Glenn Beck Returns Van Jones’ Love By Doubling Down On The Smears
Reported by Ellen - March 2, 2010 -
Despite Glenn Beck’s best efforts to demonize Van Jones, the former "green jobs czar" for the White House, Jones received the NAACP Image award Friday night (2/26/10). Plus, he’s got two new gigs: One is at The Center for American Progress as Senior Fellow and leader of the new Green Opportunity Initiative, which will focus on “creating economic opportunity in distressed communities.” Jones will also teach environmental and economic policy as part of a one-year fellowship at Princeton University. As if that were not affront enough to Beck’s smear campaign, Jones had the nerve to use his acceptance speech to nearly kill Beck with kindness by saying, “To my fellow countryman, Mr. Glenn Beck, I see you and I love you, brother. I love you and you cannot do anything about it… Let’s be one country. Let’s be one country. Let’s get the job done. Beck responded by reviving and rehashing the old trumped up attacks against him. And then saying he loves Jones, too. With video.
“That is fantastic,” Beck said joylessly after playing a clip of Jones. “Implication here is, is that I don’t love him… Sorry you misunderstood, Van. I mean, I’m a gospel-believing guy. You are my brother and I love you. I may disagree with you. I may not like what you do but I love you. That’s just the way it is.”
Then he added, “So we don’t sound like an episode of Barney and Friends… let’s end it there.”
“This isn’t personal. It never has been… I never called for your resignation… I didn’t even want you to quit. I wanted you to continue to talk.” What Beck meant was that he wanted Jones to continue to talk so that he could continue being used as a club with which to attack President Obama.
“You see, I’m one of these old-school people who think that the First Amendment applies to everyone, even 9/11 Truthers and communists,” Beck added.
And even habitual liars like Beck. The truth, as Beck almost surely knows – or he damned well ought to – is that Jones is not a 9/11 Truther and not a communist. Jones renounced communism several years ago and has never been a 9/11 Truther (he signed a lengthy letter asking for investigations into many aspects of 9/11).
Beck keeps a red phone on the set so that the White House can call him if he puts forth misinformation. Since we don’t have the number, please feel free to email Beck at the addresses at the end of this post.
“When I disagree with somebody, I don’t try to have them silenced. That’s what they do in communist countries,” Beck said.
OK, so maybe Beck didn’t outright try to silence Jones. Beck just vilified and demonized and obsessed about Jones, even long after Jones had been pushed out of the White House. Clearly, it was (and probably still is) all for the sake of Beck’s own self-aggrandizement. Jones was never a major figure in the Obama administration and his role as green jobs czar was making sure stimulus money for green jobs actually went to green jobs. Jones was, however, connected to ColorOfChange, the organization that has mounted a very successful boycott effort against Beck’s advertisers. It’s a little fact that Beck always forgets to tell the “we report, you decide” network’s viewers despite ranting about Jones almost every day. Jones also happened to be the target of an industry front group, Americans For Prosperity, which has claimed credit for starting the assault on Jones. But Beck would have you believe he uncovered all the “evidence” against Jones on his own.
Yesterday (3/1/10), however, while claiming to enjoy the love, Beck revived the paranoiac attacks.
“No one answered any of the real questions,” Beck continued, referencing Jones’ departure over Labor Day weekend. “And America needs answers.” Then, just to ratchet up his self-aggrandizing drama, Beck added in his grave voice. “I think we’re running out of time.”
Running out of time for what? Making sure stimulus funds for green jobs go to the right place? Making sure that Jones doesn’t get the ear of the President ever again? Or was Beck suggesting that Jones was secretly running TARP or the war on terror? Beck never said.
Instead, we got more of Beck’s histrionic McCarthyism. “Especially when there are those in the highest offices in the land who are trying to fundamentally transform this country.”
Then, after a few swipes at Obama and progressives, Beck went to his trusty chalkboard. “Here’s what we know about Van Jones… First, he’s a communist revolutionary. In 1994, Van Jones helped start a group called STORM, standing together to organize a revolutionary movement… The group held study groups on the theories of Marx and Lenin…. He defended a cop killer… He also believes that the free market is dead. He was a 9/11 truther.”
And in the 16 years since STORM was founded, Jones has become a capitalist, a fact that Beck steadfastly refuses to recognize or even mention. As Media Matters noted, PolitiFact investigated Jones' "Marxism" in September, 2009 and concluded, "We found ample evidence that (Jones) now believes capitalism is the best force for the social change he is seeking. So there's truth to Beck's claim in that Jones was a communist, but it's apparent he isn't any longer, as Beck suggests."
Let’s see, what was Beck doing in 1994? Oh yeah, he was a suicidal alcoholic and drug addict. I guess in Beck’s world, only he can grow and change.
“In January, 2008… Van Jones said that white polluters were essentially steering poison into the people of color communities. Do you believe that?” Beck accused. Actually, I don’t just believe that. It has been proven. But Beck was so obsessed with the racial angle, he never bothered to investigate the facts.
Then, after spending more than six minutes attacking Jones, Beck said that what he really wants to know is, “Does the president believe any of these things? …How did this man get into the Oval Office? Did the Secret Service know? Is he OK with these things?”
“That question has just been answered,” Beck said self-importantly and played a clip of Jones telling CNN, “I was fully candid about my past, about the ideas that I have explored. I was a mid-level White House staffer.”
So if that was the important question, why did he waste more than six minutes getting to it? I'd suggest that it was because Beck wanted another opportunity to smear Jones.
“Yes, the White House knew Jones was a communist,” Beck repeated, to hype the significance of this discovery. Because as Beck ought to know by now, Jones HAD BEEN a communist. It was not hidden. Nevertheless, Beck intoned, with hammy seriousness, “No one is asking Van Jones if he’s still a communist.” Nobody except, maybe, PolitiFact who asked and answered that question six months ago. You have to wonder how much Beck is interested in actually finding out.
But even if Jones were still a radical, this matters…. Why? Because the Obama administration hired and then let go someone highly qualified for his position? Or was it because Jones bruised Beck's fragile ego by looking like a better Christian than he was?