Courtesy of an excellent post over at The PJ Tatler by Bryan Preston who teased out the following from a Washington Times article. Click over to read the whole thing, but here are some of the highlights:
Hollywood director Robert Townsend got nearly $1 million in taxpayer dollars to produce a web video series entitled “Diary of a Single Mom.” The series is a feature on a website called pic.tv, the “pic” being an acronym for “Public Internet Channel.” That implies a PBS-like status. Google “pic.tv” and you’ll see that Townsend’s “Diary” series is pic.tv’s marquee offering.
Townsend isn’t exactly a fringe, struggling artist. It’s probably fair to say that he’s among the 1%.
But the taxpayer money he received to produce “Diary” is just a tiny portion of the money that the various web sites the show lives on got, also in taxpayer money.
On pic.tv’s “About” page, we learn that while it claims to be a “network of free websites with videos and tools to help you live a better life,” it’s a production of something called One Economy. Follow the links on One Economy to discover, as the Washington Times noted, that One Economy is also feeding at the stimulus trough.
In 2010, One Economy received one of the largest federal grants through the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand affordable access, digital literacy training and online tools and resources to low-income communities across the United States.
They’re not kidding; through the stimulus, One Economy received a nice chunk of your change. Townsend’s “Diary” money came from One Economy’s stimulus grant.
According to grant reports, One Economy so far has invoiced the government $18.9 million of the $28.5 million awarded under the grant, with 142.47 jobs created. The jobs include field supervisors, sales representatives and program managers, as well as numerous production-related positions, such as producers, cast members, casting director and an executive assistant to Mr. Townsend.
While Bryan doesn’t do the math for you, that’s roughly $130,000 per job so far. If no other hiring takes place, it will balloon to over $200,000 per job. Don’t forget, Bryan’s point here is that Townsend (and likely many of the others involved) have jobs so this stimulus funding neither created nor saved jobs. It augmented the income of people already employed. But make no mistake, these 142.47 jobs are counted on the recovery.gov site. One Economy is plastered throughout the reporting on the Recovery.gov site, including a Q3 2010 non-compliance report where they failed to report status on a $1.5M grant from NIST using stimulus monies.
The Times article adds the following:
Officials at One Economy said the grant wasn’t primarily about creating jobs. Instead, they said, the primary purpose was to increase broadband access and adoption, as well as to increase the number of people interacting with content “local and relevant to their lives.”
Wait, you mean they’re admiting to not using the Stimulus funds to create (or save) jobs? Hmmm…..
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.