I don’t think either the L.A. Times' scolding or Sting's inflated sense of his own diplomatic powers really applies. On this matter I agree with Hitler. When news surfaced that some of his favorite artists had signed a communist pamphlet, the easygoing Führer waved the matter off, saying, “I don't take any of that seriously. We should never judge artists by their political views. The imagination they need for their work deprives them of the ability to think in realistic terms. Artists are simple-hearted souls. Today they sign this, tomorrow that; they don't even look to see what it is, so long as it seems to them well-meaning.”
Completely unrelated is this interview with Jeff Daniels on film subsidies (and other topics). The faith he and the interviewer share in the Ernst & Young study is charmingly naive. Indeed, a take-down of the E & Y study would make a nice short paper for someone in public finance. [Just to be clear, I think in general Jeff Daniels is a good guy and deserves praise for his work in Michigan; he just shouldn't be opining on economics.]
This older piece by Nick on artists kissing the bottom of The One is worth reading as well.