Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stupefyin' Jones

If you happened to depend on the mainstream news media for your news, you might miss a lot of stories. For example, you might have missed the story about a man named Jones -- Van Jones -- who happens to have been (until today) Obama's "green czar" (not a position I remember from high school civics). It seems that Mr. Jones has been under attack by conservatives for the past week or two for various reasons. If you watch Glenn Beck, you would have known all about this controversy. If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, you would have heard all about it. If you watch Fox News, you have heard all about it. If you read conservative-oriented blogs such as the Drudge Report, Michelle Malkin, and PowerLine, you would have read all about it.

But the gatekeepers for our mainstream media? Hardly a peep, prompting the Washington Examiner's Byron York to start keeping score. As of two days ago (present writing), this past Friday, Sep 4, here's York's scorecard:
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the New York Times: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the Washington Post: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on NBC Nightly News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on ABC World News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CBS Evening News: 0.
As of yesterday, York reported that CBS and the Washington Post had broken silence, but the others held firm. The Post's headline is rather comical: "White House Says Little on Embattled Jones." Now, that's chutzpah. The White House says little? Apparently, so do its friends in the media. Of course, now WaPo has to explain why, by the time of their first mention of the controversy, the situation had already reached the "embattled" stage.

How did they not know about it earlier?

Or did they know about it earlier, and just decided it wasn't news?

If so, what exactly isn't newsworthy about an Obama "czar" who is a self-proclaimed communist and had signed a "truther" petition? (For those blissfully out of the know, "truthers" are the crackpots who believe the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks).

To put this into perspective: what if a Bush had hired a policymaker who was an avowed Nazi and signed a petition claiming the Clinton Administration had been complicit in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole? Do you think Dan Rather might have found a few minutes for it to occupy in the CBS Evening News' busy docket?

My guess is it's really very simple. If it's good for Obama, it's news. If it's bad for Obama, it's spiked.

Well, good luck on your job search, Mr. Jones. I hear there may be some policymaking openings in Cuba soon.

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