Van Jones, "Lefty Dreamboat"? The New York Times assures us that yes, he is. Jones was the Obama administration's Advisor for Green Jobs until he was booted in September 2009 when his name showed up on a list of people who had signed a 9-11 Truther petition, suggesting he thought there was a Bush administration coverup of what really happened on September 11. In his new book "Rebuild the Dream," Van Jones denies ever having signed it, and Andrew Goldman's weekly Q&A for the Times Sunday magazine takes his word as law, under the sick-making headline "Meet the New Lefty Dreamboat – Can Van Jones Take on the Tea Party?"
Some of Andrew Goldman's questions in bold, with Van Jones' answers directly below.
In your new book, “Rebuild the Dream,” you discuss your 2009 resignation as President Obama’s special adviser for green jobs after your signature was incorrectly reported to be on a 9/11 Truther petition.
I don’t mind bearing the cross for controversial ideas I had when I was younger, but I can’t stand bearing the cross for wacky ideas I never had. I’m a black guy who used to sue police departments for brutality. You don’t have to make up stuff to scare people.
Why didn’t the administration simply deny that you’d signed it?
There was a lot of pressure on me from the right and the media. My brain was turning into putty. I said, “I’ve never seen this language before.” But it was like five years earlier, and maybe somebody had tricked me. I resigned on a Saturday night. The next week, we began piecing together what happened. By then, of course, nobody cared.
Hot Air's Allahpundit was scathingly skeptical when Van Jones first raised this defense when the issue broke on Labor Day weekend 2009:
Three possibilities. One: The Truthers are lying and simply added names of activists like Jones who, um, no one had ever heard of when the petition was circulated in 2004. If that’s true, it’s curious that people like Ed Asner and Janeane Garofalo, whose names are also on there, apparently haven’t objected in the five years since. Two: As I said in the Beck post, maybe Jones doesn’t actually believe the theory but signed on for the sheer romantic rebel pseudo-intellectual glory of it. In that case, we’re in the same situation as we were with Ron Paul when he denied having written the racist crap in those old Ron Paul newsletters: Even if he’s telling the truth, the fact that he approved it proves he’s either too stupid or careless to be trusted with power. Or three: Jones is lying. Unless the correct answer is number one -- and it’s mighty curious that Jones isn’t saying it is -- then he’s got to go. Pull the trap door, Barry.
Jackson got personal, in a good way for Van Jones fans, of which there are apparently many:
You’re considered a lefty dreamboat. Were you really a geek as a kid?
I had huge glasses, no friends and weighed 89 pounds in ninth grade. Most of my childhood was spent in the woods reading comic books and talking to bugs. I made Urkel look cool.