“Hope” for 2009

Updated

That, and other news, in today’s Roundup and Recap.

I’m back from a week in Minneapolis for the Christmas holiday, and there’s a few items on the docket as 2008 winds to a close.

Shepard Fairey is among the panel of judges that will host an online contest calling on artists to “use positive messaging to convey the urgency and importance of encouraging a national dialouge about three themes – health care reform, the green Economy and workers’ rights.” The winners will see their works displayed in the lead up to the inauguration at the Manifest Hope:DC gallery, a makeshift space displaying artworks related to Barack Obama’s election.

The gallery is an effort to translate the activism in the election to energy directed at specific issues — which past history shows is no easy task.

The gallery, produced by Evolutionary Media Group, will be a larger version of a similar concept that was built in a Denver warehouse during the Democratic National Convention. Other judges include Spike Lee; Washington DC based musician, Eric Hilton of the Thievery Corporation; Anne Ellegood, curator of contemporary art at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; SEIU 775NW Healthcare President, David Rolf, healthcare president of SEIU 775NW; Laura Dawn, creative and cultural director of MoveOn.org; and Van Jones, co-founder of Green for All.

Shades of Teddy?:
In an interview with the New York Times, Caroline Kennedy told reporters, “You should write for women’s magazines,” as they queried her about her decision to seek Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Politico’s Michael Calderone highlights one aspect of the interview, when Kennedy is apparently annoyed at being asked why she threw her hat in the ring.

“You know, this is all for the governor,” Kennedy said at one point. “And you guys are really focused on, kind of, the ins and outs and the comparisons of this process, and so, that’s really something that you should be asking him. Really. Um, you know, if you want to talk about, sort of, the economy or the issues, or me, that’s, you know — I’d be happy to do that.”

You may remember the fumbling answer that her uncle, Edward Kennedy, gave to Roger Mudd in 1979 when asked why he was seeking the presidency the following year.

Lost in the Fray: Tobias Barrington Wolff, chief campaign adviser to Barack Obama on LGBT issues, writes in the Huffington Post that the Rev. Joseph Lowery has been all but lost in the flap over the president-elect’s choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the swearing in ceremony. Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., “experienced the full force of government power calculated to silence and oppress”  when he was targeted by Southern authorities who tried to silence him via libel laws in the early 1960s, Wolff writes.  Those laws eventually were struck down in the landmark Supreme Court decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan.

Warren has argued that he was in favor of Proposition 8 in part out of fear that he would be restricted in what he could say from the pulpit, a notion that critics have charged is absurd.

Wolff writes, “Every era has its civil rights struggles, and the struggle for LGBT equality is one of the great tests of our time. Rick Warren has chosen his role in that struggle, and history will judge the words that he uses in arguing that millions of Americans should not be full citizens. But the voice of Joseph Lowery is the one that matters.”

For his part, Lowery is opposed to gay marriage but in favor of civil unions. On MSNBC last week, however, he condemned some of Warren’s remarks.

“I think [Warrens equation of gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia is] wrong. I condemn it. I take all kinds of sharp and robust differences with that kind of denigration. But even so, I will not refuse to be on a program with him because we have these differences. That’s what the president-elect proposes to do. Bring people together with different views and hopefully out of these discussions and out of association we can find common ground to serve common good.”

A Bailout Plan: USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco offers a “TV bailout plan” for 2009, including a plea that the FCC abandon its efforts to crackdown on indecency.

He writes, “We need an FCC that focuses on its central role, regulating the business of TV, and only intrudes into content when we have no other recourse. What we don’t need is a national scold or censor, particularly one that bends to the whim of interest groups expressing outrage for a community that clearly isn’t outraged.”

Also on his list: Making TV more diverse, a problem evidenced by the fact that “Saturday Night Live” has no one to play Michelle Obama. And he offers up a really good idea in reviving the PBS series “In Performance at the White House,” which has been abandoned in recent years.

Bush, The Documentary: MSNBC debuts the new “Hardball” documentary this evening called “Decider,” designed to “write history’s first draft of the Bush presidency.”  Included is rather harsh criticism coming from Steve Forbes on how Bush, Hank Paulsen and Ben Bernanke have handled the financial collapse.

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