When will Van Jones be thrown under the bus by Pres. Obama? [UPDATE x3]

| September 4, 2009

[UPDATED 09/05/09 — 2311 MDT]

Hey, I was right, mostly. He resigned Saturday evening, and the White House did their best to bury the news by releasing it after midnight (ET).

[UPDATED 09/06/09 — 0627 MDT]

And I was exactly right about this statement at the end of my original post: The real question is whether the first mention in the actual print editions of the WaPo and the NYT will be to cover Jones’ departure:

It’s a bit scary how predictable it was, and how much the mainstream media is still carrying water for the Obama Administration.

[UPDATED 09/06/09 — 0950 MDT]

John Haft (Gateway Pundit) — who was responsible for tracking down many of the details about Van Jones — notes that ABC’s “This Week” gave a grand total of one minute to the Van Jones story this morning. Buried, buried and buried.

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg has further analysis of how the Jones story was downplayed and dismissed on the Sunday news shows and by the Obama Administration itself. Quoth Jonah:

Compare this to the controversy over Lani Guinier, President Clinton’s nominee to run the civil rights division at the Justice Department. When her views came to light, president Clinton disavowed her. “This has nothing to do with the political center,” Clinton insisted, “This is about my center.” Who would have guessed that there’s a case for saying Bill Clinton’s center had more intellectual integrity than Barack Obama’s?


Given White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ rather underwhelming vote of confidence for Jones (“He continues to work for the Adminsitration.”), it’s pretty clear he’s on the way out. I suspect it will be within 24 hours, or in other words, by late Saturday afternoon. Why?

First, he has to be gone before September 8th, when everyone comes back from the Labor Day weekend and Pres. Obama has not one but two major (and somewhat controversial) speeches to give: to most of the nation’s schoolkids on the 8th and to a joint session of Congress on the 9th.

Second, he really has to be gone before the Sunday morning talk shows. On the other hand, I could make a very Machiavellian argument that the Administration could let this drag out so that these same shows have less time to talk about the twin Obama speeches, giving them more freedom to be whatever they happen to be, but I still think they’d prefer not to have Jones be a point of discussion.

Third, he has to be gone before the mainstream media can no longer ignore this issue. As Byron York point out, as of about 11:30 am Friday morning, there was no discussion of Jones at the Washington Post, the New York Times, or on the ABC, NBC, or CBS Evening News. That’s changed a bit with Jake Tapper of ABC News — one of the few MSM reporters out there who actually acts like a journalist at the White House press briefings — raising the issue with Robert Gibbs (as noted above), but that’s no guarantee that it’ll show up on ABC this evening.  Likewise, one of the blogs on the WaPo website is discussing it (but it’s very buried on the website; tiny font and near the bottom of the web page). The real question is whether the first mention in the actual print editions of the WaPo and the NYT will be to cover Jones’ departure.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Journalism, Main, Media, Obama Administration, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.