Howard Kurtz: Glenn Beck Attacking Van Jones Because of Ad Boycott
Howard Kurtz on Sunday accused Fox News's Glenn Beck of attacking White House "green czar" Van Jones in response to the advertiser boycott implemented by Color of Change, an advocacy group founded by Jones.
Such a conclusion seems to stem from all the time Beck spent on his program last week chronicling Jones's activities as well as his background.
What Kurtz conveniently ignored in this installment of CNN's "Reliable Sources" was that Beck did two reports on Jones prior to the start of Color of Change's campaign to get companies to end their sponsorship of Beck.
Ironically, this came as Kurtz chided Beck for not sharing all the facts with his viewers (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 39:20):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Glenn Beck devoted some time this week to trashing a man named Van Jones, a special adviser at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
GLENN BECK: Let's start at Yale Law School. Van Jones showed up wearing combat boots and holding a Black Panther book bag. A major turning point came in 1993 when he was arrested during the Rodney King riots. He spent the next ten years as a full-fledged radical. Among other things, founding a group called STORM, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement which held study groups in the Marxist and Lenin teachings. And why is it that such a committed revolutionary has made it so high into the Obama administration as one of his chief advisers?
KURTZ: And why is it that the Fox News host would target this relatively obscure administration official along with that scary music? Van Jones was a co-founder of Color of Change, an advocacy group that has been promoting an advertising boycott of Beck's show over his denunciation of President Obama as a racist. Some three dozen advertisers have pulled their spots from the Beck program, a detail that Beck somehow neglected to mention.
Well, here's a little detail Kurtz neglected to mention: Beck discussed Van Jones's radical background on July 23 --
Obama's new green czar, Van Jones, this is a guy who is a self-avowed communist, and he is in the Obama administration. He says in his book that has been out now for about four months, "The Green Collar Economy," subtitle: "How One Solution Can Fix Two Big Problems," that the best way to fight global warming and urban poverty is by creating millions of green jobs.
This guy wasn't a radical, and then was arrested. He spent six months in jail, came out a communist. Then he was a communist-anarchist radical. And then he decided -- he found the eco-movement -- and decided green is the new red. He then went on to become a green expert.
A percentage of these jobs, he says, should go to the disadvantaged and to the chronically unemployed. Well, why are they chronically unemployed? "The green economy should not just be about reclaiming thrown- away stuff. It should be about reclaiming thrown-away communities."
And again on July 28:
BECK: All right. You know, what we're uncovering here on this program is complex, and it is -- it takes a lot of our day just to figure out how to explain it to you. And it's complex by design. You know, it's the vast left-wing conspiracy.
The Apollo Alliance combines environmental policy, the green movement, with labor and social justice. Why is that troubling? Maybe it's the guy behind the curtain making it all happen. He's a former black nationalist and self-professed communist.
Here is Phil Kerpen. He is the director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.
Phil, how are you, sir?
PHIL KERPEN, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: I'm good, Glenn. How are you?
BECK: Good. Tell me about -- tell me a little bit about Apollo and these -- I have ACORN and the Black Farmers and the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and AFL-CIO and SEIU. Why are these thee categories -- how are they tied to Apollo?
KERPEN: Well, the Apollo Alliance is designed to bring together the elements of organized labor with the community organizers with the green groups, the environmental groups, and to access all of the big foundation money that's been supportive of those causes in the past. So, it's kind of -- Van Jones, who you mentioned, the self-described communist who is now green jobs czar, he described the Apollo Alliance mission as sort of a grand unified field theory for progressive left causes that ties all these things together.
BECK: OK. And Apollo is named Apollo. Do you know why it's named Apollo?
KERPEN: Yes. They really admire the Apollo mission, the moon shot mission, and they think that we need a similar centrally-planned, organized massive mobilization to reorder society and take control of energy and their various other objectives. They admire that.
BECK: I saw.
KERPEN: . and they want it like a moon shot.
BECK: Right. And I saw on their Web site, and I can't remember the exact quote, but it's something like "massive and fast." They wanted something like the moon shot that could happen and just be launched quickly. OK. So, Van Jobs -- Van Jones, he is the self-proclaimed communist. He is -- he is one of the founding members of Apollo, right?
KERPEN: That's right.
KERPEN: The national Apollo, yes.
BECK: OK. And then we have Wade Rathke -- Wade Rathke, who is the founder of ACORN. He was on the board of directors, if I'm not mistaken, of the institution that is funding and paying for Apollo, right?
KERPEN: Yes. He's on -- he was until this year on the board of the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center, which are the parent organizations that host the Apollo Alliance.
BECK: OK. So, Wade Rathke, ACORN, Tides Center, they decide that they're going to fund and create Apollo. One of the founders is the guy who went to jail -- this is during the Rodney King thing -- he went to jail and he was just a black nationalist. He came out a communist and he also then started looking into the green movement, and he is the guy who said, "Hey, if we tie labor and ACORN and Greenpeace together, we've got a super- powerful group, Apollo."
Is it true Apollo helped design the stimulus package?
KERPEN: They did. They put out a draft stimulus bill last year in 2008. It included almost everything that ended up being in the final stimulus bill. Harry Reid has thanked them for helping design the final stimulus package that was enacted into law. And they brag on their Web site that they helped design this thing and push it through.
BECK: OK. SEIU, this is the -- this is the labor group, that they're the ones pushing through health care. This is -- this is ACORN/SEIU. Their vice president is on the board of directors of Apollo, correct?
KERPEN: Yes. Gerland Hudson (ph), the vice president of SEIU, is on the Apollo board of directors.
BECK: OK. Can you tell me where John Podesta fits in to all of this?
KERPEN: John Podesta is also on the Apollo board. He, of course, is also the president of the Center for American Progress, which sends out the daily marching orders, the talking points for the left side of the blogs and the online activists. And those organizers out on the street, the ACORN and SEIU folks, they get their daily talking points from that Center for American Progress e-mail.
BECK: OK. America, I would like you -- I just like to ask you, Barack Obama keeps trying to separate himself from all of these organizations. He's telling us -- he's giving speeches and saying, "I'm one of you, guys; I really am one of you." But then these organizations he'll always distance himself over and over and over again from the individuals.
But let me ask you this -- John Podesta, Van Jones, who is now his green jobs czar, an avowed communist, we've got the SEIU, who's in his office once a week talking about labor. They're the ones who were negotiating with all of the health care industry. He's in the Obama's office all the time. Wade Rathke, former founder of ACORN. It all ties to the Tides Center.
But who's really at the top of all of this? Who's the one that's trying to stay away from all of it and say I have nothing to do with it? Obama. But if you look at what Apollo, social -- see, if this sounds familiar, like, maybe, I don't know, the way we're going to transform America: social justice, the green movement, and labor unions.
Maybe it's just me, Phil. Can you talk me out of the crazy tree here and saying that's -- this is exactly what Barack Obama stands for, and these are his soldiers?
KERPEN: Well, look, there are a lot of connections here that makes it look like that certainly the case. Of course, we've got John Holdren, the science czar, who's also tied up with a lot of these folks. We've got Jason Grumet, who was the chief advisor for energy on the Obama campaign, who's also on the board of John Holdren's group, the National Energy Commission, which is also tied in with these folks.
I think that if you look at Obama's past, he was an organizer for ACORN. He was actually their chief national trainer. If you look at all the organizations that are actually doing the footwork to push through all the elements of the Obama agenda, and it's pretty clear that he's part and parcel of these radical movements. He really can't separate himself from them, in my view.
BECK: I don't know how you can put self-acclaimed communists as a czar and claim you're not part of that. I don't know how you can is surround yourself with radicals and say that you have nothing to do with that. This man is a radical. Please talk me out of the crazy tree, America.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Kurtz neglected to mention that Color of Change's campaign against Beck started AFTER these two programs critical of Jones aired.
In fact, many have speculated that this well-publicized boycott was a response to the conservative host's attacks on Jones, another detail Kurtz neglected to tell his audience Sunday.
C'mon, Howard...we expect much more from you.
*****Update: For the record, it appears the first suggestion of a Beck boycott by Color of Change came in an e-mail message sent to members on July 30 (h/t NBer Gary Hall).