Why Media Ignored Van Jones Story

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," September 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: In these unreasonable times, we've been asking reasonable questions.

We've been talking about Van Jones on this program since July 23rd. But if you were looking to hear or read his name in the mainstream media — oh, you'd have a long, long time to wait:


BECK FROM JULY 23: Obama's new green "czar," Van Jones, this is the guy who is a self-avowed communist and he is in the Obama administration.

BECK FROM JULY 28: Van Jones, he is a self-proclaimed communist. He is — he is one of the founding members of Apollo.

BECK FROM AUGUST 11: Here's Van Jones. He was a black nationalist. He came out an anarchist and communist, and now, he's our green jobs "czar."

BECK FROM AUGUST 24: We asked the White House today this question, "Was the White House aware that Van Jones has this background in radical politics? If so, did it give the White House any pause?"

Here's the response we got: "Mr. Jones is entirely focused on one policy goal, building clean energy incentives." Gosh, that doesn't seem like an answer to that question.

BECK FROM AUGUST 26: Where is the true outage from anyone in the media?

BECK FROM AUGUST 28: We have shown you some amazing, frightening facts and the White House hasn't challenged any of it.

BECK FROM AUGUST 31: Why would the White House waste their time, you know, on something like this when liberal bloggers are doing their best to defend Van's good name?

BECK FROM SEPTEMBER 1: I mean, we found all of this stuff. Hey, ABC, NBC — well, I know where NBC is — CBS, where the hell are you? CNN, where are you?

BECK FROM SEPTEMBER 2: We have laid this case out before you and — for several weeks — and we didn't just tell you these things. We showed you the video in their own words.

SUBTITLES: Thursday, September 3rd: Van Jones "Republicans are A—holes" and "9/11-Truther" scandals break.

Friday, September 4th: CBS "Evening News" files report on Van Jones. Rest of mainstream media ignores.

Saturday, September 5th: Washington Post mentions Van Jones in articles. Still no mention in N.Y. Times, on CBS, NBC or ABC.

Sunday, September 6th: Van Jones resigns. Finally, the mainstream TV media covers.

Monday, September 7th: Alas, final a Van Jones story in The N.Y. Times.


BECK: Absolutely amazing to me. Do they care about politics or the rule of law and the Constitution?

Byron York, he is the chief political correspondent for "The Washington Examiner." He's also a FOX News contributor.

Byron, where — the media is — I mean, how do you explain that?

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, you know, this is not the first time they've ever done this. There's a pattern of this kind of coverage. The most striking one concerns The New York Times and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Remember back in March 2008, the presidential race just explodes with this news of the sermons that Reverend Wright has given, the most incendiary quote of all is the famous "G.D. America" quote. The news pages of The New York Times don't report.

Days passed, weeks passed, months passed. It is not until six months after the news breaks that the actual news pages, the one that reports all the news that's fit to print actually even report that in The New York Times.

So, the idea that they would ignore this Jones story until it was over. I mean, the first time they reported it was after Van Jones resigned is actually kind of consistent with the way they've dealt with things.

BECK: It amazes me, Byron, because if I didn't get my news from FOX, if I just got my news, you know, from CBS or ABC, I wouldn't even have known there was any trouble. I wouldn't have known any of it.

YORK: You know, as of Friday, when this story was really boiling over, after the "Truther" comment — as of Friday when it was boiling over
— neither The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC and the evening newscasts, none of them have reported a single word about this Van Jones story.

BECK: OK. So, a couple of questions come to mind on this one. I mean, you know, I do a radio show. A lot of our stations are on A.M. radio.

It's amazing how many millions of people we can get to tune in, cross bands from, you know, F.M. radio — cross bands, find us, listen to us as we're staticky under bridges and everything else, and yet our audience grows and grows, and The New York Times — they keep getting smaller and smaller and smaller. And they blame it on "nobody reads the newspapers anymore."

It's not the delivery system. It's the fact that they're completely out of touch with the American people.

YORK: Yes, they are shrinking.

Now, there was a day — and it really wasn't all that long ago — when a very, very small number of news organizations — New York Times, Washington Post, NBC and CBS basically — set the whole agenda of news, and, you know, producers at the network newscasts in New York sat around and read that morning's New York Times and then decided what to illustrate on their newscast.

You just can't do that anymore. So, the days when they could actually stifle a story, when they could squash a story by simply ignoring to death, that's gone.

BECK: So, let me ask you this, because I think a few outlets played a role in this. We played a role in this. Talk radio played a role in this. But I think the Internet and Twitter also played a big role in this.

This is the kind of stuff that the new regulatory czar Lloyd wants to shut down. He wants to make sure that everything is controlled by the government.

YORK: You know, I think one important thing to point out here is that a lot of this stuff was not deep, deep investigative reporting. It was right there to be found.

BECK: Oh, yes.

YORK: You know, Jones had talked about his becoming a communist in an interview with a newspaper called The East Bay Express in Oakland, California in 2005. It was right there for anybody to read.

So the thing that made this news spread, even though the major news organizations were ignoring it, was the fact that it was so easily accessible on the Internet.

BECK: So Byron, what happens to our republic when they intimidate or shut down people like me or people like you?

YORK: Well, you have to — the critical thing is not any individual, but is the Internet, that source of information.

I mean, go back to the Dan Rather story on George W. Bush's military records. In an earlier day, CBS would have broadcast that, would have showed what appeared to be pictures of legitimate documents. Everybody would have watched it and accepted it. Because of the Internet, they were able to see that they were phony. So that is the key.

BECK: And that is one of the things that our diversity czar and regulatory czar would like to shut down. Thank you very much.

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