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Was Fox News Race Baiting When They Took Van Jones Quote Out Of Context?

Reported by Priscilla - September 7, 2009 -

Note: Since I wrote this, Van Jones has resigned. At first I considered not publishing this as the news cycle has moved on. However, the allegation of "the race card" has been made and I think that it's important to note that Fox had started playing it. So here is my report in its original form:

I watched the Saturday afternoon Fox news between 4:30 and 6:00 and apart from the space station coverage, there was one apparent lesson to be hammered (no scycles need apply) home. As we know, the conservative right wing and its mouthpiece, Fox News, doesn’t like Van Jones because he was head of a group that is persecuting Glenn Beck (somebody call me a whambulance) and is now an evil, librul “czar” who said rude things about Republicans (who had no qualms about beloved Dick Cheney telling Senator Pat Leahy to go fuck himself. Like right wing crusader, David Howrowitz, he had communist views which he has recanted. But Jones is a bad, bad man and to add insult to injury, he disparaged white boys when he said that no black boys have committed mass murders at school – or so Fox News would have you believe.

Note: I mistakenly refererd to Van Jones as Van Johnson in several parts of the thread. Thanks to an alert reader, this had been corrected.

It must be vacation time for the Saturday Fox crew because they had the back benchers doing the commentary. I never thought I’d miss Julie Banderas; but I must confess that today, I really did. Filling the anchor positions were Kelly Wright, whose right wing credentials are burnished by his being a minister and graduate of Oral Roberts University, and Jamie Colby who was wearing the mother of all blingy crosses. And being the newsroom of white (or is it right) America feeling wronged, Wright and Colby did three segments in which they featured Jones saying what appeared to be bad things about white people. They featured the video clip of Jones saying 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! “So it looks like Van Jones is denigrating those poor white folks who have been so persecuted. The problem is that they didn’t run the whole quote taken from a lecture that Johnson gave at the Ella Baker School for Human Rights:

“Our young white males are suffering in this society, profoundly. Profoundly. And no one is saying a word about it. We’ll criminalize the black student, black child, criminalize the Latino child, we have this whole discussion about whether they are animals or they not animals, should we abuse them should we help them, blah blah blah. 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! “My cousin’s up in here, I’m not going to shoot the whole school then, I might hit my cousin! I’m gonna shoot you though!”But these young white men will be in so much pain, and so isolated, so alienated they’ll shoot up the entire school. Where is the concern, where is the love, where is the compassion for these young men?”

Think Progress has the rest of his speech related to this matter.

But yet Wright and Colby ran with this to demonstrate why Republicans are so upset and want Jones to resign or be fired. Wall Street Journal’s John Fund said that Jones will last only two more weeks. Jones' 9-11 alleged “truther” involvement was cited, too – but the video of the Columbine quote occurred three times during the time. Wright claimed, without naming names, that Democrats were upset with Jones. Uber right wing Republican member of congress, Mike Pence, quote about Jones needing to quit or be removed was read. Fund and Wright talked about how Obama’s 37 “czars” are unaccountable to anyone and are not vetted. Thing is that the 37 number must have been taken from Glenn Beck who counted, as czars, long standing White House positions. He also counted Elizabeth Warren who works for Congress. And several of the czars were approved by congress so a little fact checking might be in order. But the meme has been set in motion so I suspect that you’ll see more of this propaganda in the upcoming week. More black folks being uppity and saying nasty things about good Republicans and white boys. This is an outrage and Fox News is doing its best to put a stop to it and is do doing while stop at nothing to promote the smear. Words matter and so does context – but not to Fox News.