Grist's David Roberts has done a service to journalism by taking some time to help clear the air around Van Jones, special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at Council on Environmental Quality. Ever in search of a bogeyman, Glenn Beck, among others, has tried to paint Jones as some sort of evil mastermind, conspiring to make the U.S. the new U.S.S.R. by championing green jobs. Roberts' debunking deserves a look, especially after Beck again went after Jones on his Fox show Tuesday night. Watch the clip above to see Beck's feeble, paranoid mind at work. In this clip he attacks Jones for his social justice work. Beck, ever allergic to facts, has painted Jones, the man who helped create the Apollo Alliance and Green for All, as communist/black militant/ex con who is bent on undoing the American system from within. As Roberts points out, Beck has mislead the public on at least three crucial points.
Jones is not a criminal: While at Yale Law School, he volunteered as a legal monitor at a protest following the Rodney King trial. Jones was detained at the rally but was let go after four hours. He was never convicted of a felony. If he was, he would have a hard time getting past the California Bar.
Jones is not the green jobs czar. There is no such thing. His title is special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at Council on Environmental Quality. If he was the green jobs czar, however, there would be no shame in that title. It was Richard Nixon who began the trend of naming czars, appointing a drug czar, Jerome Jaffe, in 1971. Reagan continued the trend by naming his own drug czar. Surely Beck doesn't believe Nixon and Reagan were communists or Nazi sympathizers, does he?
Jones is not a communist. I'm not even going to explain this. It's too silly even to justify a moment's thought.
Beck is a demagogue and Rupert Murdoch should consider taking him off the air. Sponsors are already jumping ship, but instead of taking that as a sign that playing loose with the facts is wrong, Beck has instead chosen to continue to spread lies and create straw men in place of helping educate his viewers about the real environmental threats we face. Shame on Beck.