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Does Van Jones Really Believe He and Glenn Beck Are 'Irrelevant?


"Glenn Beck is kind of like Mr. Rogers meets Darth Vader..."

Van Jones (FILE)

A New York Times Magazine profile of former White House green jobs czar Van Jones raises some interesting questions.

  • Did he sign the 9/11 Truther petition or not? (Jones denies it and then claims a fuzzy memory that can't recall if he did or didn't.)
  • Does Jones honestly believe that he and Glenn Beck have been rendered "irrelevant"?
  • And the strangest question of all: How did he go from nerdy kid to "Lefty Dreamboat"? (Not joking... )

Jones has a new book out, "Rebuild The Dream." He is also speaking at various Occupy Wall Street events (including one in Los Angeles on Saturday) so it makes sense that the Times would profile him.

In the Times piece, Jones seems to agree with the reporter's statement about the 9/11 Truther petition, "your signature was incorrectly reported to be on a 9/11 Truther petition," by stating:

"I can’t stand bearing the cross for wacky ideas I never had."

That line seems fairly clear -- Jones is saying he never signed the petition in question. However, when the next question actually asks why the administration didn't just deny that he signed it, Jones seems to waffle.

There was a lot of pressure on me from the right and the media. My brain was turning into putty. I said, “I’ve never seen this language before.” But it was like five years earlier, and maybe somebody had tricked me. I resigned on a Saturday night.

Wait. What did he say? "But it was like five years earlier, and maybe somebody tricked me." 

Oddly, Times writer Andrew Goldman did not follow that reply with a question about the possibility that Jones did sign a 9/11 Truther petition and was either tricked or had forgotten about it?

Instead, Goldman focused on the person he believes is responsible for Jones' White House exit: Glenn Beck. And Jones doesn't deny that the attention Beck gave to his history had something to do with his resignation. But Jones also claims that a group he started, "Color of Change," is responsible for Beck no longer being on the Fox News Channel network:

Ultimately Beck pushed me out of my job, and Color of Change pushed Beck out of his job. Now we’re both irrelevant!


I'm not exactly sure that Jones believes the last part of that statement.

After all, Beck's media empire (including syndicated radio, publishing, GBTV and is growing without his Fox News show. And Jones jets around the country delivering speeches to Occupy groups, leading seminars on the "green economy" and giving interviews to support his latest book.

Maybe he does believe it, or "maybe somebody tricked" him.

To find out more about Van Jones, especially his transformation from an 89-pound, comic book-reading eighth grader to a "lefty dreamboat," read the entire Times piece here.

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