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The Atlantic Slams Trump For ‘MAGA-fying’ National Medal Of Arts Recipients
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Jon Voight attends the World Premiere of Disney's “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" at El Capitan Theatre on September 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
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“So much journalism-ing!,” Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro is fond of saying in lamenting the generally decrepit nature of our fourth estate in the era of the Trump presidency. Indeed.

Earlier this week, Peter Nicholas of The Atlantic took particular umbrage with President Donald Trump’s alleged “MAGA-fying” of … wait for it … National Medal of Arts award recipients. Yes, really.

The National Medal of Arts dates back to the Reagan presidency, and all types of civilian artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians have been honored with the award since then. Trump neglected to honor any new recipients during the first two years of his presidency. Now, according to Nicholas, that is set to change — albeit in a “MAGA-fied” direction:

[N]ow, I’m told, he’s poised to announce his first slate of [National Medal of Arts] winners later this month. It not only includes names that seem, in part, to be tailored to the president’s personal preferences — namely, the actor and MAGA enthusiast Jon Voight and all five U.S. military bands. But in choosing the winners, Trump appears to have ignored input from the committee that typically recommends artistic luminaries as candidates for the award.

Nicholas continued to describe that “members [of the National Council on the Arts] said that was a break from past practice and that presidents normally give the council’s recommendations more credence.” Specifically, Nicholas bemoans that some National Council on the Arts members “objected to what they saw as partisan political considerations or a lack of diversity.”

Put another way, the disproportionate leftists who comprise the National Council on the Arts — and Nicholas expressly acknowledges that “[t]he council’s rank and file are holdovers from the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations” — are upset that a Republican president plans to tap National Medal of Arts recipients who seem to align with his personal or political preferences. Quite the story!

Nicholas quoted one perplexed Council member, each of whom spoke to Nicholas on condition of anonymity, who bewailed that “there was alarm, and some surprise” when the president’s award recipient selections were decided. “This was the first time that we had heard that there was going to be a medal award, and the decisions did not match our recommendations,” the intrepid Council member continued. “That in itself was a new experience. We all immediately recognized that not only were recommendations not followed, but the kind of diversity we had striven for in the past in the various [artistic] disciplines had not been followed.”

Jon Voight, whom Nicholas indicates will receive a National Medal of Arts later this month, is a well-known, open and proud Trump supporter. The Daily Wire highlighted in August how he has praised the president as a “man of truths”:

“I’ve said this many times and I am saying it again from the deep truths of my heart and soul: President Trump is a man of truths, love and justice for the American people and also for the people of a sacred place: Israel. Not only does he love our country, the United States of America, but he has a love for the people of all nations.”

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