For those of you who have been reading the New York Times, or watching some of the network newscasts the last few days, you may not know who Van Jones is. Here's the tabulation of reporting as of September 4th, midday:
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the New York Times: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the Washington Post: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on NBC Nightly News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on ABC World News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CBS Evening News: 0.
As one of Obama's czars, Jones was responsible for advising the president on how to increase the number of so-called "green" jobs in the workforce. His book The Green Collar Economy, received favorable reviews from Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and Laurie David, among others. Sounds like the man for the job, eh?
Well-a few days ago he had to apologize for referring to Republicans as "assholes." Then, there was this quote from Mr. Jones:
"You've never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never. They always say, 'We can't believe it happened here. We can't believe it's these suburban white kids.' It's only them. Now, a black kid might shoot another black kid. He's not going to shoot up the whole school."
Bizarre and misinformed at the same time. I'll skip over his radicalization that occurred after the L.A. riots ("I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the [Rodney King] verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist.").
What SHOULD have clinched it for a lot of people is the fact that Jones signed a petition demanding an investigation into whether or not 9/11 was an inside job. That's right--Jones is a Truther. Now, you can believe whatever you want these days--but there's something truly disorienting about an Administration official wallowing in such muddy waters. And the Truthers seem to be well represented among the Democrats. Here's Mark Steyn's take:
Is Van Jones a real Truther or a faux Truther? The White House position is that he’s the latter - hey, he just glanced at [the petition], saw it was some routine impeach-Bush-for-killing-thousands-of-his-fellow-Americans thing, and signed it without reading it; we’ve all been there, right?
Van Jones Trutherism, like Van Jones Communism and Van Jones Eco-Racism Theory, is a kind of decadence: If you really believed 9/11 was an inside job, you’d be in fear of your life. Instead, for a cutting-edge poseur like Jones, it’s a marketing niche, one that gives you a certain cachet with the right kind of people - like, apparently, Barack Obama.
Well, now he's resigned. Gone. The victim, as he puts it, of a vicious disinformation campaign (wait--which part wasn't true?).
Except for the fact that his resignation is a "loss for the country," according to Howard Dean, former Democratic party chairman.
A loss for the country.
Dean's sentiments are being echoed in a Newsweek article entitled "Why Green Czar Van Jones Didn't Have To Resign" and by Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club whose piece is complete with lynch mobs, right-wing operatives, charges of racism and tortured explanations of what Jones was really trying to say.
A loss for the country. Or, as Pope would say, "we let our cause, our president, and Van Jones down."
I'm sorry, but I find this kind of thinking truly frightening.