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by
Bryan Preston

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July 3, 2013 - 10:58 am

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request against the Government Services Agency and has unearthed more waste in the sprawling bureaucracy.

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained more than a half-dozen, newly uncovered videos from U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) which show senior GSA officials and staff participating in costumed playacting and parodies.  These videos are evidence of GSA’s extravagance, which, along with the scandalous 2010 Las Vegas regional conference, were revealed in a scathing April 2012 inspector general (IG) report.  These videos had been available on GSA’s website prior to the release of the IG Report but were removed shortly thereafter.

The videos were obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to a June 15, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking videos produced by GSA’s Northeast Region (known as Region 2) from 2011 through June 2012.  Because the agency failed to timely respond to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on May 23, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. General Services Administration (No. 1:13-cv-00755)).

The videos Judicial Watch unearthed include an embarrassing “Rocky” parody, and, um, this pitiful rap video, done to the tune of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” These government worker are so hip and with it that they’re parodying songs that were novel and funny about 20 years ago.

There are many more videos where that came from:

Jeopardy – GSA officials and employees participate in an elaborate Jeopardy game show parody, complete with theme music, light-up board, and canned audience applause.

·        The “Leasefather – GSA employees parody the baker scene from “The Godfather” movie with supplicant pleading for Don Tony (stroking stuffed cat) to give him justice.

·        Mission Impossible – Former GSA official Ashley Cohen portrays Jim Phelps in a Mission Impossible TV show parody with blaring theme, lit matches, and an exploding tape recorder.

·        Sherlock Holmes – After an opening with stock footage from Universal Studios, GSA employees costumed as Holmes and Watson conduct a lengthy discussion.

In the same way in which a dentist’s corny jokes about the Jewish people offended Jerry Seinfeld as a comedian, these videos are offensive to anyone who has ever been involved in professional video production. The production quality, writing, and acting are uniformly terrible. They’re horrid, stupid, schlocky, and just bad. But added up, they amount to hundreds if not thousands of wasted man hours and resources, on the American taxpayer’s dime.

Judicial Watch points out that it only found out about the videos’ existence because a whistle blower, Linda Shenwick, spoke out. She worked in the GSA’s Region 2 office, which produced the videos.

In my government career experience, these videos usually result from one of two things. Either the workers don’t have enough to do and get “creative,” or GSA sidelined an incompetent executive rather than fire them, and that sidelined executive was moved over into an office where they couldn’t actively do any harm — typically, somewhere like the agency’s video production division. The sidelined executive then found a way to do even more harm, and these videos are the result of their work.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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I think government bureaucracies AND private companies would be better served by getting rid of all these "team building" activities and instead invest in some "maturity building" exercises.


But who would teach them?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a former teacher, I can assure you that all of these "team building" activities are absolutely 100% b.s.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Naturally, playing around like a bunch of jr. hi. kids. This is our gov't at work!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's probably done for "team building" or cheer-leading exercises. My (private corporation) actually has an in-house video production team. They're supposed to be for creating training videos, but sure seem to be busy with the "team building" and cheer-leading stuff...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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