FROM- The Corner
At Hot Air, Captain Ed Morrissey offers an astute comparison of the mainstream media’s dereliction in the matter of “Truther Van” Jones to its similar non-performance four years ago in the matter of CNN honcho Eason Jordan. As Ed observes, in the Jordan case, it could be said that the media was protecting one of its own. With Van Jones, they're still protecting their own — it's just that they're now de facto part of the Obama administration.
Leaving aside the obvious reasons to be disgusted by the dying legacy press here, the Times is insipid in reporting Sunday that "Mr. Jones did not go through the traditional vetting process for administration officials who must be confirmed by the Senate. So it was not until recently that some of Mr. Jones’s past actions received broad airing" — albeit certainly not by the Times. See? Having deigned to say hello now that it's time to say goodbye, the Gray Lady wants you to know this is simply a good-governance issue: If only "Green Jobs Czar" was a confirmation position, there might have been more careful vetting — at both the administration and congressional level.
The point, of course, is that Obama vetted Jones just fine. President Obama is not Mr. Magoo — haplessly gravitating to Truther Van and Ayers and Dohrn and Klonsky and Davis and Wright and the Chicago New Party and ACORN, etc. Jones is a kindred spirit. Obama knows exactly who he is. Jones was given a non-confirmation job precisely because that circumvented the vetting process. This isn't one of those things that just happen. This is Barack "Transparency" Obama gaming the system.
As former Reagan staffer Jeffrey Lord explains at the Spectator, the Secret Service carefully scrutinizes the background of everyone who works at the White House. With his background, Van Jones couldn't possibly have gotten into the White House, much less had physical access to the president, unless the top echelon of the administration (I'd wager, the very top) overrode any objections.
The issue here isn't process. It's that Obama picked Van Jones because Obama adheres to Jones's Alinskyite views and tactics, and is entirely comfortable with what most of the public would see as the horrifying specter of Jones managing how billions of public dollars are spent. Note the Times's account of Jones's time at STORM:
Mr. Jones’s involvement in the 1990s with a group called Standing Together to
Organize a Revolutionary Movement prompted recent accusations by conservative
critics that he associated with Communists. The group, according to a
post-mortem written by some of its founders, was an anti-capitalist, antiwar
organization committed to achieving “solidarity among all oppressed peoples”
with “direct militant action.”
Hold on there. Direct-action? The use of intimidation and extortion tactics, including law-breaking, to achieve political results? Where have we heard that before? Well, there was ACORN, which happens to be both a stalwart Obama ally and "an anti-capitalist, antiwar organization committed to achieving solidarity among all oppressed peoples with direct militant action.”
Remember the name Madeline Talbott? Stanley Kurtz tried to tell the country about her before the election—back when conventional Beltway wisdom nuanced itself into the notion that Obama, a five-alarm radical, would govern from the center. Talbott is the Chicago ACORN leader who was so impressed by Obama's organizing skills that she brought him in to train her staff. And what sort of stuff was she into? Here's Stanley:
Talbot turns out to have been a key leader of that attempt by Acorn to storm the
Chicago City Council (during a living-wage debate).... The details are worth a
look: On July 31, 1997, six people were arrested as 200 Acorn protesters tried
to storm the Chicago City Council session. According to the Chicago Daily
Herald, Acorn demonstrators pushed over the metal detector and table used to
screen visitors, backed police against the doors to the council chamber, and
blocked late-arriving aldermen and city staff from entering the session. Reading
the Herald article, you might think Acorn’s demonstrators had simply lost
patience after being denied entry to the gallery at a packed meeting. Yet the
full story points in a different direction. This was not an overreaction by
frustrated followers who couldn’t get into a meeting (there were plenty of
protestors already in the gallery), but almost certainly a deliberate bit of
what radicals call “direct action,” orchestrated by Acorn’s Madeleine Talbot. As
Talbot was led away handcuffed, charged with mob action and disorderly conduct,
she explicitly justified her actions in storming the meeting.
Because the mainstream media was about as interested in investigating Obama’s direct-action stunts as it was in investigating Truther Van, not much is known about them. Despite the paper-trail purge, though, Stanley did manage to unearth one small episode of what anyone with eyes willing to see could have told you was the Obama way: the time Obama sent an intimidating group of protestors on a "surprise visit" to a meeting of local officials. The protestors surrounded the table while one of their number dressed down the officials, after which the group filed out of the room en masse. Message sent: Do what we say or prepare to be harassed.
A few months back, Obama and his mouthpieces tried to whip the public into a frenzy about the banks and high corporate salaries. The president then summoned the bank CEOs into his White House woodshed, where he bluntly told them, "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."
Think of Truther Van as the guy passing out the "Free Mumia" tee-shirts and the green pitchforks.