This story has led to the resignation of the head of the Smithsonian. A familiar pattern in both business and public life, but often times these scandals don’t touch the people they really ought to touch. Namely, the people whose role was to exercise due diligence, who approved the contracts or the expenditures. Certainly this casts a very new light on the Smithsonian’s terrible deal with Showtime.
The only thing I fear is that the yahoos on Capitol Hill will decide to punish the institution by cutting its appropriations further. Maybe they ought to fund a national treasure appropriately and find an administrator who is less focused on raising money and more focused on making his own institution the best it can be. I have to laugh when folks decide that someone who comes from the corporate world inevitably is going to be some kind of master of efficiency when they’re put in charge of a public institution.