Mickey Kaus notes that the New York Times reported the Van Jones controversy for the first time in an article about Van Jones’s resignation — leaving readers wondering: where did that come from?
The L.A. Times did the same thing.
Jones had all kinds of issues, but what ultimately did him in was his signature on a Truther petition. As Mickey says:
He signed a Truther petition. Bye.
Like readers of the New York Times, readers of the Los Angeles Times were blindsided by the revelations about Jones, including his signing a Truther petititon, which they learned about for the first time in the story reporting his resignation.
A search of the paper’s archives since August 1 reveals exactly one story mentioning Van Jones before his resignation: an August 25 story titled Glenn Beck blasts boycott group’s co-founder. The article focuses on Beck and the boycott and portrays Beck’s criticism as defensive lashing out; the only facts reported about Jones are these:
Beck said Jones was twice arrested for political protests and has described himself as a “rowdy black nationalist.”
That’s 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 and websites.” The revelation about Jones’s Truther leanings came out in the L.A. Times only when he resigned.
Many legitimate news stories are relegated exclusively to conservative media. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t legitimate stories. It just means that you can’t learn everything you need to know by reading traditional Big Media. You have to read conservative media too. You have to read conservative blogs, or you won’t have any idea what’s going on.
You guys know this, but it’s still worth a reminder.
UPDATE: Foo Bar notes that the L.A. Times noted Jones’s problems online, in a Top of the Ticket post here.
Print readers? They were out of luck.