There's little doubt that at hand is an ongoing effort by the Obama White House to marginalize the Fox News Channel - especially after the administration attempted to leave Fox out of the White House pool last week. That is something conservative columnist Cal Thomas said is eerily comparable to Cold War tactics of the old Soviet Union.
On the Fox News Channel's Oct. 24 "Fox News Watch," Thomas alluded to an Oct. 21 column he wrote, which he compared what the Soviets did with radio signals that penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver a message of freedom from Western Europe - they jammed them.
"I wrote a column on this, this week - if I can promote myself and my own column," Thomas said. "I likened it to what happened during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union especially tried to jam the signals of the Voice of America and Radio Europe, other entities that were trying to pump truth into the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries, the so-called captive nations."
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
The New York Times announced today that it would appoint an editor to monitor 'opinion media'. In an attempt to respond to criticism that it has been too slow to pick up on stories first reported by conservative blogs and talk show hosts, the Times acknowledged poor coverage, but denied a political agenda.
The self-proclaimed 'paper of record' was extremely slow in picking up on two recent stories. The first, the 'trutherism' of former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, was initially reported by Pajamas Media, and later by Glenn Beck on his Fox News talk show. The Times did not cover the story until after Jones had resigned.
Later, the Times neglected to report on the undercover sting operation that exposed ACORN for offering assistance in a bogus child prostitution ring. The Times reported on Congress's votes to de-fund ACORN, but neglected to mention the sting operation that inspired the votes.
The Obama-loving media’s fractured "news judgment" – the kind that tried to skip Van Jones and ACORN because they were hobby horses of that wacko Glenn Beck – came under scrutiny Sunday by Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander. Alexander suggested the Post doesn’t pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints. The headline was "Wrongly Deaf to Right-Wing Media?"
But check out Tom Rosenstiel (formerly of Newsweek and the L.A. Times) gritting his rhetorical teeth at Alexander’s point even as he calls the liberal media "non-ideological":
It "can't be discounted," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. "Complaints by conservatives are slower to be picked up by non-ideological media because there are not enough conservatives and too many liberals in most newsrooms."
"They just don't see the resonance of these issues. They don't hear about them as fast [and] they're not naturally watching as much," he added.
The "non-ideological media" have "too many liberals in most newsrooms"?
I've been trying to give Chuck Todd the benefit of the doubt when it comes to classifying him as part of what Rush would call the state-controlled media. But that indulgence was strained to the breaking point on Morning Joe today when Todd flatly rejected the notion that the MSM had under-covered the Van Jones story and suggested that delving into his background would have been a waste of MSM time.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You say this has been a Republican obsession, ACORN. It certainly hasn't been an obsession in the media. Mike Allen said the mainstream media was slow on the Van Jones story, also slow on this [ACORN] story. Is that a fair charge?
When Glenn Beck reports that a top-level White House advisor has endorsed communism, accused 'white polluters' of poisoning minority communities, called his political opponents a**holes, and believes an American president was complicit in the slaughter of innocent civilians, Beck must have a hidden agenda. When the mainstream media fails to report these facts, it's all an honest mistake.
Or so one might gather from listening to CNN contributor and Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz. Kurtz continues to waffle between a cynical take on Glenn Beck's outing of Van Jones as a truther conspiracy theorist, and an apologetic approach to the mainstream media's virtual silence on the story until after Jones's resignation.
The Times's Managing Editor Jill Abramson offered a number of excuses for the lack of Van Jones coverage last weekend, chiefly that the paper's Washington Bureau was short-staffed. This did not stop the Times from sending two reporters to Boston for the weekend to cover the non-story of Joseph Kennedy II's Senate run (which he later said would not happen).
On August 30, CNN's Howard Kurtz accused Glenn Beck of attacking former green jobs czar Van Jones in retaliation for the advertising boycott the Jones-founded group Color of Change had organized against the Fox News host.
Now that Jones has been forced to resign as a result of numerous allegations uncovered and/or reported by Beck, Kurtz is wondering why most other news outlets totally ignored this story.
To refresh your memory, here's what Kurtz said about Beck on "Reliable Sources" two weeks ago (video embedded below the fold):
If you rely only on the three major broadcast networks or one of the top major national papers as your news sources, the name "Van Jones" might prompt you to say,"Who?" But, while the media had difficulty reporting on Van Jones the embattled member of the Obama Administration, it had no such trouble covering Van Jones the anti-Iraq War protestor.
Jones, who was President Barack Obama's so-called "green jobs czar" resigned in the middle of the night on Sept. 6 - a Saturday night/Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend. He had for weeks been embroiled in controversy after revelations that he had signed a petition demanding an investigation into whether the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job by the U.S. government, was a self-described communist and had publicly derided Republicans as "a**holes." But the story had gotten little coverage from the mainstream media.
A top editor at the New York Times this week owned up to the paper’s lack of coverage of the controversy surrounding former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones. Rather than leaving it there, however, the editor noted the paper’s minimal online coverage, insisted that the Washington bureau was short-staffed, and suggested that Jones and his contentious positions really were not important enough to cover at length.
The Times did not print an article about Jones and his recently-discovered support of the ‘truther’ movement, which believes that the Bush Administration had foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, until Monday, when it ran a story on the front page.
“The Times was, in fact, a beat behind on this story,” admitted Jill Abramson, managing editor of the paper, in answer to a number of readers’ questions during an online Q&A session Monday. She went on to offer three excuses for the newspaper’s virtual silence on the controversy.
ABC’s Robin Roberts conducted a fawning interview with Barack Obama on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, downplaying controversy and instead offering fawning softballs such as "How difficult is it to stay on message?" The GMA host previewed Obama’s big health care speech to Congress and only gently broached the difficulties that the President has had with the legislation.
Earlier in the segment, Roberts vaguely wondered, "Is there a new approach that you're taking to getting your message across?" The ABC co-host mentioned controversial (now former) green czar Van Jones, but managed to not actually ask a question about him: "You talk about talk radio and the things that are being said. Glenn Beck, for instance, really going after Van Jones. Forced to resign. Controversial things that he said about 9/11 and Columbine. How difficult is it to stay on message?"
For days, Scarborough had been lambasting Republicans for going after Pres. Obama on his speech to schoolchildren. Finkelstein argued that it was not so much the potential for indoctrination as the cult of personality which was objectionable. He pointed out that the Obama-centric study guide for the speech was of a piece with messianic image that the president has allowed to grow up around him, going back to the presidential campaign and his famous "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" speech.
The first words of the [New York] Times' story on Jones' resignation were, “In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration's conservative critics....” One news anchor suggested Jones was “the Republican right's first scalp.” Other coverage called the Jones affair a victory for Glenn Beck, Fox News, right-wing blogs, and even Sarah Palin, who played no role in the matter. If you throw in Rush Limbaugh, you have all the bogey-people of the conservative world. To some on the left, including some journalists, denying them a victory was a top priority, no matter what Van Jones had said and done.
On the up side: “There was a day, not too long ago, when the Times and other influential news organizations could kill a story -- could deny the bad guys a win -- simply by ignoring it. Sometimes they still try. But it just won't work anymore.”
Dan Gainor, the Vice-President of Business and Culture for the MRC, appeared on the September 8 edition of Fox Business Live to discuss the media's failure to report on President Obama's green jobs czar Van Jones, who resigned late Saturday night.
Gainor stated that the mainstream media "absolutely ignored" the Jones stories. He detailed:
While media predictably blame Obama adviser Van Jones's resignation on a right-wing smear campaign, the inconvenient truth is that this episode says a lot about the current White House resident and how he was just as poorly vetted by news outlets during the campaign last year as his administration members are now that he's the Commander-in-Chief.
More to the point: if so-called journalists had done their job in 2008, voters might have known just how radical Obama was BEFORE they went to the polls instead of finding out after it was too late.
According to an editorial in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, this is just one of the lessons from Jones's resignation (h/t Jack Coleman):
“It's a sad day to see a man of good work get so little credit,” CNN senior political analyst David Gergen regretted about Van Jones on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, complaining about the coverage of the Obama “green jobs” czar who resigned late Saturday night after his radical views were exposed: “I mean, there's no balance to understanding just how many good things he's done.”
Jones signed a petition which charged Bush administration officials “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war,” described himself as a “communist,” compared George W. Bush to a crack user, called Republicans “assholes” and made other incendiary race-based remarks, but Gergen saw a saint: “As he left Yale Law School, instead of going to a lucrative job, went out and worked with ex-prisoners, tried to create green jobs for them, has been featured in Time magazine, gotten all sorts of award for it.” (Audio: MP3 clip of Gergen)
Being championed in Time magazine is only a badge of honor for liberals. Back in November of 2007, in a profile of Jones, “Bring Eco-Power to the People,” the magazine hailed him as “magnetic” and a “visionary.”
By Friday, after White House Secretary Robert Gibbs would only say that he still was a part of the administration, it was obvious that Jones's resignation was only a matter of time. The 9/11 truther and other evidence accumulated by Glenn Beck, Gateway Pundit, WorldNetDaily, and others was simply overwhelming.
But it seems to me that it would have been more convenient had the White House waited until early Sunday afternoon to announce Jones's resignation. Given the establishment media's near blackout of his past statements and actions, it's likely that the Sunday morning network talk shows would have avoided Jones completely, or would have given the topic very short shrift. A Sunday afternoon resignation would have been much more invisible -- except for something that came out on Saturday evening.
I believe that Jones's resignation may have been moved up by 12 hours or so. That's because on Saturday evening, Scott Johnson at Powerline presented proof that roughly 40 hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, avowed Communist Jones publicly declared that the U.S. deserved what happened. I'm not kidding.
“The resignation of President Obama's green jobs 'czar,' Van Jones, might have come as a shock if you do not watch cable news,” FNC's Bret Baier observed at the top of his Monday night “Grapevine” segment. Of course, it would have been a surprise too if you rely on MSNBC. “In fact,” Baier continued, “the 'big three' evening newscasts and two of the nation's most-prominent newspapers barely covered the story.”
There was no mention of Jones by CBS, NBC, ABC, the Washington Post or the New York Times on Wednesday -- the night Jones' first issued an apology for past statements. The same was true on Thursday, although a Washington Post blog picked up the story. That night Jones again apologized for a slew of old remarks and the signing of that petition that alleged the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks. ABC and NBC failed to cover the story on Friday after that, although CBS finally did....
Baier's rundown matched what NewsBusters has documented over the past several days (see links below).
The evidence is in on Van Jones. He's and admitted communist, signed a petition supporting 9/11 conspiracy theories and has called Republicans a series of vulgar names, and according to Democratic strategist Donna Brazile - there's nothing wrong with that.
"Let me just say that Van Jones is a very, very intelligent man," Brazile said. "A Yale graduate, someone who came up from the public schools of Jackson, Tenn. to make something of himself. People have a deep and abiding respect for his expertise for on the environment."
Van Jones and Mark Lloyd: Hopefully Headed in the Same Direction
Editor's Note: In Sunday's More czars on conservative hit list, the Politico's Lisa Lerer stated "conservatives have accused (Mark) Lloyd, appointed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the agency’s Chief Diversity officer in late July, of secretly wanting to reinstate the controversial Fairness Doctrine." Below is my full response to her and them, excerpts of which I posted in their Comments section and sent via their email form directly to her.
This is not at all accurate. We at the Media Research Center broke the news of Lloyd’s FCC gig (created just for him just the way the “green jobs czar” slot was for the recently dispatched conspiracy-addled Truther-Communist Van Jones). And we specifically stated that he had "no need for the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine." From that essay:
These last two (Lloyd report recommendations) get perilously close to the use of "localism" to silence conservative (and Christian) radio stations, about which we have been warning for quite some time.
...In a follow-up essay to the CAP report entitled "Forget the Fairness Doctrine," Lloyd specifically instructs liberal activists to do the latter - use the "localism" requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC. The FCC would then assess these stations fines, with the money going to (very liberal) public broadcasting.
Or worse - the FCC would rescind these stations' broadcast licenses. In other words, shut them up by shutting them down. Thus, as Lloyd says, no need for the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine.
We have repeatedly said the same on TV, radio and in print, in fact since long before Lloyd got his new job.The Left’s plans to travel these "localism" and "diversity" alternate routes to arrive at the same censorship destination as the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine - the silencing of conservative and Christian talk radio – long predate Lloyd’s appointment.
For six weeks, while virtually every mainstream media outlet ignored "green jobs czar" Van Jones, Fox News's Glenn Beck exposed the radical background of President Obama's environment adviser.
On Saturday, Jones resigned, and most of the same news outlets that ignored the shocking nature of this White House representative are coming to his defense predictably claiming that he was the victim of a right-wing smear campaign.
One so-called journalist is even asking his viewers to dig up dirt on Beck.
Somewhat bucking this disgraceful trend was Politico in its Monday article "Glenn Beck Up, Left Down and Jones Defiant":
There is a charge floating around out there that President Barack Obama knew in advance about the radical background of Van Jones before appointing him as his "green jobs czar." So where is this charge coming from? Glenn Beck? Nope. Fox News? Nope. This revelatory charge was made on the pages of the liberal San Francisco Chronicle in an article on the Jones resignation written by Joe Garofoli:
The middle-of-the-night resignation Sunday of longtime Bay Area activist Van Jones as a White House environmental adviser left many progressives angry at the Obama administration for buckling to conservative criticism of Jones' controversial past comments and actions.
...Supporters say the administration surely knew his background when they appointed Jones, the first African American to write a best-selling environmental book, as special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In fact, agents interviewed at least one of his former supervisors in San Francisco - Eva Paterson - when the FBI vetted his appointment.
Instead of focusing on how the Obama administration found it appropriate to hire a man who added his name to a petition asserting the Bush administration deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur -- or the incompetence displayed in not knowing about it -- ABC and NBC on Sunday night painted Van Jones as a victim, “a target for conservatives,” while “the Republican Right” claimed “its first scalp in this administration.” [audio available here]
With “Under Fire” on screen by a picture of Jones, as if he's the aggrieved party, World News anchor Dan Harris fretted that “at this crucial moment,” with President Obama planning to take up health care, “the White House is now dealing with a sudden overnight resignation of a controversial adviser.” Reporter Stephanie Sy stressed how Jones' remarks on various topics “were all made before he joined the Obama administration, but made him an easy target for conservatives.” She acknowledged Jones “in fact did describe himself as an aspiring communist revolutionary in his youth,” but, she highlighted, “he said he is the victim of a 'vicious smear campaign of lies and distortion.'” Sy featured Howard Dean lamenting Jones will no longer be able “to help this country,” before she concluded: “Democrats worry that Van Jones is only the first of Mr. Obama's so-called policy czars...that will be targeted by Republicans.”
Inadvertently, presumably, NBC anchor Lester Holt conceded the mainstream media's malfeasance: “I don't think most Americans had heard of him before this.” Holt then asked John Harwood: “Can the Republican Right claim its first scalp in this administration?” Harwood pointed to how Obama “lost” Tom Dashle, and proceeded to agree that “yes, it is a victory for the Republican Right,” though he insisted “Jones was not an especially important figure within the administration. His job wasn't that big.”
Even when an Obama aide is forced to resign after it's revealed he's so radical he signed his name to 9/11 conspiracy theories and belonged to Marxist revolutionary groups, The Washington Post is still buttering him up as a "legendary" and "towering" figure of the environmental movement.
This leaves the question: how radical then, is the environmental movement? (And yet, notice that's the Post's indirect way of suggesting someone's a left-wing warrior.) On page 3 of Saturday's newspaper, reporters Garance Franke-Ruta (formerly of the lefty magazine The American Prospect) and Anne Kornblut used the L word, legendary:
Jones, a legendary figure in the environmental movement, has worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, as special adviser for green jobs, since March.
It shifted to "towering" after Jones resigned. From the overnight story by Garance and Anne:
It took Van Jones' resignation, around midnight Saturday night on a holiday weekend, for ABC and NBC to mention him for the first time in Sunday morning news shows which broached, but failed to quote, the insidious “911truth” petition he signed, while ABC's George Stephanopoulos, seemingly trying to rationalize ABC's spiking of the subject, came aboard Good Morning America to dismiss the matter as “a summer squall.” Stephanopoulos was impressed by how the White House handled it: “The fact they got it out of the way before the end of the Labor Day weekend, before his spokespeople like Robert Gibbs, who's appearing on This Week come on this morning, I think will contain any kind of damage.”
That, and a compliant news media. As Bill Kristol observed on Fox News Sunday: “The mainstream media did not cover this story.”
Mike Viqueira reported on NBC's Today: “Van Jones, that's the President's 'green gobs' czar, has resigned overnight after it became known that before joining the administration he signed a petition put forward by those who believe that the government had a hand in 9/11.” Later, Viqueira relayed how “Jones says he is the victim of a 'vicious smear campaign' from the right, but he says he's resigning because he doesn't want to draw attention from the fights to come this fall over health care and energy and climate change legislation.”
Guess who's not pleased about Van Jones middle-of-the-night-on-a-holiday-weekend resignation? Perhaps you never would have seen this one coming, but no other MSNBC "Countdown" host and provocateur Keith Olbermann himself.
Bitter and seeing red? Perhaps. In a post on the Daily Kos dated Sept. 6, Olbermann urged the half-crazed liberal Kos readers to go digging for dirt on Fox News host Glenn Beck, Beck's radio producer Stu Burguiere and Fox News president Roger Ailes. (h/t Morgen of Verum Serum)
"I don't know why I've got this phrasing in my head, but: Find everything you can about Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Roger Ailes," Olbermann wrote. "No, even now, I refuse to go all caps. No, sending me links to the last two Countdowns with my own de-constructions of his biblical vision quality Communist/Fascist/Socialist/Zimbalist art at Rockefeller Center (where, curiously, he works, Comrade) doesn't count. Nor does sending me links to specious inappropriate point-underscoring prove-you're-innocent made-up rumors."
Van Jones, Obama environmental adviser and "green jobs" czar, resigned late Saturday night, the culmination of days of controversy (ignored by the mainstream media) after the Gateway Pundit blog dug up evidence of Van Jones being a "Truther." He signed a 911Truth.org petition in 2004 questioning whether the Bush administration "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen." And the New York Times does its first story on the matter -- the day after Van Jones resigned his administration post.
Last month, the New York Times jumped on the conservative fringe of "Birthers" who question Obama's Hawaiian birthplace and thus his presidential eligibility, deriding the conspiracy theory as false and demanding prominent Republicans denounce the idea. Yet the Times maintained strict silence on the Van Jones controversy as it bubbled away for several days in the photosphere, with only the Washington Times and Fox News Channel willing to treat as a news story the fact that an influential member of the Obama administration thinks the government may have let 9-11 happen -- a far more incendiary charge than the question of Obama's birthplace.