The central character in this latest Times brouhaha (without the haha) is a radical leftist by the name of Van Jones. Jones was President Obama’s “green jobs czar” until he resigned in the middle of the night, just after midnight on Saturday. If you only got your news from the Times, you’d have every right to ask: Who’s Van Jones – and why did he resign?
Well, he’s the presidential adviser who (before he became a czar) said Republicans were assholes. But that, as things turned out, was a 1 one on the political Richter Scale. Then there were the comments about how white polluters and environmentalists are steering poison into black communities. Another ripple. And his public support for Mumia Abu-Jamal,who is on death row for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. More ripples. But what caused a major quake was the revelation that Jones signed a petition a few years ago that called for an investigation to determine if the attacks on 9/11 were an inside job. Specifically, the “9/11 Truthers,” as they’ve been called, want to know if George W. Bush and the neo-cons in his administration willfully allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen so they could use the deaths of more than three thousand of their fellow Americans as a pretext to go to war.
Anyone who truly believes this, is not only suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome but is also a full-fledged psycho. It really is that simple.
But the fact that an adviser to the president signed such a screwball petition drew only yawns from the so-called mainstream media. Not surprisingly, Fox ran with the story, and so did talk radio – after the Gateway Pundit blog broke the news last Thursday. And when the story got traction in the conservative media, Van Jones morphed from loudmouth radical to cowering weasel and said the petition didn’t reflect his views, then or now. Really? Then why did he sign the damn thing?
The fact is until he resigned the New York Times ran exactly zero words about the controversy. Zero! But this didn’t stop the Times from reporting the following in its Sunday (Sept. 6) paper:
“In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration’s conservative critics, Van Jones resigned as the White House’s environmental jobs ‘czar’ on Saturday.
Controversy over Mr. Jones’s past comments and affiliations has slowly escalated over several weeks, erupting on Friday with calls for his resignation.”
As Clay Waters of the Media Research Center elegantly put it: “An ‘escalation’ utterly ignored by the Times and almost all the mainstream media.”
Before he quit, NBC Nightly News didn’t cover the “escalating controversy” and neither did ABC World News Tonight. On Friday night, the CBS Evening News had a story about the Jones controversy and on Saturday morning the Washington Post ran a piece on page 3. And that pretty much was it as far as the MSM was concerned.
Now, let’s go back a month.
When the so-called “Birthers” – a fringe group of right-wingers (many of whom have criticized me for calling them that) were screaming about how Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not our legitimate president, the New York Times was outraged and demanded that prominent Republicans denounce these screwballs. But the Times never called on Democrats, prominent or otherwise, to denounce Van Jones. The “Birthers” are bad. The “9/11 Truthers” are worse.
News editors have always argued that news judgment is subjective – and that they alone have to make decisions on what gets into the paper and what doesn’t. Okay. So what should we make of their news judgment in the matter of Van Jones?
Well, one possibility is that the editors at the New York Times just didn’t think the story was all that important – nothing more than “a phony story whipped up by crazy, vicious right-wingers,” as a friend of mine who no longer can stand to read the Times put it, “and they weren’t going to fall for it.” Maybe the editors got together and said something like, “What’s the big deal about an adviser to the President of the Untied States signing a petition that questions whether George W. Bush was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks?” If that’s what happened, then every hard news editor at the Times should resign and go into a line of work where journalistic skills are not required.
But then there’s always that other possibility: that they were covering for a president they’ve been rooting for since the day he announced his candidacy, a president they tried to turn into a Messiah, a president who is simply too historically important to fail.
I don’t know which it is. And just between us: I don’t really care! What’s important is that an important adviser to the President of the United States had to resign even though the New York Times (and much of the MSM that takes its cues from the Times) tried to keep the mess off our radar screen. Arrogant journalists probably figured, News is what WE say News is. That may have been true once, but not anymore.
So let’s just call this latest round of bias and hypocrisy, one more self-inflicted mainstream media wound – one of many that sooner or later will finish them off. And that’s the “inside job” they should really be worrying about.