The Volunteerism Scandals Hollywood Won’t Be Broadcasting – by Michelle Malkin


Hollywood hearts Obama. Obama hearts government-directed national service. That is why you won’t be able to change the TV channel all week without getting lectured about the need to get off the couch and Do Something. (After your favorite shows are over, of course.) Creeped out? You should be.

The entertainment industry, inspired by Obama’s $6 billion expansion of government volunteerism spending, is coordinating plot lines and ads to push public service. “The message will be nearly ubiquitous,” reports the Los Angeles Times, “starting in the morning with programs such as ‘Today’ and ‘The View,’ and then echoed on soap operas, prime-time series and late-night shows.” First lady Michelle Obama, a relentless AmeriCorps promoter who publicly extolled the Tinseltown initiative last month, will cap off the week with an appearance on “The Jay Leno Show” on Friday.

But don’t expect Leno to ask Mrs. Obama about her reported meddling in personnel decisions at the scandal-plagued AmeriCorps. Or about the program’s long history as a government boondoggle stuffed with make-work jobs, permanent bureaucracies, left-wing slush funds and partisan lobbyists. More on that in a moment.

Spearheaded by a nonprofit called the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), organizers deny any partisan or political motivation. But editor John Nolte published an internal memo from EIF titled “Answering the Call,” which describes the entire multiyear campaign as a direct response to President Obama’s call “for a new era of responsibility.” The massive leftward tilt in Hollywood donations to Democratic campaign coffers speaks for itself. As do the celebrity vows of volunteer-mongers like Demi Moore, who pledged in a recent national service PSA not to be a servant to her fellow citizens or her country, but “a servant to Barack Obama.”

EIF is working in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the parent organization of AmeriCorps.

It’s the same CNCS that last year suspended Sacramento mayor and Obama crony Kevin Johnson from receiving federal funds after then-inspector general Gerald Walpin blew the whistle on massive fraud and abuse of AmeriCorps dollars for personal and political gain.

It’s the same CNCS that then sat by and meekly watched Team Obama and the U.S.

Attorney in Sacramento railroad Walpin after the November 2008 election for doing his job.

It’s the same CNCS that has hired Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, as national service adviser to ensure — in her words — that corporation officials are their “No. 1 cheerleaders.”

It’s the same CNCS that smeared Walpin as “confused” and “disoriented” — and then sacked the honest, independent watchdog for raising questions on behalf of taxpayers.

And it’s the same CNCS that last month administered a mere slap on the wrist to the largest AmeriCorps program in the nation for massive fiscal mismanagement. As Youth Today, a niche publication that covers the national service sector, reported recently, “CNCS docked the City University of New York (CUNY) $345,700 for this year, reducing its grant from $900,000 to $554,300.”

Walpin had uncovered a raft of grant violations, including criminal background check lapses and “pervasive problems of eligibility, timekeeping and documentation” in an audit earlier this year. He challenged duplicative educational awards of more than $16 million. CUNY refused to return excess funds that it had drawn down, failed to revise procedures to prevent such grant abuse and refused to provide proof documenting that its AmeriCorps participants actually existed.

Walpin advised AmeriCorps’ parent organization, CNCS, to cut off any new funding and reexamine past government funding totaling upward of $75 million. But internal notes from CNCS discussions show that they had more “concern about potential for damage being done” and were irked by the “bad timing” of Walpin’s audits. In the end, the agency settled for cutting its current grant by less than half and keeping CUNY on the dole.

So much for a “new era of responsibility.”

Walpin is suing to get his job back as the Obama political machine takes over the national service juggernaut. It’s a David vs. Goliath, made-for-TV plot line. But when the government-undermining message threatens the White House narrative, it’s not fit for prime time.

  • seek

    Michelle Malkin is the Tracy Flick (see "Election") of American conservatism, all brass and arrogance. The fact that a few film stars attend charity balls is hardly a news story much less a scandal. I realize the Culture War Right is desperate to manufacture the appearance of "immorality" in Hollywood, but this is too transparent.

  • scottyga

    I wish politics would take a rest on this one.

    The whole idea of this is to find something or someone you care about and volunteer to help either by donating time, money or both. (Seems to me if you are against big government this would actually be a great solution btw).

    I went and looked at the website for the sponsorship which is:

    The most popular searches were: military,health,animals,tutoring, seniors, nature and education.

    Examining the various listings in my area, it turns out that most of the organizations providing opportunities were either locally based, or exist underneath the umbrella of much larger groups such as the evil “United Way”.

    Having Hollywood dedicate a week of plots that center around volunteerism is a refreshing change from what normally disgusts me most about network television; ie plots that revolve around violence, sex, greed and voyerism.

    As a last note, volunteerism has been around forever, and has been something to admire independent of politics, whether it was through the teachings of Jesus 2000 years ago, (Mathew 25: 31–46), George H.W. Bush in 1992 with his thousand points of light initiative, or now Obama with his call to national service.

    Unfortunately there has always been someone on the other side who had something to lose and therefore spent most of there time trying to derail the efforts.

  • cadbad

    Creepy, Winston. There, there, now, wipe that tear from your eye, big brother doesn't really love you, he hates you. Have a nice day:)

  • Melinda

    Strange piece for FPM. I think the problem is that it confuses efforts to encourage volunteerism with inherent problems of fiscal and programmatic mismanagement of non-profit corporations. What is the point of the article? Is it that American Citizens should not volunteer? That non-profits who mismanage should have their heads removed? That Demi Moore is an idiot? I'm just not sure. From a conservative perspective, volunteerism is a wonderful thing. If the effort is to expose mismanagement of non-profits, it doesn't really do the job, nor does it address how exactly whatever mismanagement has occurred can be cured (aside from bashing the effort to encourage volunteeris…. huh????).

  • LindaRivera

    Of course, volunteerism is wonderful. And Americans love to volunteer! The big concern which was not mentioned here, is that this 'voluntary' service will be made mandatory, something which is done in communist countries.

    And what is the purpose of Obama's Civilian National Security Force?

    Obama: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

  • scottyga

    The unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 30 years and if it keeps climbing will reach depression era levels.

    Single family home repos are at record highs.

    Military mothers and or dads are trying to take care of their kids while their spouse is off fighting a war somewhere.

    Adequate healthcare at affordable prices continue to become a thing of the past while the Insurance companies lobby to keep premium hikes cliimbing.

    Elderly shut ins with medical conditions are a growing segment of our population.

    There are more children living in poverty in this country than ever before.

    While church groups have always risen to the occasion, they too are feeling the effect of lower contributions from the congregations and are being forced to cut staff and projects.

    In short, we are in really deep crap, and if there was ever a time to step up I would say that time is now.

    Dismiss this as partisan BS and put new use to the words, “Lets Roll”.

    Because someday it might be you…………..

  • Greg

    In short we are really in deep crap? Somedayit might be me that will need a gov't job from Obama's” volunteerism” efforts? Yeah, why not? Let's see …349,000 dollars per gov't job….now that's change I can believe in!

  • bearone7777

    Sounds a little bit like this is another A.C.O.R.N. mess, and we the citizens of this antion are having to put up with this crap once again in a org. that Barack “INSANE' Obama says he thinks is doing a great job, and why should he not say that. He most likely is getting kick-backs from them.

    Thank you,
    Larry D. Crumbley