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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Penny Starr, Anti-Gay Museum Critic
Topic: reporter Penny Starr seems to have made it her mission to critique museum exhibits. She's already attacked two exhibits for not being right-wing enough.

Starr takes a slightly different approach in a Nov. 29 CNS article, this time complaining an exhibit has too many gay and/or naked people:

The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently showing an exhibition that features images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show's catalog as "homoerotic."

The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” opened on Oct. 30 and will run throughout the Christmas Season, closing on Feb. 13.

It takes a few more paragraphs for Starr to get around to quoting the actual purpose of the exhibit: "to examine the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating modern American portraiture."

Which is the crux of what Starr is trying to get across here: Federally funded gay stuff.

To that end, Starr quotes a representative of the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute (which, of course, she doesn't identify as conservative) as saying that even though no federal funds went toward acquiring the exhibit, "most of the overall budget derives from tax monies for the facility, and maintenance and staff.  Second, the exhibit appears inside and is monitored by staff. Finally, if it was funded only by outside funding the exhibit would be outside in a snowdrift."

Starr then quoted "Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute and a former senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee" -- because who's more qualifed to discuss art than an economist? -- asserting, "If the Smithsonian didn't have the taxpayer-funded building, they would have no space to present the exhibit, right?" Edwards adds, "Think about the Washington Post. ... They don't have to publish every op-ed that they get, right? They own the platform. In this case [the Smithsonian Institution], the taxpayers own the platform and so the taxpayers should decide what is presented on that platform."

We suspect that Starr has the greater problem with the gay stuff than the federally funded part. After all, she has already expressed her shock that a city's tourism bureau would dare to spend money to attract gays to town.

UPDATE: Newsmax has latched onto the story, and Starr has penned a follow-up in which top Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor are demanding the exhibition be shut down.

Meanwhile, Starr's boss, Brent Bozell, contributed an outraged tweet: "Elites in Washington using YOUR taxes to attack Christianity during Christmas."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:06 PM EST

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