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Obama Appoints Minister of Culture


Meet Obama’s new Culture Warrior:

President Barack Obama has established a staff position in the White House to oversee arts and culture in the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs under Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, a White House official confirmed. Kareem Dale, right, a lawyer who last month was named special assistant to the president for disability policy, will hold the new position.

“It’s a big step forward in terms of connecting cultural and government with mainstream administration policy,” Mr. Ivey said in an interview on Friday. …

Mr. Ivey, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said he expected that the job would mainly involve coordinating the activities of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services “in relation to White House objectives.”

Okay, where to begin?

1. Yet another distraction for our overwhelmed president.

2. It’s creepy.

3. It’s unnecessary. Our “culture” already is falling over itself to connect with “mainstream administration policy.” How much adulation from the media does our Narcissist in Chief need? He’s got all the free adulation in the world; now he feels the need for a post crafted specifically to handmaiden more of it?

4. Did I mention it’s creepy? He just admitted that his goal was not to advance “culture” itself — already a dubious proposition — but was in fact, specifically, “a big step forward in terms of connecting cultural and government with mainstream administration policy.” He just announced, in other words, his point was to be a propagandist, to inject “mainstream administration policy” into our “culture.” Like the government-sponsored artists of the 30’s, apparently our new “culture” will be in service not of art but in propagandizing the Obama Administration.

Add another one to the ever-growing What If Bush Had Done It? file.

There was a hue and cry over a Clinton era (and Bush era) government program to subsidize TV shows which carried anti-drug messages. Even that was considered a breech and improper marriage of government and media. (I have to say I’m uncomfortable with the precedent myself — look where it’s gone.)

And now Obama’s Minister of Culture is going to connect “culture” with “mainstream administration policy,” and the NYT welcomes it as if it’s a positive development?

Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?

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