Video: “At the White House, we love MS-NBC”

posted at 3:10 pm on May 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Believe it or not, this isn’t the most foolish comment from Kareem Dale at the Atlantic Council awards last week. Dale takes his job as Minister of Culture in the Obama administration a little too seriously. He rails against the supposed “second class” status given the arts in America:

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country that is cut when things get difficult. For far too long in this country, arts have been an afterthought. For far too long in this country, arts have been treated as second class, and arts have not been viewed as integral to educating the youth of tomorrow. And for far too long, the arts have not been considered integral to building a prosperous and viable society.

Says who? In what country does Dale live? We have more access for ordinary citizens to the arts now than any time in human history.  The entertainment industry alone generates billions of dollars every year in free-market pursuits such as cinema, television, music, and the like.  Artists have no restrictions on their output other than the economic limitations of their talent and dedication.  Thanks to the Internet and the expansion of broadband connections, the arts have come closer than ever to the hoi polloi.

Ah, but that’s not what Dale means.  Dale means that we’re somehow not a viable society because we don’t have the federal government funding artists.  Well, we provide a free market for their wares, provide protection against copyright infringement, and allow people to succeed or fail on their own merits.  The government has no legitimate role in promoting the arts beyond these basic protections.  Even if it did, when times get tough and government has to live within its means, does Dale want to seriously argue that the arts are somehow a higher priority than national defense, enforcing the law, or even Medicare and Social Security?  Should people go without prescription drugs so that a SoHo performance artist can get a federal patronage to subsidize art that doesn’t sell on its own?

Of course, Dale isn’t even that honest.  When things get difficult, Dale and the administration he represents thinks that government should exempt itself from fiscally-responsible choices and priorities on its spending, and simply strip more capital from the private sector to support mimes and sculptors.  No wonder the White House loves MS-NBC; they’re equally clueless.

Update: Here’s the link to the Atlantic Council transcript.  I’ve also added the part that I skipped with the ellipsis, which I couldn’t quite get when I posted the clip.  Dale is talking about education priorities in that part, but the clear emphasis is his overall portfolio for government subsidies for the arts.  Even in educational priorities, though, the arts are important but secondary to literacy, mathematics, and science.


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Oh, this is the blind guy in charge of the ‘arts’?

carbon_footprint on May 4, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Gee whiz. Did Obama, and friends get tired of gluing macaroni to construction paper already?

If art goes federal, count me out. I’ll draw my own stick figures to put on my walls.

capejasmine on May 4, 2009 at 3:14 PM

how much could a federal govt-funded artist make? how many hours/day? or could i just fudge those numbers & defraud the govt or just turn out some really piss-poor “art” in exchange for the money?

sign me up.

kelley in virginia on May 4, 2009 at 3:14 PM

We don’t need no stinkin’ arts!

Shy Guy on May 4, 2009 at 3:15 PM

The reason the arts is cut first in schooling system is because it is not as important as subjects like science, literature, or mathematics.

Vegi on May 4, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Lets see…algebra or finger painting? Obviously our public schools have chosen finger painting

Bevan on May 4, 2009 at 3:16 PM

“….connecting culture with mainstream government policy….”

Unfortunately, it’s not American culture.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on May 4, 2009 at 3:17 PM

If art has real value, people will support it willfully and out of their own pockets. If something requires government subsidization, it’s worthless trash by definition.

Sign of the Dollar on May 4, 2009 at 3:18 PM

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country that is cut when things get difficult.

Funny, I thought it was the military…

catmman on May 4, 2009 at 3:19 PM

For far too long in this country arts has been too broadly defined. I don’t call a crucifix in a jar of urine art, but one man’s garbage is another man’s gold, except when the garbage guy is paying for it, and then he gets a say.

DFCtomm on May 4, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Our public schools HAVE TO choose finger painting, algebra is way too much for the students to manage. America is so screwed.

UnEasyRider on May 4, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Do we still need affirmative action? MSNBC is pretty much doing that job.

afotia on May 4, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Back to the future.

Beagle on May 4, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Fire him!

Caper29 on May 4, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Dale and the administration he represents thinks that government should exempt itself from fiscally-responsible choices and priorities on its spending, and simply strip more capital from the private sector to support mimes and sculptors. No wonder the White House loves MS-NBC; they’re equally clueless.

Well it’s obvious why the Obambi administration would consider MSNBC and the MSM in general as artists, they are after all the best BS/Propaganda artists campaign money can buy!

Liberty or Death on May 4, 2009 at 3:21 PM

*** New England Area Alert ***

Turn on Howie Carr. He’s crushing the Globe and is reporting that the NYT is now trying to use the State Government to bust the Unions!

TheBigOldDog on May 4, 2009 at 3:21 PM

All I heard was some guy named “Arts” wanted some kind of “change”……….

………. and in some way billions were spent and our economy is now revived.

Whew……..

………… I’m glad that crisis is over.

Seven Percent Solution on May 4, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t FDR hire artists and play writes during the Depression. It was to produce posters and “art” to promote his programs. Perhaps that is the plan that Mr. Dale has in mind.

Agent of the Cross on May 4, 2009 at 3:22 PM

MiniCult?

baldilocks on May 4, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Just like every other household in America, tightening their belts and making sacrifices…not!

califdreamnred on May 4, 2009 at 3:23 PM

We HAVE to take your hard-earned money away from you in order to support dead-beat, drug-addicted perverts that call themselves “artists” because…because…

My collie says:

Math is hard.

Thank you, collie.

CyberCipher on May 4, 2009 at 3:23 PM

“arts treated as second class” ???

Huh? I know many designers, illustrators, writers..making a very good living…not treated as ‘second class’ at all.

I’m an artist. Art supplies are very expensive.
But this guy is off his freakin’ rocker.

bridgetown on May 4, 2009 at 3:24 PM

The government has no legitimate role in promoting the arts beyond these basic protections.

Ah, but the government’s fingers are everywhere, in the most ridiculous places.

I was doing a blog post about Communist propagandist Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday and discovered that the National Institute of Health has a link to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” at its “Kids Page”.

Buy Danish on May 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Even if it did, when times get tough and government has to live within its means, does Dale want to seriously argue that the arts are somehow a higher priority than national defense, enforcing the law, or even Medicare and Social Security? Should people go without prescription drugs so that a SoHo performance artist can get a federal patronage to subsidize art that doesn’t sell on its own

Ding! Ding! We have a winner. I was riding the subway from Chicago yesterday and noticed a sign for Chicago Reads that was sponsored by the City of Chicago and the NEA. While I’m all for adults reading for fun (especially classic literature), this struck me as exactly the sort of program that the gov’t should be cutting from its budget in this tough economic time.

Illinidiva on May 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM

MSNBC is any different than the rest of the media how exactly?

therightwinger on May 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Sign of the Dollar on May 4, 2009 at 3:18 PM

You mean things like the palm pilot and the microwave?

jdkchem on May 4, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Great art isn’t made by grants, anyway. The great works of art have almost all been comissioned by people who were successful in their own right, or by truly passionate creators with no regard to remuneration.

Giving money to some slacker who wants to do something wierd, and then displaying it in a gallery where people will ignore it, is a waste of money. And it’s not the government’s job, anyway. If people want to give to the arts, they can pull out THEIR checkbooks. But leave mine alone.

hawksruleva on May 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM

how much could a federal govt-funded artist make? how many hours/day? or could i just fudge those numbers & defraud the govt or just turn out some really piss-poor “art” in exchange for the money?

sign me up.

kelley in virginia on May 4, 2009 at 3:14 PM

If you call your piss art, the government will fund it and you’ll no longer be poor.

Sign of the Dollar on May 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country that is cut when things get difficult.

In times of trouble just what do the arts contribute to day to day existence. What do you suggest should take their place? How about welfare program like food stamps? Would that be OK then? I know, cut the military budget and save a painting.
Mr Dale you really need to re-evaluate your priorities

oldernwiser on May 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Echo Chamber.

Hello?….Hello?……Hello?…….Hello?

portlandon on May 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country

Apparently, English got cut has Dale’s school when thing’s got tough…

bluelightbrigade on May 4, 2009 at 3:28 PM

MSNBC is any different than the rest of the media how exactly?

A matter of degree.

sonofdy on May 4, 2009 at 3:28 PM

How much grant money can you get for art in the form of a teleprompter with the word “Uh” scrolling endlessly?

Christien on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country

Apparently, English got cut has at Dale’s school when thing’s got tough…

bluelightbrigade on May 4, 2009 at 3:28 PM

FIFMS

bluelightbrigade on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Actually, it is
1) Goebbels warmening climate change indoctrination
2) finger painting
3) multiculturalism
and if there’s any time/money left, then
4) algebra.

’cause math is racist!

rbj on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Believe it or not, this isn’t the most foolish comment from Kareem Dale at the Atlantic Council awards last week.

I had to watch the video to believe it, but you’re right!

This guy Dale (whoever he is) does nothing but talk out his @$$.

UltimateBob on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

MSNBC is any different than the rest of the media how exactly?

therightwinger on May 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM

They swallow.

AZCoyote on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

You mean things like the palm pilot and the microwave?

jdkchem on May 4, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Just because something legitimate may receive government funding doesn’t mean it requires it. Heck, even the space program is turning to private industry for assistance these days.

Sign of the Dollar on May 4, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Illinidiva on May 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM

If reading Atlas Shrugged keeps people from watching ms-nbc it is money well spent.

jdkchem on May 4, 2009 at 3:31 PM

For far too long in this country, arts has been the program in this country that is cut when things get difficult.

I would have more sympathy if it was even enumerated in the constitution. But considering most “art” is for individuals tastes; then should not individuals be paying for it?

Branch Rickey on May 4, 2009 at 3:31 PM

what a moron

D2Boston on May 4, 2009 at 3:31 PM

“Arts” are so second class in America – a guy shot 9 times, serving a 5 year sentence, with zero education can become a multimillionaire…

Odie1941 on May 4, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Dale is so wrong that the arts aren’t being sponsored. Why, did you know that the N.I.H. provides a link to fellow traveler Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” in the category of “patriotic tunes“?

Does this make you feel patriotic or what?:

In the squares of the city
In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office
I see my people
And some are grumblin’
And some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

Buy Danish on May 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Government supported art is a contradiction in terms. Governments, like private citizens, can commission work from artists, but it cannot support them. If you are a government supported artist, you are a propagandist, whether you realize it or not.

spmat on May 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Loves what he sees on MS-MBC. LOL

Wade on May 4, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Sign of the Dollar on May 4, 2009 at 3:30 PM

The number of products that have come out of defense projects is amazing. To say that private industry would have come up with the same thing is just silly. Equally silly is claiming that NASA turning to private industry as proof that government funding is pointless. There are a number of private research organizations, Battelle and SWRI come to mind, who receive government funding to work on various projects.

jdkchem on May 4, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Everyone should send this moron a jar of urine along with an invoice for $100.

chromium on May 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Great insight to his comments Ed.

Ed Morrisey for President in 2012!

therightscoop on May 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM

The “arts” are nothing but a way of legitimatizing the irrational, the ludicrous and the obscene. if you have no real intellectual abilities then become an “artist”.

rplat on May 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM

chromium on May 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Brilliant. Calling FedEx now…

Odie1941 on May 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Obama says we must all sacrafice so I vote to dump all funding for da Arts and NPR!

Bluehanky on May 4, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Sooooo…if I call myself and “artist” can I get in line for some of that free gubmint money too?

Or at least some cheese?

Bob's Kid on May 4, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Another mob hack payback appointment.

Minister of Culture?

darwin on May 4, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Precedent Won fixed this.

Thought bubbles for everyone!

canditaylor68 on May 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM

It just kills you people not seeing overfed white guys filling all those administration positions, doesn’t it?

This just keeps getting better and better!

benny shakar on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Is he talking about the federally funded art work like “piss Christ?” That’s what we really need…stimulus funds for art work of the same genre. I know art when I see it…and if that was art then my arse is a typewriter.

sdd on May 4, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Say what you will about this guy, but at least he’s not dependent on a teleprompter like his boss is. Too insensitive?

LeBron on May 4, 2009 at 3:59 PM

In the squares of the city
In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office
I see my people
And some are grumblin’
And some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

Buy Danish on May 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Alternate version

As I was walking with a fellow traveler
I heard the sounds of endless palaver
Viewed through the prism
Of Socialism
‘Cause I hate private property

Mr. D on May 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Which would you rather have, a group of armed men trained with enough of teh right equipment to protect your arse or a group of well meaning fluff-balls holding hands singing Kumbaya?

CynicalOptimist on May 4, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Does anyone catch Scarborough mocking the administration? I know Mika gets it, watch her smirks during the introduction.

Theworldisnotenough on May 4, 2009 at 4:05 PM

It just kills you people not seeing overfed white guys filling all those administration positions, doesn’t it?

This just keeps getting better and better!

benny shakar on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

You people? RACIST!!!!

Biffstir on May 4, 2009 at 4:07 PM

The title “Minister of Culture” really gives me the creeps.

forest on May 4, 2009 at 4:11 PM

So: more govt money for “the arts.” Who ends up with the “art” that the govt pays for? I mean, if we give money to someone to produce something, what happens to what he produces? Must the govt take possession of it, or does he get to keep it if it doesn’t sell? If he sells it, must he pay the govt back, or like TARP funds, will the govt refuse to be repaid?

I remember a 60 Minutes decades ago about Holland or some other socialist paradise where the govt bought ALL “ART” PRODUCED by “artists.” There were warehouses brimming with nonsensical unsalable paintings and sculpture no one else wanted. Is that what we’re aiming at here?

Given the quality of the “art” in and in front of your average govt building, we need less money spent on what “artists” produce, not more.

Akzed on May 4, 2009 at 4:14 PM

I eat,I sleep, I make little artforms in my toilet.
I have dogs that make artforms and I know many a baby who leaves Rorschach Splotches in their diapers….

CynicalOptimist on May 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM

benny shakar on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Bingo! We hate black socialist morons, and love white ones.

Akzed on May 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM

When I scan the back pages of an opera program and note the bountiful donations by wealthier patrons, I am thrilled that their beneficence allows me to attend a production at an affordable price. My ticket price barely reflects the amount of money necessary to mount an opera.

With the Obama tax plan to disallow or limit charitable donations, the subsidies of these philanthropists will dry up. Who is the loser then?

Judging from the variety of how the attendees are dressed for the Sunday matinees that I enjoy, I anticipate that opera available to the hoi polloi in my city will be sharply cut. It’s too bad that Obama is so short-sighted and foolish.

In addition, artists in many field who cannot produce work that the market will bear or reward without their waiting on tables to supplement their incomes, do not deserve federal subsidies aa a matter of a right. In fact, these artistes are probably contributing more to society by providing the service of waiting on tables.

Minister of Culture? This sounds like some gobbledegook out of Orwell.

onlineanalyst on May 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

You people? RACIST!!!!

Biffstir on May 4, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Now, now…liberals cannot be bigots. Liberals are much too tolerant to even think a bigoted thought…unless, of course a liberal is making reference to conservatives, Republicans, pro-life supporters, tea party attenders, smaller government afficianados, pro-family adherents, evangelical Christians, hunters, SUV drivers, global warming skeptics, 2nd Amendment supporters, school voucher supporters, anti card-checkers, Stockholm syndrome African Americans, anti cap & traders, pro-fossil fuelers and balanced budget supporters. Feel free to add to the list.

sdd on May 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Mister of Culture? How much does that gig pay?

GarandFan on May 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM

BRING ON THE DANCIN’ GIRLS!

CynicalOptimist on May 4, 2009 at 4:28 PM

No way I’m listening to over 4 minutes of this guy just to hear the “We love MSNBC” pop shot.

Mike D. on May 4, 2009 at 4:29 PM

just wait until the federal government starts funding kiddie porn as “art”

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on May 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Dale means that we’re somehow not a viable society because we don’t have the federal government funding artists.

Mapplethorp would be proud.

madmonkphotog on May 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Sign me up!! I want the guv’mint to pay me for crap I doodle on the side of my grocery list!

Pomme143 on May 4, 2009 at 4:44 PM

It just kills you people not seeing overfed white guys filling all those administration positions, doesn’t it?

This just keeps getting better and better!

benny shakar on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Heh, benny must be getalife part dux! Silly benny, try as you might no one can fill getalife’s shoes, it was one of a kind, thank goodness!

As for your above comment, myself and most others here at HA and around this nation could give a ratz azz what color this guy or anyone in our gubment is, however what we do care about is creating government positions that provide no value to the nation thus wasting our tax dollars all in the name of cronyism!

This minister of culture position is a scam, it has nothing to do with race so take your race-baiting BS to sites like D-Kos or Huffpo where morons abound and you will be singing to the choir!

Liberty or Death on May 4, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Hmm Obama wants less Global Warming which is caused by cow farts. Kareem Dale wants more arts.

Obama/Dale : More arts, less farts 2012?

Dash on May 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

…‘Cause I hate private property
Mr. D on May 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Indeed, the People’s Weekly World informed us that Pete Seeger mentioned that agenda item at Obama’s inauguration. (It was included in my lengthy thorough blog post about the much-adored Communist Seeger :)

… [He] happily led the crowd on some of Guthrie’s lesser-known, revolutionary verses including the one about that damned symbol of the high wall tagged “Private Property”.

Buy Danish on May 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM

One more sign that you can stick a fork in us. We’re done.

Star20 on May 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM

It just kills you people not seeing overfed white guys filling all those administration positions, doesn’t it?

This just keeps getting better and better!

benny shakar on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

I wouldn’t have noticed what color their skin was, Or how much they ate, until YOU brought it up.

bridgetown on May 4, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Kareem Dale apparently was nowhere near the Fairgrounds in New Orleans the past two weekends. He would have gotten “arts” up the wazoo.

Del Dolemonte on May 4, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Whoa…this guys is blind and a minority…I’m gonna get branded a “double hater” for sure, but to me it sounds like he was told to use “the arts”, “the economy”, and “recovery” in his speech. Well he did that alright. He uses all three in almost every sentence. Does every sentence actually make sense? Well, no. But that’s not the point here is it…

Onus on May 4, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Tell me it’s not just me but it looks like Joe is doing Meeka (who looks pretty rockin in that outfit). Doesn’t she look like the political wife-to-be?

EMD on May 4, 2009 at 5:36 PM

It’s not because science and math and english are important, (as was said above) it’s because of teaching how to put on a condom, how to have an abortion and how to live off the government.
The arts are good for kids and especially learning to play an instrument, because it does help the brain learn how to focus.

Bambi on May 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Hmm Obama wants less Global Warming which is caused by cow farts. Kareem Dale wants more arts.

Obama/Dale : More arts, less farts 2012?

Dash on May 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

I always thought it interesting how artists are much better at talking and raising awareness about environmental issues then they are about actually doing something or worse yet they are the worst offenders!

Cases in point, when I worked in the Environmental, Health and Safety Department at ASU the worst offenders were those faculty, staff, and students in the Arts departments.

We were constantly getting calls from the local water quality department regarding discharges of pollutants from the campus into the sanitary sewer system. We eventually setup some monitors/sampling devices in the sewer system and we traced the pollutants to the Art department building.

Here’s the best part, when we confronted the departments (professors, et al) they became very indignant basically accusing us of attempting to suppress their freedom of expression, that and they claimed they would never dump chemicals down the drain. However upon further investigation we found obvious signs of where they were dumping paints, solvents, etc down the drain. In fact when we asked them about this they said “we don’t use hazardous chemicals so how could we dump hazardous wastes?” and so we asked them to show us what paints, thinners, etc. they used and he showed us a container of thinner and said, “see, these aren’t hazardous” to which we began pointing out the ingredients to him that showed things like acetone, MEK, PERC, and other nasty solvents that are indeed hazardous and when they are spent and disposed of down the drain constitutes illegal disposal of a hazardous waste!

Even when the art professors and the art department at ASU were presented with evidence they were illegally disposing of hazardous waste and polluting the environment (including our drinking water) they were extremely reluctant to follow university and government requirements for the proper containment and disposal of hazardous wastes, even to the point of claiming they were not subject to such laws/rules…I kid you NOT!

Such hypocrites they are, seriously, if ACME Chemical down the road even thought about dumping 1/100th of the hazardous chemicals the art department at ASU dumped into the environment the artsy left-tards would have been protesting at the chemical company’s gates day and night demanding company officials be thrown in jail!

Liberty or Death on May 4, 2009 at 5:47 PM

“Dat part of da Stimulus”

Brilliant, just brilliant.

Looks like Dale spent a lot of time with the crayon box. Not so much in the English class.

fogw on May 4, 2009 at 7:07 PM

so your making fun of a blind person basically…

PresidenToor on May 5, 2009 at 4:36 AM

so your making fun of a blind person basically…
PresidenToor on May 5, 2009 at 4:36 AM

Not for being blind, but for being a simpleton. And not for being a blind simpleton, just for being a simpleton.

Akzed on May 5, 2009 at 8:50 AM

so your making fun of a blind person basically…

PresidenToor on May 5, 2009 at 4:36 AM

so? Are they adverse to fun?

Wade on May 5, 2009 at 9:45 AM

At least we know he’s not dependent on the teleprompter.

winoceros on May 5, 2009 at 1:32 PM