Why did the press ignore the Van Jones scandal?

Chief Political Correspondent
Washington Examiner
September 8, 2009

On March 13, 2008, ABC News broke the story that Barack Obama’s longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had made a number of incendiary statements from the pulpit of Obama’s church in Chicago. The most inflammatory of those remarks was Wright’s notorious “God damn America” sermon.

The news set off a media firestorm. “God damn America” was in the papers, magazines, the Internet, television, radio. It was everywhere, except one place: the news pages of America’s most powerful newspaper, the New York Times. In the days, weeks, and months following the ABC report, the Times’ news pages repeatedly failed to inform its readers that Wright had ever uttered those infamous words.

The quote did find its way into a few columns and a (pro-Obama) editorial. But in the news pages — the ones which report “All the news that’s fit to print” — months went by with no word of “God damn America.” It was not until Sept. 24, 2008, six months after the story originally broke, that an article in the Times — it was about anti-Obama political ads — reported Wright’s notorious words. For half a year, the paper’s editors simply ignored a key portion of one of the biggest stories of the presidential campaign.

Now, the Times has failed to report another story, this time one that led to the resignation of a White House official much loved by many on the left, “green jobs” czar Van Jones.

Times readers didn’t know it, but the causes for Jones’ departure included the fact that he signed a 2004 petition supporting the so-called “9/11 truther” movement; that he was a self-professed communist during much of the 1990s; that he supported the cop-killer Mumia abu-Jamal; that in 2008 he accused “white polluters” of “steering poison into the people of color communities”; and that earlier this year, speaking to a friendly crowd in Berkeley, Calif., he called Republicans “a–holes.”

When controversy erupted, Jones apologized for the “truther” episode and his remarks about the GOP, but the Times, having not reported the original story, also failed to report the apologies.

Beyond Jones and Wright, there have been other instances in the recent past in which the Times did not report stories of real political significance.

Read the entire article here.

Comments are closed.