Ask Congress to shed light on the secret contract between Smithsonian and Showtime

From Carl Malamud at the Center for American Progress:

Smithsonian lobbyists are trying to paper over their exclusive 30-year sellout to Showtime, saying that the contract has posed no problems and nobody seems to be upset about it anymore.

This position is meant to convince Congress that they should rescind language in pending House bills, such as provisions that no contracts shall be issued that limit access by the public. The situation is timely since the House and Senate will soon be meeting to reconcile bills in conference.

This situation just begs for a little sunshine, but that’s the last thing the Smithsonian seems to want:

  • The contract is still secret and was even withheld at first
    from members of Congress. When they finally delivered the
    document to the oversight committee, large portions of the
    contract were redacted until they agreed to sign an NDA.
    The public *still* hasn’t seen this contract.

  • The hearing record is available through GPO and at (3.4 mbyte pdf file)

  • The Government Accounting Office has delivered a draft report
    of the contract to the Congress and Smithsonian officials maintain the study should not be released for the public to see.

If you don’t want this situation simply brushed under the Smithsonian’s rug, please read and consider signing this letter to members of Congress

Carl Malamud of the Center for American Progress will be taking signatures through Sunday, November 25 and will deliver the letter the following week. Email him at In your email please include:

  • Your name as you wish it to be listed.
  • Your title and an institutional affiliation if you wish it to be listed.
  • If you do not list an institutional affiliation, please list a city and state of residence.


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