Thursday, December 2, 2010

New on NewsReal - Smithsonian Scandal Raises Questions: What's "Good" Art, and Why Should I Pay for It?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The Christmas season just wouldn’t be Christmas these days without government-sponsored desecration of images sacred to most Americans. By now you’ve probably heard about the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s charming new exhibit depicting, among other things, a bloody Jesus Christ covered in ants. That part of the exhibit has been removed, but it still features “male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show’s catalog as ‘homoerotic.’”

True to form, Media Matters is trying to defuse outrage over the controversy by repeatedly pointing out that while the Smithsonian may receive taxpayer dollars, this particular exhibit was funded privately. Here they highlight last night’s exchange between Sean Hannity and Democrat strategist Joe Trippi, who “tries to get Hannity to understand” that simple distinction:

 
TRIPPI: The money for this exhibit was all private foundations. 

HANNITY: But I don’t agree with that analysis. It’s like saying, we fund the ability for them to open their doors every day. So they don’t get to open the door, except for the American taxpayer.
TRIPPI: The American taxpayer paid for the building and those kinds of things, but it’s an art museum, I mean – and this particular art exhibit is the influence of gay and lesbian artists on portraiture.

HANNITY: Fine. If they wanna have an art museum with this stuff, we shouldn’t pay to open their doors so they can put this type of stuff in there! 
Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

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