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.
Powerline nicely summarizes the problems with (now former) Obama Administration official Van Jones:
Who do they have in the White House? A self-proclaimed Communist. A vulgar Marxist twice over. A supporter of cold-blooded cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. A 9/11 Truther . A racist hater, whose hatred extends to the United States. And insofar as his current job is concerned, we have a man who sees the "green jobs" con as a tool for overthrowing capitalism. We have, in short, the complete left-wing nightmare package.
Breaking just moments ago: Obama's controversial "green jobs" czar Van Jones has resigned.
Click here to see our archive of stories on the media's coverage (or lack thereof) of the Jones controversy.
Feel free to use this as an open comment thread on the aftermath. Will conservatives be able to get more mileage out of this controversy by drawing attention to Obama's heavy use of so-called policy czars? Or is this just a short-term setback for the Obama administration?
The contrast between the virtual silence of major news outlets on Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’s belief in the Bush Administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and the hubbub made about those who believe the President is not an American citizen casts light on the politicized attitudes of the mainstream media.
NewsBusters has noted how the story has been ignored by the television media. Byron York in the Washington Examiner Friday noted that a Nexis news search for the Van Jones ‘truther’ controversy turns up exactly zero results from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and transcripts from ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News (though that newscast aired a full story Friday night).
So, as York noted, anyone who gets his or her news from one of these sources, or all five, is unaware that the President’s Green Jobs Czar is not only a self-avowed communist but also a supporter of the truther movement, which means he believes that the Bush Administration was complicit in—even orchestrated—the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"Obama has been accused during the campaign of associating with people who were radical, whether it be Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright. He has to do with Jones what he did with Wright, which is to cut his relationship off."
So said liberal Fox News contributor Bob Beckel about the growing controversy surrounding President Obama's "green jobs czar" Van Jones.
In this segment aired Friday evening during "Special Report," Beckel said a resignation is imminent (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
As noted by John Stephenson of NewsBusters, much of the media has been ignoring the enormous Van Jones controversy. However, Joe Garofoli, the politics writer and blogger for Jones' hometown newspaper, the liberal San Francisco Chronicle, has just written about the toxic effect of Van Jones and who is standing by their Van and who isn't in his Politics blog:
The Bay Area's Van Jones -- the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality -- just finished apologizing for calling Republicans "a-holes" when he got something else to start explaining: How his signature got on a 2004 petition asking for an immediate "inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur." Van said he didn't carefully review the petition before signing it "certainly does not reflect my views now or ever."
It turns out that Jones was Huffington's grassroots political director when she ran for governor in the 2003 recall election. In fact, Jones, a self-described "communist," thought Huffington was so wonderful he was part of the effort to draft her to run for office.
A San Francisco Chronicle article from Sept. 5, 2003 described Jones as Huffington's "grassroots director."
Instead of taking up how five years ago Jones signed the 911truth.org petition calling for an “immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur,” a revelation to which FNC's Special Report devoted a full story on Thursday, on ABC's World News fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the Obama White House “transparency” in the “unprecedented” decision to release visitor logs, which Jake Tapper described as an “historic” move before Stephanopoulos fretted over how Obama “is facing this liberal revolt over the public health insurance option, and the President decided to take it head-on today.”
Over on NBC, Brian Williams bemoaned: “A back to school speech by the President. How did it get branded as an attempt to brainwash America's children?” He also conveyed liberal disappointment Obama-defenders aren't tough enough: “Some are asking how the White House message got hijacked before the speech was delivered and why more people aren't pushing back.” Andrea Mitchell asserted that “it's only the latest example of what the White House calls the silly season -- town halls where disabled speakers are shouted down....From charges of death panels to the birthers...”
Well, some in the media weren't ignoring avowed Communist and Barack Obama Administration "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones after all.
The New York Times' Thomas Friedman was lauding him.
In print on October 17, 2007, Friedman offered up a Van Jones paean entitled "The Green-Collar Solution." In which Friedman offers nary a hint as to the radical nature of Jones' many ridiculous and disturbing positions and proclamations. (In addition to being an outspoken Marxist, Jones is amongst other bizarre things a 9-11 "Truther.")
Friedman was undoubtedly in at least the beginning stages of writing his September 2008-released book Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why we need a green revolution - and how it can renew America. (The title of which would indicate the ruminations of a man who has never stepped outside of Manhattan; Friedman should know better. There are vast expanses of abject nothing all over the planet, with elbow room aplenty there for the taking.)
Apparently, along the way towards his tome Friedman stumbled upon Jones. And was wowed from the outset.
On Thursday's Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC host Baier ran a report by correspondent James Rosen describing a "troubling pattern of behavior" by President Obama's Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones. The report noted some of the controversial statements and connections of Jones, who has not only described himself in the past with such words as "Marxist" and "radical," but has also been linked to 9/11 Truthers and radical groups such as one organization whose manifesto "equated those killed on 9/11 with, quote, 'the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world.'" The report also showed a clip of Jones from last year accusing "white polluters" of "steering poison" into minority communities.
Rosen ran a soundbite of University of Virginia Politics Professor Larry Sabato -- known for his willingness to criticize politicians of both parties -- who noted that such a controversial figure in the Bush administration would have ignited a "national hurrah of magnificent proportions." Sabato: "If a Bush official had made anything comparable to what Mr. Jones has said and done, no doubt there would have been a national hurrah of magnificent proportions."
All three morning shows on Friday skipped any reference to the developing controversy over Obama administration Green Jobs Czar Van Jones and his connection to the 9/11 Truther movement. CBS’s Early Show, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America totally ignored the story, although ABC’s Jake Tapper did file an online report over the subject.
And although Fox News on Thursday covered the revelation that Jones signed a 911truth.org statement in 2004 urging an investigation into whether or not George W. Bush had prior knowledge about 9/11 ("people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war"), none of nightly news programs highlighted this potential problem for the Obama administration.
So, while Good Morning America found no time for this incendiary topic, co-anchor Robin Roberts did host a segment on testing name brand versus store brand pizza. Early Show’s Harry Smith explained to viewers how to keep your lawn in top condition this autumn. And Today’s co-hosts thrilled over the must-have fashions for the fall season.
Did you know Obama's "Green Jobs Czar", Van Jones, is a self admitted communist? Did you know audio surfaced of an interview with him where he spoke of incrementalist revolution? These extreme views are not even denied by the Czar. Did you have any idea he signed a document asking for the investigation of the U.S. government for orchestrating the events of 911? Did you know after bloggers exposed him as a conspiracy theorist he lamely claimed he didn't know what he was signing and did not hold the views of a government conspiracy? Did you know that after his denial more documents surfaced exposing his involvement in anti-war, and 911 conspiracy groups as early as 2002?
Avowed Communist and Barack Obama Administration "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones late yesterday released via the White House press office a statement apologizing for offending anyone with any of a series of inflammatory and indeed ridiculous things he has said in the (very recent) past.
The latest bit of Jones inanity news was in fact not something he said, but rather something on to which he signed. That would be an October 26, 2004 "Truth Statement" that asserts amongst other things that President George W. Bush had a hand in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Making Jones a 9-11 "Truther" (sort of like a "Birther," but with a lot less media coverage), i.e. a conspiracy-addled doofus. (He is addled by other conspiracy theories as well, but for now this will do.)
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):
"This whole administration is as radical and far left as any that the country has ever had. What they're trying to do here to communications is simply stifle dissenting voices. They're trying to wipe out any opposition...And the things that he is talking about doing -- and I watched your show for the first half hour today -- and the things he is talking about doing to shut down radio are simply un-American...It is a dangerous time. It is the most dangerous time in my life for freedom and liberty in this country."
So said conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh to Fox News's Glenn Beck Wednesday evening.
What follows are some highlights of this discussion about how the Obama administration is attempting to silence free speech in a country that was founded on such a principle (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
As NewsBuster Matthew Vadum reported Wednesday, a race-baiting group named Color Of Change -- co-founded by President Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones -- has launched a campaign to get companies to stop advertising on Glenn Beck's television program.
Recent press releases from COC concerning Beck have listed as the contact "Brandon Hatler -- Sunshine, Sachs & Associates."
As Variety reported in May 2007, SSA is a powerful New York-based public relations firm with quite an impressive list of clients:
Current clients include Ben Affleck, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jimmy Fallon, the Farrelly brothers, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, John Mayer, Bette Midler, Michael Moore, Tyler Perry, Barbra Streisand and Michelle Wie.
On Monday, COC published the following press release concerning Beck listing Hatler as contact:
President Obama's controversial green jobs czar --a self-described “rowdy black nationalist” and "communist"-- is a co-founder of the same unsavory left-wing pressure group that is urging an advertiser boycott of Glenn Beck's TV show after Beck did several unflattering news packages on the czar. Not surprisingly, Big Media haven't noticed the connection.
The czar in question is Van Jones, a founding board member of Color of Change, an extremist racial grievance group that tries to stir up racial antagonism in order to promote a socialist agenda.
Subtitled: "Washington is spending $60 billion to create the careers of the future, but not a single green job yet exists. Obama's 'green czar' explains."
The Leftist publication deserves some plaudits for exploring this $60 billion gaping hole in the $787 billion "stimulus" package President Barack Obama signed into law in February. But there are many points in the article where they could have done better.
It would have been nice, for instance, if Newsweek had exhibited some of the scrutiny they show here in advance of the massive plan's passage. They begin with an interesting realization: