Free Markets, Free People

A tale of two smears

As many predicted, Van Jones has resigned. Naturally, he picked the middle of Labor Day weekend to do it. That means minimal coverage, which is somehow fitting, seeing how little the mainstream media covered the whole thing. This has been the deftest handling of an Obama appointment miscue ever; by the time Labor Day cookouts end, this will be over and the average voter will have never heard of Jones.

Of course, Jones’ take on the whole thing is drearily predictable:

“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 in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” [Emphasis mine]

He somehow doesn’t manage to pinpoint any specific lies or distortions. I suppose you could maintain that the whole thing about him signing a Truther petition was a distortion since he maintains that it doesn’t represent his views, but you would then need the underlying assumption that he’s a lazy radical who doesn’t bother to read what his fellow radicals write, and then fails to take responsibility for the resulting mistakes. I don’t see how that helps much.

The New York Times has yet to weigh in as best as I can tell. But they did find time late last week for this article, which contains the following:

Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator, speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show on Wednesday, accused Mr. Obama of trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader.

This was picked up and repeated by newspapers from Ireland to Las Vegas, with the usual “he’s loony” side comments. Problem is, here’s the actual quote from Mark’s guest host appearance on Rush Limbaugh that the NYT is using as a source:

Obviously we’re not talking about the cult of personality on the kind of Saddam Hussein/Kim Jong-Il scale. [Emphasis mine]

Now I suppose you could be pedantic and say, “Well, he is comparing the two, in a sense.” No, actually he’s contrasting the two, and one would hope the august journalists at the Times would know the difference, after all those “compare and contrast” essays in English class.

In my mind, this qualifies as a true smear. Instead of quoting someone, a misquoting is used that modifies the meaning of the original to make someone look bad.

As far as I can tell, this never happened with Jones. People just put up his own words and videos.

But it doesn’t matter. The word “smear” has been debased by the left, just as “fascist”, “rationing“, and plenty of others. Their post-modernist, Red Queen, multiple truths, “I knew what I meant when I said it” worldview makes that a perfectly legitimate tactic as far as they are concerned. The word “smear” now means “saying something that makes a leftist look bad” regardless of whether that something is true.

(From links originally seen at Instapundit and The Corner.)

*** Update 12:38 PM CST ***
Commenter Ernest Brown notes that the NYT finally says something about Van Jones. They delicately manage to avoid Jones’ “smear” allegations, but they do include this:

Mr. Jones apologized on Wednesday for derogatory words he directed at Republican opponents of Mr. Obama’s Congressional agenda during a lecture in February, calling his remarks “inappropriate” and noting that they were made before he joined the administration.

If all you read is the NYT, then you’ll have no clue what the heck they are talking about here. You won’t hear about the extent of Jones’ vulgarity or the cheering he got from the crowd for calling Republicans a$$holes. This is some beautifully done obfuscation for the benefit of the Obama administration.

But note that his vulgar depiction of Republicans was done before he was tapped by Obama. Well, I guess that makes it all right then!

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23 Responses to A tale of two smears

  • Yep, those vicious lies and smears forced said Van Jones from his lofty position.

    That smear that he called George W. Bush a “crackhead”? Obviously a lie and a smear!

    That smear that he signed a petition saying that George W. Bush was behind 9/11? Obviously a lie and a smear!

    That smear that he said that “white people” were “poisoning minority communities”? Obviously a lie and a smear!

    That smear that he admitted that he was a Communist? Obviously a lie and a smear!

    I have to tell you folks: I for one feel really bad for Van Jones. Because it appears that he is the first person to ever lose their job, especially one as high as in the President’s administration, after being lied about and smeared with his own words and deeds. Poor, poor Mr. Jones! Poor, poor man, to be treated so badly!

    Wow. I think a teardrop is falling. Not.

  • I said it in another thread and someone tried to claim otherwise- if you think the media won’t go all out trying to carry Baracky over the finish line you’re sadly mistaken. NYTimes mentions: ZERO.

    Barack appoints a czar that has to resign because he’s basically a mega-moonbat.

    And if you read the Times, this is out of the blue- if you even know about it at all.

    Amazing.

    Absolutely amazing.

  • The Slimes finally got around to mentioning it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/us/politics/06vanjones.html?_r=2&hp

    • They really aren’t worthy of the 1st ammendment protections they abuse daily. Such a shame.

  • On the positive side, he didn’t play the race card. /snark

    As for this:

    “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 in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”

    That’s right, Van, you’re so important that the right decided that you had to go. An assignment so critical that it was handed to the subtle yet effective Glenn Beck.

    • Guarantee you Beck is going to become the next target of the left to focus on now.

      Limbaugh has been replaced as the #1 demon for now

        • They seem to be going after his Mormonism, in the brief slog ( sorry, waders are out for patching ) that I took through that deee-lightful swamp.

          The actual Lib Mormons who were calling them on it were being shot down with Prop 8 foolishness, yet not one of them went to the numbers and asked: How did blacks and hispanics vote on Prop 8? Are there more Mormons in CA than there are blacks and hispanics?

          These folks are dangerous for their identification with the Liberal/Progressive/Down with The Man tribe above themselves.

          n.b. The only time I see Beck is on YouTube ( when something weird is going on ) or when watching O’Reilly ( which I do in hopes of catching a glimpse of Mary Katherine Hamm, and don’t you judge me for that.)

  • What’s to apologize for? Republicans , both personally and throught their lap-dog lick spittles like Limbaigh, Habnnity, Beck et al, are liars, and assholes.

  • Sorry for the typos, been a long day so far.

  • This sounds like the Jerry Springer Show.
    ———-
    Next thing you know somebody is gonna tear their bra off and throw a shoe at someone.
    ———-
    Look at what american politics is now.
    ———-
    How can any sane person take this stuff seriously.
    ———-
    That’s not a question, it’s a statement.

  • Van Jones apologized on Wednesday and it took them till Sunday to report it ?
    Are they still using horse back messengers between Washington and New York ?

  • http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/09/06/raw-data-text-resignation-letter-van-jones/

    I love that line from his letter:

    “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”

    Everything that was posted was his OWN WORDS. Video of him speaking,
    and shown completely in context.

    So is he saying his own words were “lies and distortions”?
    ———————–

  • one would hope the august journalists at the Times would know the difference, after all those “compare and contrast” essays in English class.

    What English class? ‘Journalism’ is no longer a part of the English department. It’s now in Communications along with things like ‘Public Relations’ and ‘Media Studies.’ It’s so much easier, you see, not having to learn all that archaic spelling and grammar stuff, or what words actually mean. This is pomo linguistics — words mean whatever you want them to mean.

  • “But note that his vulgar depiction of Republicans was done before he was tapped by Obama. Well, I guess that makes it all right then!”

    What makes it all right is that it’s of no consequence whatsoever. It’s stupid to get hung up on the a-hole comment. Just a few sentences later Jones asked: “How is that capitalism working for ya this year?”

    That’s the damned money quote.

  • What people don’t seem to realize is that the a-hole comment and the Truther petition were actually *lifelines* for Obama. They enabled the administration to cut Van Jones loose without reference to the real substance of his career.

    Opponents of the administration would actually be better off if Jones had not signed the petition.

    And frankly I’m convinced Jones is telling the simple truth when he says the Truther petition doesn’t reflect his views now or ever. He’s not that stupid. He doesn’t believe in environmentalism either, except as a power tool.

    No, Van Jones just believes in forging strategic alliances with Useful Idiots.

  • It’s this simple: The stuff they “apologize” for is what they want you to talk about.