Van Jones Resignation: Round-Up of Media Reactions
By now everyone knows that Van Jones resigned from his position of Green Jobs Special Advisor in the White House, but what is the media reaction to this event?
It appears to be split fairly evenly, but below there are some excerpts of that mainstream media and blogs are saying about Van Jones.
From a support site called 'Stand with Van', they are calling for people to boycott Glenn Beck and stand behind Van Jones.
Van Jones' resignation said:
I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today. On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.
I have been inundated with calls - from across the political spectrum - urging me to “stay and fight.” But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.
It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead.
Most of the controversy surrounding Jones seems to be around a 2004 petition that he signed demanding further investigation into the 9/11 attacks. The petition seems to suggest that high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur. He has since said that the petition did not reflect his views and that he didn't review the language before signing it but an article at Rense.com claims to show proof that Jones was involved in the 9/11 'Truther' movement even two years earlier.
On Politico.com, Ben Smith talks to two other people who had also signed that petition, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and historian Howard Zinn, and they both seem to suggest that they thought they were signing something different as well:
I was asked to sign a letter which I was told had four demands:
As Americans of conscience, we ask for four things:
1. An immediate investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
2. Immediate investigation in Congressional Hearings.
3. Media attention to scrutinize and investigate the evidence.
4. The formation of a truly independent citizens-based inquiry.
I did not authorize my name to be used for all the other stuff that I now see was included surrounding the letter, namely the sponsors of that 911truth.org
Zinn had this to say:
"I did not sign a statement suggesting that 'Bush had prior knowledge.' I signed a statement calling for an investigation.
However, to many, that seems like a weak excuse, and the Rense.com article that shows Jones as part of the movement two years earlier, trumps the above reasoning.
This blogger seems to think that the White House is completely to blame:
Much of the blame for this incident lies squarely on the White House. The information used against Jones was freely available on the web. All it took was a search. I thought by hiring Jones they intended to take a chance on a real left progressive, but now it appears they were simply caught flat-footed.
The Huffington Post speaks about Van Jones' history with Glen Beck:
It all began with Glenn Beck. Van Jones, under fire from the extremist television show host for his background in radical activism, has resigned from the administration.
Jones never denied his past as a 'radical left', as he was part of the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), which, among other things, was organized to protest police brutality.
For Beck, however, Jones' past statements were evidence that Obama is secretly marshaling a cadre of lieutenants pushing an agenda that is "radical, revolutionary and in some cases Marxist." (Meanwhile, in reality, Obama is backing away from even including a public health insurance option as part of health care reform. How that squares with Obama's Marxist agenda Beck has yet to explain.)
Before Beck brought up Jones on his show, he was still a relatively obscure figure in the Obama administration, although more digging brings up the fact that Van Jones called Republicans 'assholes', which he did apologize for in an e-mail to Politico.com
Fox news is running an opinoin piece by a Van Jones expert that outlines some of the history between him and Glen Beck. It started with Phil Kerpen forwarding the concept of Green Jobs to Glen Beck to review, and in his e-mail, Kerpen says to Beck:
"Please share with Glenn this article about green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist who was radicalized in jail. Confirms "watermelon" hypothesis." (I was referring to an explanation we had offered on his show of the cap-and-trade bill as a "watermelon," green on the outside but Communist red to the core.)
Jones founded Color of Change, that called for a boycott of Glen Beck's show
Amazingly, many in the mainstream media would report the fiction that Beck's coverage of Jones was retaliation for the boycott, even though coverage of Jones started first.
Glen Beck has called Van Jones the 'tip of the iceberg', and some seem to agree and some don't.
This blogger does not:
Beck peddles a message that’s been around since America was born: They’re taking your country away. They—the non-white races, the immigrants, the urbanites, the communists, the elites—are stealing the country from nice, simple white Christians. They’re taking what rightfully belongs to us, to Real Americans.
This basic, gut-level fear of loss, fear of tribal obsolescence and irrelevance, is all the 25%-and-shrinking right has left. It has been overwhelmed by its most paranoid, bigoted elements. Not activists, not online petitioners, but U.S. senators and Republican thought leaders say the president wasn’t born in the U.S.; that he wants to kill old people; that he is not fit to speak to school children. They are banging drums and chanting just outside the campfire circle of rational civic discourse. Their din makes it impossible to think, to plan, to govern. They can not lead, but in their twisted fear they can prevent the rest of us from going anywhere either.
Definitely this story is not over, that's one thing for certain.
Disclaimer: This article is not an opinion piece, it holds no opinion one way or another about Van Jones and his resignation, it is merely a collection of articles on the web about one subject. It is not an exhaustive list of articles, by any means, please feel free to add links to any interesting articles you have found in the comments section.
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