Tags: obama | van | jones | media

Media Ignored Van Jones Controversy

Monday, 07 Sep 2009 07:34 PM

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In the wake of the resignation of President Obama’s controversial “green jobs czar” Van Jones, some analysts are mulling over why the mushrooming controversy was never covered in depth by the mainstream media.

As Fox News pointed out Monday, “Most of the major news outlets, like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS ignored the swelling heat surrounding former White House environmental adviser Van Jones and the videos surfacing of his controversial statements.”

Instead, the coverage was led by Fox host Glenn Beck and other conservative media outlets like Newsmax.

Beck relentlessly examined Jones’ remarks and radical views, including his February denunciation of Republicans as "a**holes" -- a statement that came to light on Wednesday.

Jones issued two apologies last week -- for his statement on Republicans and for signing a petition that suggested the U.S. government was involved in the Sept 11. terrorist attacks – but still the national media did not pick up on the issue.

As Gene Meeker pointed out on the conservative news site, Examiner.com, “Despite ample evidence of Van Jones spewing highly inflammatory language on numerous excerpts of his speeches, the media some how did not find this issue worthy of curious inquiry, let alone journalistic investigation.

“The real test for the mainstream media will be what, if any, follow-up they will conduct on this story as there are many questions that need to be asked of the administration including: How did Van Jones get through the administration’s vetting process, or did the administration know and look the other way?” Meeker concluded.

CBS News became the first of the three broadcast networks on Friday to note the controversy, but ABC's "World News" and "NBC Nightly News" again failed to report the story, Fox reported. It was only after Jones' midnight resignation over the weekend that all three networks aired the story on their Sunday evening newscasts.

The Washington Post offered its first story on Saturday yet The New York Times' print edition didn't publish its first story until Monday -- a story that appeared on the front page, under the fold.

A White House official conceded to Politico that Jones “was not as thoroughly vetted as other administration officials,” though the official suggested it had more to do with the relatively low level of Jones’s job than with the power of his patrons. But that doesn’t address the issue of where the media was.

As both Fox and Beck pointed out, a cursory googling of Jones or a Nexis search would have yielded a treasure trove of views alleging racist conspiracies and terrorism on the part of Republicans.

"I think some of the media is guilty of not covering things that are occurring on the right," Democratic strategist Julian Epstein told Fox News. "Other parts of the media are guilty of not covering things adequately that are occurring on the left. I think every news organization has to strive to be balanced on this."

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