Back home in Echo Park, the former director of communications for the National Endowment of the Arts talks about discovering that in politics, being right is no substitute for looking like you're right. Sergant masterminded the viral spread of Shepard Fairey's Hope poster for Obama, got a job in the White House Office of Public Engagement, then moved to NEA as a neophyte political flack. A few words on a conference call got him targeted as a bogeyman by the anti-Obama wing of the media, led by Glenn Beck.
Sergant gives his first in-depth interview since leaving Washington to a close friend, Hillel Aron, who reports for USC's Neon Tommy. Excerpts:
His tenure at the NEA was cut short by a seemingly mundane conference call that somehow became a national scandal stirred up by Andrew Breitbart, Glenn Beck, and one of his old bosses....
Yosi can be forgiven for being suspicious of the media. He's seen how they can take what you say, disassemble it, throw most of it away, and reassemble it into something completely different. He's not paranoid. Just a little shell-shocked.
Continued after the jump.
Photo cropped from photo by Darius Twin
"Didn't it piss you off that no one spoke up for you?" I asked Yosi.
"No, I got it," he said.
"Really?" I asked incredulously, "cause you spent two years of your life helping this guy become president, and no one came to your defense. I'm pissed. Why aren't you pissed?"
"I wasn't worth defending."
"I don't believe that what I did was wrong," he said, "I believe that what I did came at a time when all the focus was on health care reform, and that that's where they needed to put their time and energy... could they have stood up for me if they wanted to? Sure. Am I worth the political capital? They had just lost Van Jones."