starters) the White House apparently came up with the bright idea to make a conference call and to enlist some of the brightest talents in the USA arts community to help them “sell” some of Obama’s ideas via creative art, posters, images, video, flyers, et al. Apparently alot of the people called were the same Obama supporters who created the art, and images that helped “sell Obama as Messiah” to voting Americans in 2008. I am assuming the White House thought they would all just love to jump on the post-election campaign bandwagon once again and begin creating politically persuasive art for Obama once more.
Allow me to digress. It is flatly illegal for a sitting President to employ the National Endowment for the Arts in such a manner. The NEA is a public funded taxpayer supported Endowment for the Arts – just as it’s name implies. It IS NOT, I repeat – it IS NOT an organization which should be called upon to visually create political propaganda posters and videos to help a sitting President to sell his legislative plans to a skeptical public. This – like many other schemes which patriots have uncovered taking placed in the nine months since Obama has been elected, just wreaked of socialist / fascist tactics to achieve White House ends. it is something so low I don’t even think George W. Bush would have tried it.
In a stroke of absolute luck, or under the mysterious hand of the Holy Spirit moving in apparent Divine Intervention, one of the artists who was called by the White House began to feel very uncomfortable about being asked to create politically themed art and video for the Obama White House. He discreetly used a high tech Apple gadget to surreptitiously tape record the conference phone call, then went straight to Fox news with the tape recording, The rest is history.
In the three videos below in the article Glenn Beck interviews the artist and they play back sections of the taped phone call. Notice also what the caller coyly states about” the legality question” RE: putting government websites on Facebook.com and other locations online, and how to talk to one another “safely” – there is an inferred secrecy and illegitimacy in what they were planning that makes me furious. It just re-iterates my gut instinct that the people of this country need to watch Obama and his many Czars nonstop, or they will be behind closed doors doing just the opposite of anything that could remotely be called “transparency in government.”
The Obama White House was gearing up this summer (had this not all fortuitously come out in the open), to go after the young people of this nation with full tilt visual and web political propaganda, by employing their favorite social dating and networking tool to reach them, putting government sites up on Facebook.com which may or may not have even been identified as being government owned.
So what was the goal, or goals, of all this? The Obama White House laid out four target areas of legislation they wanted to have “promoted” for the White House which are detailed in the videos. I would just like to state here – and emphatically so:
It is the not function of the independent American visual or video artist to create political propaganda for any sitting president, especially Barack Obama‘s White House, using public taxpayer monies which support the NEA. What the communications director of the NEA tried to do in that questionable and possibly illegal “secret conference call” was an outrage and every artist in America needs to know about it. This is not the election year all over again. But every time Obama fails to muscle his way through with another socialist Obama-plan that America does not want, he resorts to aggressive election campaign tactics and emotive speeches to try to push it through anyway. We need to stay on red alert with this administration. They have tossed all ethics and protocol out the window, and I believe there is no point too low that they would not stoop to in order to create the socialist country that Obama wants. Mr. Obama is in the wrong country. This is not Venezuela. This is not communist Russia. This is not Cuba.
This is our American republic, and it is going to stay that way if patriots have their way about it.
Chase Hunter 9.13.2009
Yosi Sergant, Administration Aide
Demoted: Glenn Beck Strikes Again
UPDATE: The NEA has updated their statement to emphasize that Yosi Sargent remains with the agency, but in a different position: “As regards Yosi Sergant, he has not left the National Endowment for the Arts. He remains with the agency, although not as director of communications.”
Sources familiar with the situation say that the move represents a significant step down and was the result of the controversy. Discussion about his new duties is still ongoing. Glenn Beck has struck again.
Yosi Sergant, who recently popped up on Beck’s radar for his involvement in a conference call on national service, has been asked to resign as communications director by the National Endowment for the Arts, sources familiar with the move tell the Huffington Post.
At issue was an August conference call in which the NEA encouraged select artists to participate in an administration project dubbed “United We Serve” and led by the first lady.
Beck attacked Sergant and the NEA on his Fox News talk show, accusing the agency of propaganda efforts similar to those used by Nazi Germany. And now Sergant has been tossed overboard, making him Beck’s second victim in his campaign to rid the administration of perceived radicals, socialists, communists, fascists, anarchists and all other manner of nefarious influences.
Perhaps not coincidentally, both Sergant and Van Jones – Beck’s first takedown – have roots in on-the-ground organizing and were tightly connected with the grassroots progressive community.
The NEA wouldn’t comment on Sergant’s situation specifically, saying that it was a confidential personnel matter. The White House did not come to Sergant’s defense but says it was not involved in asking him to leave. “The White House did not ask for Mr. Sergant’s resignation,” administration spokesman Shin Inouye told HuffPost.
But the NEA did provide this statement:
“On August tenth, the National Endowment for the Arts participated in a call with arts organizations to inform them of the president’s call to national service. The White House office of public engagement also participated in the call, which provided information on how the Corporation for National and Community Service can assist groups interested in sponsoring service projects or having their members volunteer on other projects. This call was not a means to promote any legislative agenda and any suggestions to that end are simply false. The NEA regularly does outreach to various organizations to inform of the work we are doing and the resources available to them.”
[UPDATE: The NEA adds this line to the statement: “As regards Yosi Sergant, he has not left the National Endowment for the Arts. He remains with the agency, although not as director of communications.” Sources familiar with the situation say that the move represents a significant step down and was the result of the controversy. Discussion about his new duties is still ongoing.]
An artist on the call recorded it and gave the recording to Beck, who played it on air as proof of a government conspiracy to co-opt arts organizations and warp the minds of Americans. “Your government is trying to trick you, use your tax dollars to change your mind. It’s called propaganda. The people involved in the conference call, including the White House, knew that this was on the fence if not outright illegal,” says Beck.
Sergant has a long history with the Obama campaign, having led the media effort for Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the iconic “Hope” portrait that Obama has credited with helping him win. (See this L.A. Weekly profile to get a feel for Sergant.)
On Sept. 1, Beck came after Sergant. After claiming that Nazi propaganda was based on America’s early 20th-century progressive movement, Beck says that the progressives are at it again.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a public-private partnership created in 1993 with a mission similar to one Obama pressed during his campaign, during which he repeatedly promoted national and community service.
For Beck, however, the service promotion is a specter of totalitarianism and he interviewed an artist who said that he was uncomfortable working in coordination with the White House.
The Washington Times editorial page also came after Sergant, asking if the NEA had invited artists to be on the conference call.
“The NEA didn’t invite…We were a participant in a call. It was a third party that did the invitation,” Sergant told the conservative page.
The Times published an invite that Sergant had sent out, saying it had caught him committing “official dishonesty.” It’s a nice gotcha, but would the Bush administration have cut such an aide loose?
Sergant didn’t return a call and the NEA declined to comment further. Press officers with the Corporation for National and Community Service didn’t immediately return calls.
Sergant is, by all accounts, a highly-talented grassroots organizer and promoter, but communications director for the NEA is a position that requires a high level of political dexterity: the arts agency is constantly under fire from extremist activists who see it as propagating a liberal, libertine agenda. The day the culture war is finally declared over, there will still be skirmishes over the NEA.
Beck, however, is now trolling for bigger fish. Shortly after taking out Van Jones, he sent a note to his followers instructing them: “FIND EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON CASS SUNSTEIN, MARK LLOYD AND CAROL BROWNER.”
UPDATE: The initial story about Sergant and the NEA conference call first appeared on the conservative blog Big Hollywood, which is run by Andrew Breitbart, a friend and ally of Matt Drudge, who runs the Drudge Report. Breitbart first ran a blog post by the artist later interviewed by Beck.
Ryan Grim is the author of This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
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