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Ovation is a cable network devoted to the arts, kind of what A&E and Bravo were in their original mission. Its CEO, Charles Segars, has been an advocate of public arts funding for quite some time, but he was clearly irritated last week when Sarah Palin called future funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities “frivolous.”

Segars said, “While it’s not surprising that those hungry for constant media attention, like Sarah Palin, would use the misguided words of one former NPR employee as fodder to call the entire organization a mouth piece for the Left, I am surprised that she would go so far as to extend this thinking to the NEA.  She has called the NEA ‘frivolous’ and said it should be cut.  This kind of knee-jerk,  uninformed rhetoric is the stuff of cheap-shot campaign commercials.  America’s arts sector is a huge driver of our economy and proposed cuts to the NEA don’t take into account the substantial return on investment those funds generate in tax revenue to local, state and federal treasuries.  Shame on her for turning the arts into partisan politics.  It doesn’t take much creative thinking to work this out.”

Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” last week, Palin said, “NPR, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that the government shouldn’t be in the business of funding with tax dollars, those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14 trillion debt that we’re going to hand to our kids and our grandkids. Yes, those are the type of things that, for more than one reason, need to be cut.”