The board of the Smithsonian has repeatedly failed to "uphold the values and integrity of America’s largest and most important museum and art institution," writes Pablo Eisenberg in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Eisenberg is referring to the Smithsonian's director's precipitous kowtow to a couple of right-wing congressmen and the director of the non-profit Catholic League, removing from an exhibit a video featuring a crucifix crawling with ants. He asks:
The Smithsonian has set a dangerous precedent. Will it cave in to future pressures from politicians, religious fanatics, unhappy critics, or disenchanted art lovers when the next controversy arises?
The answer looks like yes. When folks say Congress' vote on Don't Ask Don't Tell persuaded God to smite a bunch of blackbirds in Beebe (wanting us to puzzle out, in His cryptic way, the relationship of Beebe, Ark. to Gov. Beebe to former Gov. Clinton, author of DADT) and get people to listen to them, we're in for a stretch of nonsense all around, the art world not excluded.