A radical left-wing activist has confirmed Republican charges that the Obama administration runs an extensive and potentially illegal propaganda campaign from the White House. We noted yesterday that Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a 36-page report noting that the president has used taxpayer dollars to finance “a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign” made up of “inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives.” Often, this involves “covert propaganda,” in which officials ask others to repeat White House talking points without mentioning their connection to the president. (Read our summary here.)
Evidently, 36 pages was not enough. The committee missed an event.
Sally Kohn wrote in The Huffington Post yesterday that she attended a May 12, 2009, meeting in which multiple Obama administration officials asked the radical Left to promote its legislative agenda.
I reported on this “cultural policy” summit called by Valerie Jarrett nearly a year ago. Dozens of the most extreme activists on the left-wing’s fringe met in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with eight Obama administration officials, all of whom report either to Jarrett or First Lady Michelle Obama. The meeting’s summary noted that “more than 60 artists and creative organizers…came together for a White House briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery.”
Among other things, Kohn confirms Jarrett was present, although the meeting’s notes tried to airbrush her out of the summit.
The Obama administration officials made it clear they wanted the fringe leftists to help shape the president’s agenda, then promote the Obama party line. Tina Tchen, who works in Jarrett’s Office of Public Engagement, told attendees, “The administration wants to sustain energy from the election process and turn it toward the agenda.” Buffy Wicks, who would later take party in the infamous NEA call, “asked briefing participants to think through how their networks and organizations can participate in areas such as the arts in education, healthcare and preventative care, energy and environment, or economic opportunity.”
The activists then broke into groups to “ideate” on how to best promote the president’s legislative agenda. Michelle Miller of the SEIU suggested participants: “Create a counter narrative to the Luntz memo/Republican talking points designed to destroy health care reform. They can offer creative, humorous voices that can think outside of white papers or New York Times op-eds to communicate effectively about the importance of health care reform and diminish the increasing attacks on our movement for reform. For example, the satirical webisodes SEIU is producing with comedy writers with content from Lutz [sic.] memo.”
Sally Kohn’s panel lamented the failure of the 2007 amnesty bill but hoped, “Artists and cultural organizers can play a critical role this year on helping advance the legislation, as well as over the coming years helping bring the humanity and personal/family stories of the issue to light.”
Kohn revealed yesterday that this meeting was the beginning, not the end, of the radical Left’s collusion with Obama. “The White House convened a weekly meeting called ‘Common Purpose’ at which DC progressive organizations were invited,” she wrote. At these Common Purpose meetings, “the White House dictated its agenda and appealed to the professional left for back-up.”
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