Politico plays dumb about Van Jones

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

This one was just dopey.

Searching for an angle to Van Jones resignation, the Politico adopted its trademark breathless style and announced [emphasis added]:

When President Barack Obama's green jobs adviser, Van Jones, submitted his resignation this weekend, he became the first casualty of the Obama administration not to go quietly.

Where other departing officials have given explanations about process or used predictable lines about spending more time with their families, Jones released a statement accusing his critics of using "lies and distortions" about him to divert attention from the White House's agenda.

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said.

Unlike previous administration officials who were let go or walked away, Van Jones was fighting mad! (His exit was "fiery.") And to prove it, Politico then detailed four previous White House staffers who had gone quietly: Louis Caldera, Ellen Moran, Gen. David McKiernan, Steve Rattner.

Why is the Politico premise dopey? Why is Politico guilty of comparing obvious apples to oranges? Because unlike Van Jones, none of the others highlighted in the article had been the subject of a vicious right-wing smear campaign. Because Van Jones was the only one in the article whose reputation was savaged on Fox News for weeks on end.

I'm pretty sure that's why Van Jones didn't go quietly. I'm pretty sure that's why he was exit was "fiery." But I guess that glaringly obvious point escaped the pro's at Politico.

UPDATED: if you take a step back, the Politico's general premise that Van Jones refused to go quietly doesn't even make sense. Refusing to go quietly, in classic Beltway terms, suggests that Van Jones balked at resigning; that he'd battled with the White House, or that he'd been aggressively public in the days since his resignation denouncing his former employer. None of that is true though.

At Politico, the entire he-refused-to-go-quietly premise was based on the fact that Van Jones issued a brief statement attack his critics (not the White House).


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