Patterico's Pontifications

9/6/2009

L.A. Times: Van Jones Controversy “Raged Almost Entirely on Conservative Talk Shows and Websites”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:10 pm

The L.A. Times‘s Peter Wallsten runs interference for Obama and Van Jones, framing the controversy as a political attack fostered by right-wing media:

Responding to a firestorm that raged almost entirely on conservative talk shows and websites, the White House today announced the resignation of a top environmental advisor who had made fiery remarks about Republicans and signed a petition questioning whether the U.S. government had any role in planning the Sept. 11 attacks.

Could it be any clearer? These are not legitimate complaints, Peter Wallsten is telling you with his wording. These were politically motivated complaints generated by right-wing extremists.

Of course, the real reason that the controversy raged almost entirely on conservative media is because traditional media were not doing their fucking jobs. As far as I am aware, only one guy was nonpartisan enough to pursue this story: Jake Tapper. Everyone else sort of hoped it would go away.

It’s truly amazing, isn’t it? You ignore a story, and then use the fact that you have ignored it to discredit the notion that it’s news. Now that’s ballsy!

Of course, it is news when an advisor to a President signs a petition questioning whether the U.S. was behind 9/11. It is news when a famously post-partisan president chooses an advisor who has called Republicans “assholes” on tape (that is what Peter Wallsten means by “fiery remarks,” by the way; here at Patterico we cut through the bullshit and just tell it like it is).

But Wallsten doesn’t see it that way. Wallsten clearly believes that the Van Jones controversy was artificially generated, comparing it to election-era attacks on Obama that Wallsten also saw as political:

The controversy began bubbling to the surface over the last week, as conservative talk show hosts such as Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity homed in on Jones as the latest example of a “radical” associate of Obama.

It was a similar line of attack to that used by Republicans against Obama during last year’s presidential campaign. But in accepting Jones’ resignation over the weekend, White House officials in effect acknowledged that the president could ill afford such damage as he was already struggling to win congressional support for a healthcare overhaul.

Note the scare quotes around the word “radical” . . . because Trutherism isn’t really radical.

Wallsten does include the basic facts, eventually — including the fact that many will further question Obama’s vetting process, given that Jones’s speeches and evidence of his Truther leanings “could be found with simple Google searches.”

It’s just that it takes Wallsten 17 paragraphs to get there — and by the time readers learn the facts, they have already been indoctrinated with the “it’s a conservative media attack” spin.

Yes, I know: so the L.A. Times covers for Obama yet again; where’s the news in that?

The problem is, if you don’t point it out, they will claim they don’t do it. So I have to point it out when it happens. It’s a wearying job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

58 Responses to “L.A. Times: Van Jones Controversy “Raged Almost Entirely on Conservative Talk Shows and Websites””

  1. This is what I like best about your posts. The media manipulates us like this everyday until we don’t even notice we’re being manipulated. It’s like a vaccine that slowly produces an immunity, only in this case the immunity is to the other side of the issue.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  2. [...] dear, when will the LA Times learn.  Whenever they act stupid, they get their ass handed to them by Patterico.  Teaser [...]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Door…meet Van Jones’ ass… (b98ad6)

  3. Don’t forget that email and cc, Patterico.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  4. It’s like a vaccine that slowly produces an immunity, only in this case the immunity is to the other side of the issue.
    Comment by DRJ — 9/6/2009 @ 8:21 pm

    Patterico to LAT: “You’re the disease. I’m the cure.”

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  5. The good news is, nobody reads the LAT any more. At the newsstand on Larchmont where I buy my WSJ, huge stacks of the LAT stand unsold every day. That never used to be the case. Whether it’s the paper’s loony left bias, or its manifest laziness, or the general perception that it is dying fast, readers are fleeing in droves. Karma.

    Kevin Stafford (5d18a5)

  6. Patterico – This was similar to the approach taken by Brokaw and Friedman on Meet the Depressed this morning.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  7. Don’t forget that email and cc, Patterico.

    I don’t think this is the sort of post that would cause me to send an e-mail. I tend to send e-mails only when there are factual errors.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  8. Wallsten is the same LAT reporter who refused to turn over the videotape of Obama at the Arab lovefest for Kalidi (?) last year.

    AJ Lynch (e54992)

  9. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications » L.A. Times: Van Jones Controversy “Raged Almost Entirely on Conser… Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications L.A. Times: Van Jones Controversy “Raged Almost Entirely on Conservative Talk Shows and Websites” « Are you Freaking Stupid? (962ecf)

  10. This whole subject reminds me of that Bill Whittle PJTV videocast I have referenced a couple of times. It’s the best description of Teh Narrative I have yet seen. This is yet another example.

    Eric Blair (721b15)

  11. My thoughts on MTP and the dinosaurs thereon
    http://gazzersgabfest.com/?p=1696

    Gazzer (1bc622)

  12. Of course, the real reason that the controversy raged almost entirely on conservative media is because traditional media were not doing their fucking jobs

    Amen

    John Henry Eden (80fca9)

  13. I love the rationale on Meet the Press that we somehow need NBC or the NYT to “interpret” for us what these Lunatics in the Obama Administration are all about.

    Can’t wait for Sulzberger and Jeff Immelt to drop dead. God what a great day for America.

    Chutzpah.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  14. The failure of newspapers is not the internet.

    Everyone wants information and most people want information that matters. They want to know what is happening in their community and neighborhood. Then, they want to know what’s happening in the nation and the world.

    But, along about 1972, the world of U.S. journalism was changed. Two dedicated reporters were able to bring down a president — for good reason — and the world of modern journalism changed.

    Young people began going to college and major in journalism to change the world. I was one of them. Except we had no concept of the world or what our nation represented.

    And, then, they stopped competing. Almost every newspaper toed the liberal line and they were no longer relevant.

    When every news outlet speaks in the same voice, citizens being to look for alternatives. Not because they are liberal or conservative, but because they want the truth.

    Watergate was the bastion call to denigrate and subjugate everything everything about the United States. And the left of the time took up the call. The media followed, to this day.

    And now, we have those same old farts trying to be relevant to a third generation since Woodstock.

    Ag80 (b272f0)

  15. Could it be any clearer? These are not legitimate complaints, Peter Wallsten is telling you with his wording. These were politically motivated complaints generated by right-wing extremists.

    Of course, the real reason that the controversy raged almost entirely on conservative media is because traditional media were not doing their fucking jobs. As far as I am aware, only one guy was nonpartisan enough to pursue this story: Jake Tapper. Everyone else sort of hoped it would go away.

    It’s truly amazing, isn’t it? You ignore a story, and then use the fact that you have ignored it to discredit the notion that it’s news. Now that’s ballsy!

    AMEN, BROTHER! This is the same attitude in play when MSMers — led by Politico.com’s Jonathan Martin — obliquely criticized Sarah Palin’s lawyer and official spokesperson for being so aggressive in striking down malicious false rumors that (a) her resignation as Alaska Governor was due to a longstanding federal investigation for embezzlement by her husband Todd, and (b) she was splitting with Todd and had thrown her wedding ring into an Alaska lake.

    Martin’s point: The false reports didn’t merit denials because they didn’t come from mainstream news reporters. From his August 1, 2009 story:

    By having her spokeswoman repeat the charges to rebut them in a public form (sic), Palin effectively guaranteed coverage from the mainstream media that otherwise would not report claims attributed to unnamed sources on an anonymous blog.

    (snip)

    Going public with denials of these sort of charges may represent an odd sort of preemptive defense.

    But as I pointed out in my latest blog entry “Sarah Palin’s Warning Shots at Web Weasels – Why Do They Bother the MSM?” I note that both Jonathan Martin and his Politico colleague Ben Smith in 2008 dedicated a long article to strategies used by the Obama campaign and the Democrat Party in quashing false rumors from “an unprecedented subterranean e-mail campaign.”

    From The Politico, May 21, 2008, “Viral E-mails Attack Obama’s Life Story” (bold mine):

    Ironically, the smear campaign represents the dark side of the Internet’s emerging dominance in American politics — a phenomenon that has driven Obama’s unparalleled grass-roots and financial campaigns. After harnessing the Web to great advantage, Obama is now struggling to beat back the viral threat from the same uncontrollable medium.

    (snip)

    So, as he pivots from wooing left-of-center primary voters to winning over the broader American electorate, chief among Obama’s priorities will be dispelling the notion that he is somehow not fully American.

    When confronted with the Muslim e-mails, Obama last year began talking more openly about his Christianity and using most campaign Sundays to attend church services. His campaign reinforced the point with a less-than-subtle mail piece showing the candidate in a pulpit, a gold cross shimmering in the background. It was mailed out in South Carolina and was revived for the Kentucky primary.

    Now Obama is taking steps to incorporate a patriotism rebuttal to go with his faith pushback.

    After scoffing last year at the need to wear a flag pin on his lapel — grounds for one of the e-mail attacks — Obama has begun to affix the stars and stripes to his suit coat.

    And he’s begun to talk about the side of his family that more Americans can relate to.

    As I put it in my blog:

    It seems that Martin & Smith and their media brethren felt compelled to take action to debunk, disprove, and expose (and perhaps malign) spreaders of internet inaccuracies about Obama. On the other hand, when it came to the sliming of Sarah Palin, they felt they were acting professionally and responsibly by simply by refusing to relay the lies, leaving it (for the most part) to the McCain campaign to play Whack-a-Smear all by itself. And now, more than a year later, Palin is not supposed to be preventing people from “cit[ing] information that has been gleaned directly or indirectly from the e-mails” slandering her.

    In this video embedded in the article, I prove that Time mag’s longtime Demo-licking hack Joe Klein was the conduit for spreading the false stories that Palin tried to ban books in Wasilla, AK public libraries and said that the Iraq War was “a task from God.” That last lie went from Klein to Brian Williams in his NBC coverage of Palin’s RNC speech to Charles Gibson, who confronted Palin in his interview with saying something she never said.

    I figured Jones would quietly resign Friday evening along with the customary document dump. But midnight Saturday/Sunday morning? Unprecedented. The Sunday shows were already geared up for talk about The Big Health Care Speech, and the oh-so-neutral reporters wouldn’t have the precious time to examine the truth about Jones in any depth.

    L.N. Smithee (3e1cba)

  16. BTW, Jake Tapper has gained my respect after I started following him on Twitter. Many MSMers tweet, and the way they talk amongst themselves and to an ostensibly friendly audience says A LOT about their professionalism. Tapper is as straight down-the-middle as you could reasonably expect a Beltway scribe to be.

    OTOH, following tweets from MSNBC’s Contessa “I’m a smart thinker” Brewer and CNN’s Rick Sanchez reveal them to be the idiots you figured they probably were already.

    L.N. Smithee (3e1cba)

  17. Hah!

    Kevin (587083)

  18. Rick Sanchez is embarrassment to all Cubans. I wish he were Puerto Rican — then as least I get it.

    Brewer needs to go back blonde. She is one smoking hot trick. With respect to her reporting … what did she say anyway?

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  19. You want to know what has happened to the media?

    105 min – May 29, 2006 -

    Orwell Rolls in His Grave “Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to …

    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1925114769515892401

    blubonnet (ae1d2a)

  20. Why was it not a live link? I’ll try it again. Maybe Sir Patterico may help if it does not. (?)

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1925114769515892401

    blubonnet (ae1d2a)

  21. And now we get . . . the Truther perspective.

    Lovely.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  22. At the newsstand on Larchmont where I buy my WSJ, huge stacks of the LAT stand unsold every day. That never used to be the case.
    Comment by Kevin Stafford

    I recall actor Alec Baldwin making a similar observation not long ago about stacks of the New York Times sitting unsold at newstands or newsracks in Manhattan. I’d like to think much of that is due to even people in the citadels of limousine liberalism growing weary about the reliability of their local papers.

    However, when it comes to a high percentage of the populace of LA and NYC — generally (and cluelessly) of the left, no matter what — people bypassing the Times (of LA or NY) is far more likely due to the changing economics caused by the Internet and the transitioning reading patterns of the public since the 1970s, in which smaller percentages of Americans, year after year, have subscribed to or even bothered to pick up a free copy of a traditional newspaper.

    Mark (411533)

  23. I wasn’t talking about 9-11-01, and its plethora of inexplicable violations of the laws of physics, by the government version of it. I could of course, but not now.

    The above mentioned link is the story of what happened to the media, and government, and corporate control over media, AND our government. It is enlightening and interesting.

    blubonnet (ae1d2a)

  24. Mark: That is a big part of it, obviously, but the MSM’s overwhelmingbias, as evidenced by their fellatiatory coverag of Obama, is a big part as well.

    I’ll give you another example. I live in Fullerton, which is in one of the counties (Orange) that is part of the LA metropolitan region. I’ve been walking my dog every morning for 8 years now. When I started the number of OC Register and LA Times subscriptions on my neighbors’ driveways were about even. Now its running at least 5 to 1 in favor of the Register. (Yes, that’s would be same Register that just went bankrupt). And the Times has also lost considerable ground in the Inland Empire to the Press Telegram and the SF Valley to the Daily News. So, yeah, they are getting their clock cleaned by new generation media, but they are also losing ground to fellow dinosaurs, even ones in worse financial shape than they.

    Sean P (3928ec)

  25. blubonnet – Long time no see. Are you going to answer any of those questions you refused to answer on your last visit here?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  26. #16- But, along about 1972, the world of U.S. journalism was changed. Two dedicated reporters were able to bring down a president — for good reason — and the world of modern journalism changed. The cracks may have begun a little earlier, in ’68, as Vietnam unravelled. Patterico’s correct. Wallsten’s effort is plain wrong. But consider the source. What are the chances an all but dead paper will finally fold or be sold soon in this environment. Van Jones had to go and shouldn’t have been installed in the first place. Very poor vetting. Dubya would have handled the mistake cleaner- ‘Heck of a job, ‘Jonesy,’ pinned an Arbor Day medal on him and then sent him packing.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  27. Yes, I know: so the L.A. Times covers for Obama yet again; where’s the news in that?

    The problem is, if you don’t point it out, they will claim they don’t do it. So I have to point it out when it happens. It’s a wearying job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

    You ain’t kidding. After seeing the way the MSMers threw Hillary and their objectivity overboard in their lust for Obama, I started recording video so I would have evidence in future years when people would say “nothing’s changed.”

    L.N. Smithee (3e1cba)

  28. The bit at the end of the article about how he became a communist during the 90s, followed by Jarrett’s expression of delight at having her in the administration, are devastating.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  29. I could of course, but not now.

    Right – but all you’re really doing is just “asking questions.” That act got old about ten years ago – you need much fresher material than that rotting carcass.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  30. mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Blubonnet is one of my regulars.

    The contrite Dana (474dfc)

  31. #32 The contrite Dana:

    mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

    I am sure that the Eternal Judge will consider that amongst your good works…indicating patience and a willingness to teach others, no matter how incapable they are.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  32. Actually, this is great. Mr Wallsten has said, in effect, that if we rage enough about X, even though our raging is limited “almost entirely (to) conservative talk shows and websites,” we still have the power to exert our will.

    The Dana who looks on the bright side (474dfc)

  33. Our esteemed, though somewhat agitated host wrote:

    It’s truly amazing, isn’t it? You ignore a story, and then use the fact that you have ignored it to discredit the notion that it’s news. Now that’s ballsy!

    Ballsy, or just typical?

    The disdain that many of our professional journalists have for the non-professional intruders into the public media is hardly unknown, and the professional journalists have never liked the fact that the internet has robbed them of their gatekeeping functions.

    The Dana who wrote for the Kentucky Kernel but was never a professional journalist (474dfc)

  34. “But, along about 1972, the world of U.S. journalism was changed. Two dedicated reporters were able to bring down a president —”

    In those days if heroes of the left (and the media) like the Kennedy brothers, dropped a wiretap on Martin Luther King…it’s no story (because the MSM didn’t talk about it…just like they didn’t want to talk about Van Jones’ colorful past), but if Dick Nixon drops a wiretap on an out an out traitor like Danny Ellsberg…it’s all over the papers and the crime of the century.

    What a total joke.

    Unfortunately for the MSM, they can’t do that anymore (at least not as easily) thanks to things like talk radio and the internet. An example of that would be Danny Rather’s attempted hatchet job on George Bush. In the good old days Rather would’ve been able to pull it off. Nowadays, he gets caught by some bloggers on the http://WWW…and HIS career gets ended instead of George Bush’s.

    Technology is a wonderful thing.

    Dave Surls (c9eba9)

  35. #16 Ag80:

    But, along about 1972, the world of U.S. journalism was changed. Two dedicated reporters were able to bring down a president — for good reason — and the world of modern journalism changed.

    I probably do not have to point you to de Borchgrave & Moss’ The Spike, their fictionalized account of Soviet influence on world journalism at the time: but I think the confluence of events, ie, Soviet efforts to mainstream the Internationalist narrative and the deposing of an American President by a pair of enterprising journalists, had a profound effect on the perception of journalism as an active endeavor. An effect that lingers on today, having become wholly entrenched in the fields of education and journalism both.

    I wonder if JFK could have survived the revelation that he had set up a “flag@whitehouse.gov” type of ‘report your neighbors to the State’ program. Given his immense popularity, perhaps. But certainly it would have been big, BIG news…and not “spiked” as was attempted with this story.

    Patterico says,

    It’s truly amazing, isn’t it? You ignore a story, and then use the fact that you have ignored it to discredit the notion that it’s news.

    Sadly, not a new technique. But a time was when it was the result of a carefully orchestrated plan to disinform the public of a rival nation, rather than the daily behavior of a country’s own citizens.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  36. Since the LAT got scooped on Van Jones, perhaps they should examine Obama’s other few dozen Czars to make sure the likes of radio talkers and web bloggers don’t make the professional watchdogs of democracy look like fools again next week.

    Obama’s backyard looks like a target rich environment.

    Ropelight (6f0b7c)

  37. Ropelight wrote:

    Since the LAT got scooped on Van Jones, perhaps they should examine Obama’s other few dozen Czars to make sure the likes of radio talkers and web bloggers don’t make the professional watchdogs of democracy look like fools again next week.

    Such would require the editors of The Los Angeles Times to assume that the “cyberlynching” of Mr Jones was not a random and isolated event, where the unprofessional bloggers just happened to get lucky — given that they don’t have the professional skills of real journalists — and drop their assumption that the rest of Mr Obama’s appointees aren’t as pure as the wind-driven snow.

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry: that’s a metaphor which equates being pure and wholesome with white, and is obviously racist, just like it was conservatives’ natural racist bias which led us to target a hard-working and dedicated black man.

    I hereby denounce myself.

    The Dana who doubts it would work (474dfc)

  38. “..(en)sure the likes of radio talkers and web bloggers don’t make the professional watchdogs of democracy look like fools again next week…”

    There would need to be a wholesale swap of personnel. The media has lost all of its’ vaunted credibility.
    It’s too bad, really.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fad78f)

  39. Comment by The Dana who doubts it would work — 9/7/2009 @ 9:21 am

    And a hearty chuckle was enjoyed by many.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fad78f)

  40. One troubling aspect of the Watergate story that is very rarely discussed (except by me), is the fact that those two young reporters allowed themselves to be used by Mark Felt, who was running the FBI (L Patrick Gray was an interim Director and had no influence), to punish Nixon for not naming him Hoover’s successor. Stratfor.com points out that this strongly suggests that the FBI was surveilling US presidents for some time. It also suggests that the supine posture of newspaper reporters is nothing new when the right politics are concerned.

    Mike K (4baa9f)

  41. Andy McCarthy to Charles Krauthammer on Van Jones
    H/T Powerline…
    “…Bad things are not happening to our president; our president is doing bad things — as we should have known he would…”

    But, Patterico insists that the President is a Good Man!

    HorseShit!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fad78f)

  42. I could not care about what he said, but WHAT he believes in……

    MarineDad (021355)

  43. The commenter who I think used to be Another Drew wrote:

    And a hearty chuckle was enjoyed by many.

    My work here is done.

    The finished Dana (474dfc)

  44. [...] it. Readers were told nothing else. As the paper told us in reporting the resignation, until Jones resigned, the firestorm had “raged almost entirely on conservative talk shows [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » L.A. Times Did Not Report Van Jones’s Problems Until He Resigned (e4ab32)

  45. An example of that would be Danny Rather’s attempted hatchet job on George Bush.

    If that does not convince anyone that the MSM has an agenda…

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  46. [...] Times blames Van Jone’s firling on right wing blogs. I do too, because people read them, unlike the LA times. [...]

    Chew on this: Background at Cassless Ammo « Chockblock’s blog (5381c6)

  47. Completely ignored by every web source, including Patterico, is the simple fact that Jones brought this entire firestorm onto his own head by stirring up the mob to put Glenn Beck out of business.

    Jones would have received no more attention than any of the other radicals in the Executive branch — to wit, some attention, but not nearly as much as he received — if he had left that wasp’s nest alone. He swatted at the nest — and now he’s complaining that he got stung.

    The left can, and will, continue ad infinitum ad nauseum to complain that Jones was the target of a racist slime attack, but what really happened is that he launched an attack himself, and earned the response of a well-aimed spotlight.

    Plumb Bob (04f227)

  48. Plumb Bob, that’s the definition of a “smear campaign” among the Democrats – when their own smears rebound against them, its unfair!

    SPQR (26be8b)

  49. Telling the truth about someone is a smear campaign. Plain and simple. You rightwingNazis would not understand that.

    JD (b537f4)

  50. Remotely tangential, I have made a call for all self-proclaimed right wing extremist™ blogs to self-identify on my blogsite in a way to ease the fed’s deficit spending. The fed will only have to view one web site to know who to monitor.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  51. Under Obama, speaking truth to power is racism. Welcome to the land of Hope and Change.

    Ropelight (6f0b7c)

  52. [crickets]

    harkin (f92f52)

  53. plumb bob, it was very strange to learn that the boycott of Glenn Beck’s program was led right from the White House by this ‘czar’ and even more strange to learn that this czar had such an idiotic history.

    Well, Beck seems to have exploded in popularity as a result, and while he’s not my style, he’s won a pretty nice little victory. Keith Olbermann’s been on the air for a long time and hasn’t had anywhere near that kind of effect on the world.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  54. Juan makes an outstanding point that appears to be missed by many. When Jones started all of this with his boycott of Beck, he was doing so from his Czar position.

    JD (8541bc)

  55. Some are saying that Beck did small bits exposing Jones’ nuttiness at least twice before Jones initiated the boycott.

    And Keith Olbermann appears to be cracking up (even moreso) over Beck. He went from wanting dirt to rising above it complete with ad hominem in one day.

    harkin (f92f52)

  56. [...] a controversy arose about Truther and Obama appointee Van Jones, the paper dismissed it as “a firestorm that raged almost entirely on conservative talk shows and websites.” [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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