'Outsider' Van Jones Threatens 'Backlashers'
Van Jones is still miffed over those in the conservative media who exposed him as a 9/11 truther back in 2009. In an interview with The Root yesterday Jones discusses Shirley Sherrod, ACORN and Andrew Breitbart.
The Center for American Progress senior fellow is clearly not over the "vicious smear campaign" he claims his opponents waged against him in 2009. In his latest rehash of old events for The Root he was asked about the now deceased Mr. Breitbart:
VJ: From ACORN to Shirley Sherrod to myself, there was a really ugly period there in 2009 where the backlashers threw the rulebook out and started manufacturing media viruses to knock out people close to the president, especially African Americans. That's a very ugly part of history, but I certainly experienced some of the worst behavior of the backlash, including personal threats and public smears.
TR: When it comes to those "manufactured media viruses," will it make a difference that Andrew Breitbart isn't with us anymore?
VJ: I think that the genie is out of the bottle with regards to people's knowledge that you can trick the media with sensational video, so I don't think that tactic is going to go away. The people who invented the nuclear bomb are gone, but weapons are still widely available. I think only vigilance on the part of the media and on the part of the viewing public will be a barrier to Breitbart-like stunts, and I think that's where we have to place our faith.
Readers might remember a July 2010 New York Times op-ed in which the ousted green jobs czar targeted "fakers" like Andrew Breitbart and threatened to get back at "the worst of the partisans."
This is exactly what happened to Ms. Sherrod. Andrew Breitbart, a prominent Internet conservative, promoted a misleadingly edited video of her speech; within hours, news outlets of all stripes were promoting it as truth. The White House and N.A.A.C.P. both overreacted, then back-pedaled with egg on their faces. But they are victims, too. The only real winners were Mr. Breitbart and his colleagues, whose Web hits probably numbered in the millions.
The worst of the partisans will get their comeuppance and become cautionary tales for others. Public leaders will learn to be more transparent. We will teach our children not to rush to judgment. Technology will evolve to better expose fakers.
Most of the conversation in The Root centers on his enemies' desire to "distort stuff' in his past. When asked about his role as White House insider Jones said it was "the high point" of his life but to the non-progressives out there he promised to be "more of a threat to their backlash agenda on the outside than I could ever be on the inside."
While the rest of the media focused on Jones' MSNBC appearance this week in which he reassured liberals Obama will have the black vote no matter what, the self-avowed communist continued to issue veiled advice to his followers.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report