Well, not exactly: HuffPo says yes but it sounds like he’s merely been reassigned within the NEA. Anyway, it wasn’t Beck who took him down: He spent some airtime on it but all the legwork was done by Big Hollywood and the Washington Times. Progressive media won’t get the same Two Minutes Hate mileage from blaming those two as it will by blaming Beck, though, so expect the narrative to congeal very quickly around this being another coup for GB and Fox. When, oh when, will our president stop caving to pressure from the right-wing mob by firing Truther nuts like Van Jones?
We were remiss in not covering Big Hollywood’s story when it broke but you probably saw it at Ace’s place and elsewhere. In a nutshell, the National Endowment for the Arts decided to hold a conference call with artists to encourage them to “promote a more civically engaged America.” Among the four civic-y topics urged upon them: Health care and “energy and environment,” which coincidentally dovetail perfectly with The One’s agenda. Anything untoward about a supposedly nonpartisan agency pushing Democratic priorities on artists to benefit a guy who already has his own iconic cult of personality? I can’t imagine why, but funny thing: When Big Hollywood followed up and asked the NEA why they had initiated the call, communications director Yosi Sergant denied that they had — even though BH had e-mail proof that that wasn’t true.
HuffPo’s take, of course, is that Sergant was just a pro-service grassrootsy kind of guy sacrificed on the altar of Glenn Beck’s ego:
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…
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…
The Times published an invite [to the conference call] 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?
Lest you doubt that Sergant has an eye for propaganda on behalf of Our Leader, note that he “led the media effort for Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the iconic ‘Hope’ portrait that Obama has credited with helping him win.” Exit question: Why would the White House reassign him at this point? Beck’s spent far more time on people like Jones and Holdren; it’s not like he or the rest of the right is clamoring for Sergant’s head. And removing him as communications director won’t quell suspicions about The One using all available means — like, say, school speeches — to indoctrinate people. Isn’t this just going to rattle progressives’ cages and make them hate Beck more? Or is that the whole point?