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The balcony is closed for this year.

Today’s Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal printed a lead editorial about the continuing saga of right wingnuttia’s difficulties with the Show Me Social Justice International Film Festival. The editorial takes Representative Denny Hoskins (r-noun, verb, CPA) to task and highlights the scale of Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder’s (r-where’s my bicycle race?) hypocrisy:

9/14/2010 1:45:00 PM

Social justice fest opens to injustice


The Show Me Social Justice International Film Festival opened to injustice Friday in Warrensburg – harsh criticism coupled with an 11th-hour loss of funds.

A few days before the festival started, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder tweeted about wasting America Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax dollars, suggesting the $94,000 could be better spent on roads and bridges. On opening day, Rep. Denny Hoskins issued a statement shedding doubt on the value of a “festival with questionable ethics” and taking credit for funds being withdrawn….

….But Kinder’s selective criticism deserves scrutiny. Kinder pedaled furiously for using millions of state dollars to inflate the Tour of Missouri bicycle race. This year, because Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration decided not to pump another $1 million into Kinder’s boondoggle, the race deflated and disappeared. From a credibility standpoint, for Kinder now to criticize spending less than $100,000 on the film festival falls flat….

….Missouri Valley did not hide the intent to stage the festival. Organizers put everything in print and on the Web, and showed pride in the effort.

Given that background, how ethical, how irresponsible, how plain dumb, really, is it that after months of planning by Missouri Valley, Social Services yanked festival funding less than 17 hours before the event started?…

[emphasis added]

Really, here at Show Me Progress we didn’t notice the hypocrisy and political posturing? Oh, wait, we did:

..Irony alert, anyone, anyone? Do you think the Lieutenant Governor is aware of the difference between the annual big bucks subsidy of a bicycle race and one time seed money for a small cultural event? Apparently not…

Then, you know, republicans don’t like or want American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to be used for anything, including roads and bridges.

There was also a companion piece in the Daily Star-Journal’s opinion section today, written by Jack Miles:

9/14/2010 1:45:00 PM

Little justice for festival’s organizers

I am disappointed that controversy plagued the festival. I support questioning the use of tax dollars, but also question the critics’ timing. Organizers planned the event months ago, but critics waited until the last minute to raise concerns about using $94,000 in Recovery Act funds for the festival. If critics intended to destroy the momentum and enthusiasm supporters had going into the festival, kudos to them.

I feel bad for Missouri Valley Community Action Agency, which organized the event, and for participating merchants caught up in the controversy. If critics had waited until after the festival, funding still could have been withheld, but without the potential to hurt an event meant to showcase Warrensburg and to boost the area’s economy.

For a festival offering social justice, Missouri Valley got little in return. Here’s hoping for a better outcome next year. Break a leg.

The Daily Star Journal had extensive coverage of the festival in today’s and previous editions of the paper:

Awards end controversial film festival (September 14, 2010)

Mixed reviews follow festival (September 13, 2010)

Controversy fails to bring down curtain (September 13, 2010)

Show Me Justice Fest (September 13, 2010)

Our previous coverage:

Suppose you held a film festival and right wingnuts didn’t want anyone to attend (September 10, 2010)

The show must go on (September 10, 2010)