"Look, if you like depictions of sadomasochism... if you like homoerotic art.... if you're into religious bigotry... if you like that, fine," but don't expect taxpayers to subsidize such an exhibit at a Smithsonian museum, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued in a debate segment on last night's edition of "John King USA" on CNN.
The Media Research Center (MRC) founder and president appeared opposite Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik, who defended the controversial art display "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" featured at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
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A story uncovering the exhibit's most controversial features -- including a video depicting ants crawling on a crucifix and a photograph of two naked men kissing while one holds a handgun to the other's chest -- was broken on Monday by Penny Starr of CNSNews.com, a division of the MRC.
"I have an idea. Let's put [the controversial art work] on national television right now," Bozell challenged CNN host John King.
"CNN has been there. CNN has taped it. Put it on air right now" without the pixelation that modesty requires.
"We're not going to do that," King flatly insisted.
"Now, wait a minute, why aren't you going to do it," Bozell demanded.
"Because it would be objectionable to some people, and I can't control children, including my own being in a room and they should not see it," King replied.
Bozell then informed King and the CNN audience that the National Portrait Gallery had promoted a children's day exhibit of "Hide/Seek" on November 21.