Green Room

What the Van Jones Story Is Really About

posted at 12:38 pm on September 6, 2009 by

When news of White House environmental “czar” Van Jones’ resignation broke shortly after midnight — via Twitter, it seems — there was no time to do anything except blog it as quickly as possible. The first regular news story was a one-sentence AP News Alert.

And that single sentence was the first time the Associated Press had deigned to notice that there was a controversy surrounding Jones, whose radicalism had been extensively documented by Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and many others outside the mainstream media.

This is the real story: The shameful failure of the MSM to do its job in reporting on the Obama administration.

Even while the Washington Post had devoted its front page to story after story about a university master’s thesis written 20 years ago by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell — the Republican candidate for governor — here was Jones, a key White House advisor whose self-described Marxist views and past activities were far more controversial than McDonnell’s traditionalist ideas about the family. As early as April, Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily had reported on Jones’ bizare views about “eco-apartheid” and his role in the Marxist group STORM.

After Glenn Beck reported twice on Van Jones, one of the “green jobs” czar’s allies, Color of Change, organized an advertising boycott of Beck’s Fox News show. Reversing cause and effect, however, some in the MSM falsely claimed that Beck went after Jones because of the boycott — inverting the narrative arc to portray Beck as a vengeful maniac waging a payback campaign.

The MSM studiously ignored the disturbing reality of Van Jones’ radical record, just as they ignored the proliferation of “czars” at the Obama White House, of which Jones is just one example. Apparently in an effort to hire various radical allies who might have trouble getting past a Senate confirmation hearing, Obama has loaded up his administration with these supernumerary advisors who are unaccountable to Congress, their authority undefined by law. Michelle Malkin boiled this problem down to a single sentence:

The Obama vetters have succeeded in short-circuiting congressional scrutiny and Washington oversight of unaccountable appointees over the last six months.

Any suggestion of shenanigans by the Bush administration — remember “PlameGate”? — would automatically generate front-page stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post, with wall-to-wall coverage and indignant invocations of “the people’s right to know.”

This is the surest evidence of political bias by the MSM, their default assumption that accusations against Republicans are inherently legitimate — potential evidence of corruption — contrasted with their assumption that accusations against Democrats are merely a product of partisan politics. Look at this NBC News headline:

Obama Aide Van Jones Resigns After GOP Attacks

In other words, the substance of the controversy surrounding Jones, his own words and deeds, are not the issue. The issue, according to NBC News, is that Republicans attacked Jones. Flashback about 35 years:

Nixon Resigns After Democrat Attacks

No, NBC News didn’t report Watergate that way, nor would they treat any Republican scandal as if it were merely the result of “attacks” by Democrats. Over and over, however, we see NBC and other media organizations volunteering to assist in the public-relations defense of scandal-plagued Democrats — the recently departed Ted Kennedy being a prime beneficiary of this treatment.

Media bias has consequences, and their bias is by no means limited to their willingness to ignore Democratic scandals. Consider the Obama administration’s economic agenda. Many in the MSM have been promoting the idea that we’re on the verge of “recovery,” thanks to the miraculous power of the neo-Keynesian “stimulus” approach to economics. Meanwhile, there is abundant evidence that, far from producing a recovery, Obamanomics is actually making the economy worse:

Yet you’re not going to notice this kind of ominous economic news unless you seek it out. The financial press is obligated to report that kind of stuff, but the biased liberal elites of the MSM — the D.C. bureau chiefs and the top news producers and editors in New York — are so heaviily invested in the success of Obama and the Democrats that they will ignore the portents of disaster until the next collapse hits. (And then, somehow, they’ll find a way to blame it on Republicans and “Corporate America.”)

Rush Limbaugh has often said that, if he wanted to devote his radio show to media bias, he’d never find time to talk about anything else — 15 hours a week would scarcely scratch the surface. This is not merely a matter of Republicans “working the refs”; media bias is dangerous, leaving the citizenry ill-informed while those in power escape scrutiny — so long as power is wielded by Democrats, that is.

It is not too late for the MSM elite to take alarm, and to begin serious scrutiny of the Obama administration.

They can begin by asking a simple question: Who Hired Van Jones?

UPDATE: Glenn Beck issues a statement:

The American people stood up and demanded answers. Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future.

As Dan Riehl notes, the liberals — who tried to drive Beck off the airwaves — are now calling Jones’ opponents “terrorists.”

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Back in the pre-Internet/pre-Talk Radio days, the big media outlets felt less threatened and would throw the right a bone occassionally, leaving the selective advocacy journalism stuff to papers like The Village Voice. And you can even go back to the late 30s with papers like New York’s PM to see that there’s always been a significant segment of the journalism community that truly believes papers like The New York Times are — if not conservative — at the very least not doing their job at exposing conservatives.

Up until about 20 years ago, the big media folks would let those criticism slide, but since the early 1990s, they’ve really taken the criticisms from the left to heart, and have gone full bore into both advocacy and selective journalism, where stories are written to fit a pre-selected narrative and stories that fail to meet that narrative just aren’t written, period. And at a time where the number of alternative sources of information is multiplying daily, the big media folks are doubling-down, thinking that if they only do more advocacy journalism attacking only the proper people, and do more selective editing of stories to cover — to the point that a White House staffer in charge of $30 billion can go through (at minimum) a week’s worth of scandal worthy of big media coverage, and never get a mention up until his moment of resignation.

It’s a very childish type of news coverage — where the reporters (or their assignment desk editors) see stories in Category X as the writing equivalent of a trip to the candy store, and stories in Category Y as a trip to the dentist, and think they can just live on nothing but the first category, with no consequences for not doing any stories in Category Y because they don’t enjoy reporting about stuff like that.

jon1979 on September 6, 2009 at 1:23 PM

It is not too late for the MSM elite to take alarm, and to begin serious scrutiny of the Obama administration.

Sadly, I fear it is. The die was cast with the MSM’s decision not to vet candidate Obama. They are no longer reporters of the news but arbiters of what is news. And the news the choose to cover is sympathetic with the political left, who also happens to be their remaining audience/readership. To retreat from that position now and report the news honestly is tantamount to turning on their base.

HowardPortnoy on September 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM

As real reporting reaches critical mass in the new media there will be a tipping point where the economics of the MSM will no longer be viable (even with loans from Mexican Billionaires…). Informed citizens are rejecting the slant and incomplete evidence and the mistrust is comparable to the same mistrust of politicians. I see a strengthening of the partisan divide on both fronts. Not a good thing for the ongoing debate in the arenas of ideas IMO. No one is really listening to each other.The high numbers of people on twitter last night when the news broke, asking WHO is VAN JONES? was astounding, humorous and sad.

Buckeye Babe on September 6, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Extensive. I like it.

This is only the very tip of the czar-iceburg.

We all know he appointed these lunatics to these positions because they absolutely couldn’t stand up to proper vetting. Fine. But, I want to know when it will be acceptable in the MSM to start drawing conclusions about WHO OBAMA IS to have appointed these individuals and to have, somehow, not known they were who they were? Either he is a completely incompetent imbecile, or he is exactly who these people are.

I tend to believe he is both.

Mommypundit on September 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I tend to believe he is both.

Mommypundit on September 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Agreed!

larvcom on September 6, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Today MSN has picture of Van Jones with heading “What did Jones Say that Caused controversy?” Those horrible Republicans, picking on him because he accidently signed a petition. They conveniently left out about 80% of the story.
Covering up for the One.
I agree, Mommypundit. Obama is both. The MSM are just imbeciles.

m

conservativegrandma on September 6, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Some of us are already posting on forums that Obama is a Communist, too. The evidence was abundant enough last summer, wasn’t it. Only a fool didn’t see it.

The question is whether we can hound him out of office or not. Biden is bad, but I don’t think he’s a Communist.

tanarg on September 7, 2009 at 1:35 AM

I’ve always believed in judging people by their actions rather than their words. However, in Obama’s case both his words and actions betray his true agenda.

It would be too scary to assume that Obama had not authorized all the “czar” appointments. If that were the case then the USA is being lead not by a President but by an unelected group of people. I don’t want to go down that road.

The much more likely case is that, like all government bureaucracies, Obama has implemented a well defined process for making appointments with his approval the ultimate requirement. Unfortunately, in this case, the conclusion is also scary. Incompetence in the position of President of the USA can cause untold damage not only to USA citizens but also to the rest of the world.

In previous eras, both these possibilities would become probabilities only with MSM support. Especially with a Republican in the Whitehouse.

Today, those who communicate via the internet (e.g., Hot Air, Glenn Beck) make me believe that the USA is safe.

I would consider any attempt by Obama to restrict, control or otherwise impinge on the freedom of the internet would be a clear sign of his existing contract with the MSM and his true political ambitions.

mistersurefire on September 7, 2009 at 7:42 AM