Probably no one was more surprised by the news of Yosi Sergant's pending resignation from his National Endowment for the Arts post than fright-wing commentator Glenn Beck. Last week the Fox News personality went after Sergant, the NEA's director of communications, accusing him of advancing an ideological agenda by coordinating a conference call on national service with the endowment and the White House's office of public engagement — as though Red Guard battalions were being created on the taxpayers' dime. After denouncing this sinister plot Beck moved on, probably forgetting the matter the next day.
The NEA's knees, however, didn't stop knocking from the moment Beck started in on Sergant, an Angeleno who was the subject of a 2008 L.A. Weekly profile about his work with Shepard Fairey and Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Today, it's been reported, the endowment has asked Sergant, an Obama appointee, to step down from his high-profile post and move to another, as-yet announced position within the NEA.
According to Huffington Post columnist Ryan Grim:
“Beck attacked Sergant and the NEA on his Fox News talk show, accusing the agency of propaganda efforts similar to those used by Nazi Germany. And now Sergant has been tossed overboard, making him Beck's second victim in his campaign to rid the administration of perceived radicals, socialists, communists, fascists, anarchists and all other manner of nefarious influences.”
While Glenn Beck may have been the most pleasantly surprised by the
NEA's decision, the most disappointed are the legions of Obama
supporters who are finding the Washington they thought they had
reinvented last November to be in the grip of paranoia and
fear-mongering. Last week White House green-jobs advisor Van
Jones resigned after constant Beck attacks on Jones' leftwing past and a petition Jones had signed suggesting a Bush White House role in the 9/11 attacks.
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