Newly disclosed emails link White House directly to NEA politicalization scandal

Former actor and present White House associate director of public engagement Kalpen Modi was directly involved in planning the controversial conference call hosted by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) flack to encourage tax-supported artists to create propaganda for President Obama, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The emails reveal that Modi worked with now-former NEA national communications director Yosif Sargant in planning the August 10 conference call that was first revealed by Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.com web site. Participants in the conference call were encouraged to use their talents to generate public support for the Obama agenda in Congress.

Here are four of the most illustrative emails, according to Judicial Watch:

 

· August 10, 2009, 10:23 am.  Email from Yosi Sergant to Kalpen Modi:  “[The call is] organized by me…I’d ask you to come on and give the exact spiel you gave on Saturday.  Walk them through the WH Arts Policy.  They won’t know it.  Then I will take them into United We Serve and the NEA.”
 
· August 10, 2009, 10:29 am.  Email from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant:  “Oy.  This would be awesome to be a part of.  Let me know if you think it’s going long, or maybe I can get someone from here to do it if I can’t because of the Social Security mtg.”
 
· August 10, 2009, 11:04 am.  Email from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant:  “Let me see if we can move Social Sec by a few mins.  Agreed, it would be great to be on the call and helpful for us also.”
 
· August 10, 2009, 1:37 pm.  Email from Yosi Sergant to Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:  “We have an important call at 2pm for UWS (United We Serve) and the Arts with my peeps.  Indie producers around the country.  Kal can’t join the call.  Any chance you can hop on for 5 minutes and intro with Nellie and I?”
 
For additional information on the NEA conference call, including a full audio transcript of the conversation, go here, here, here, and here. 
 

 

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