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Water Cooler Archive: September 2009


  • Were the arts organizations that endorsed health care reform on the NEA conference call?

    The Washington Times responds to Americans for the Arts. Published September 17 2009

  • Why did the Americans for the Arts podcast disappear?

    The Washington Times responds to Americans for the Arts. Published September 16 2009

  • Flashback Video: Carter referred to Obama as 'this black boy'

    Former President Jimmy Carter is throwing his two cents in on Congressman Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) outburst on the House floor last week.   Published September 16 2009

  • Interesting email from Michael Skolnik about the NEA call

    The Washington Times obtained a partial list of participants for the August 10 teleconference call hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House, and United We Serve.  The list was apparently sent out by Russell Simmons's political director Michael Skolnik.   Published September 16 2009

  • Bloggers accuse Human Rights Watch of online 'sock puppetry'

    A number of bloggers are alleging that Human Rights Watch has been using fake names to seed the Internet with supposedly independent defenses of the organization. The "offense" called "sock puppetry" by bloggers is among the most reviled tactics in the online spin wars.  Published September 14 2009

  • Disturbing quote from teen in AP article on Michigan slaying

    An overlooked quote by a Michigan teenager picked up by the Associated Press regarding the murder of pro-life activist James Pouillon illustrates why many in the media are ignoring this story. Published September 13 2009

  • Editorial: NEA's artful dodgers

    Last month, a top NEA official gathered artists and arts organizations in a conference call that also included a White House official and clearly asked the arts community to get behind the administration's agenda, including the current top priority health care. A mere 48 hours after the request, 21 art organizations led by an arts lobbying organization, Americans for the Arts, released the first of two public statements endorsing health care reform and urging Congress to act. Published September 11 2009

  • Myrick critical of NEA conference call

    Since the controversial August 10th teleconference call led by the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve, Rep. Sue Myrick's (R-N.C) spoke out on the August 10th conference call Published September 11 2009

  • (UPDATE: NARAL Responds to Mich. Shooting)National Right to Life Committee withholds attack, unlike NARAL

    Following the murder of Doctor George Tiller, a Wichita abortionist, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that was not only heavily political but also attacked pro-life activists as well.  Today in Owosso, Michigan, pro-life activist James Pouillon was shot several times in front of Owosso High School and died.  The National Right to Life Committee's response did not attack their opponents on the issue of abortion but rather emphasized their mission. Published September 11 2009

  • Updated: Arts lobby pulls an online houdini

    Last night, the Water Cooler pointed out that the Americans for the Art removed audio of Bob Lynch discussing a meeting with new National Endowment for the Arts Chair, Rocco Landesman.  This morning, audio suddenly reappeared. Published September 11 2009

  • $2 million behind National Endowment for the Arts politics push

    On August 12,  a group of 21 arts organizations endorsed President Barack Obama's health reform plan only 48 hours after a conference call in which a top National Endowment for the Arts official asked arts groups for help in advancing the administration's policy agenda, including health care. Published September 10 2009

  • Path to political propaganda at the National Endowment for the Arts

    Day by day how the National Endowment for the Arts transformed from arts funder to political powerhouse. Published September 10 2009

  • Audio: Arts coalition chief on NEA artists' grants and health care reform

    On August 28, Bob Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts, talked about a recent meeting he had with new National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman.  A podcast of the topic was previously posted on the arts blog but was later removed.  The Washington Times downloaded a copy of the podcast.  Published September 10 2009

  • The NEA lies again

    Yosi Sergant may not be the National Endowment for the Arts Director of Communication, but his spirit lives on in the misinformation  released by the NEA.   Published September 10 2009

  • UPDATE: Yosi Sergant re-assigned at NEA not resigned

    The National Endowment for the Arts Public Affairs Specialist Sally Gifford contacted The Washington Times and clarified that Mr. Seragnt is still an employee at the NEA but is no longer Director of Communications. Published September 10 2009

  • Who is Yosi Sergant?

    Yosi Sergant, Director of Communications at the NEA, is a 32-year old publicist who made headlines himself after promoting Sheperd Fairey, the artist behind the iconic Obama "Hope" poster during the 2008 presidential campaign. Published September 9 2009

  • Who is Kalpen Modi?

    Before entering the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kalpen Modi was better known to many Americans as Hollywood actor Kal Penn. Published September 9 2009

  • Did the National Endowment for the Arts break any laws on controversial conference calls?

    Syndicated columnist and ABC's This Week panelist George Will believes that the National Endowment for the Arts likely "broke some laws" after the federal agency recently hosted a controversial teleconference call of various artists.  Mr. Will spoke about his concerns on the NEA this Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (see video below).   Published September 8 2009

  • Video: Reagan's 1988 Q and A with junior high school students

    Those defending President Obama's controversial address to school students this week are pointing out that past U.S. presidents like George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush,  and Ronald Reagan also spoke to school children during their presidencies as well.  In 1988 Mr. Reagan not only spoke to jr. high school students but also answered their questions. Published September 7 2009

  • Virginia bloggers to face off on upcoming gubernatorial race

    Bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum will debate state politics and the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell. Published September 3 2009