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Glenn Beck Is Still Smearing Van Jones, Even After Jones Takes High Road Preaching 'Love' for Fox Host

Six months after Gateway Pundit forced Jones' White House resignation over a 9/11 petition, Beck revives ridiculous red-baiting act.

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But Beck is not much of a debater, and almost never invites smart and informed liberals onto his shows. Although he published a book called Arguing with Idiots , he has always been terrified of arguing with those idiots live on the air. It is much easier to play kitten-toy sound bites of Jones' speeches. Probing much deeper than that would have mucked up Beck's portrait of Jones as V. I. Lenin by way of Huey Newton. It risked complicating the watermelon hypothesis and revealing Beck's racially loaded diversionary tactic for what it was. For those who are not taken in by his act, the host was proving what might be called the "jack-o-lantern hypothesis" of conservative antienvironment rhetoric: capable of scaring a child on the outside, empty on the inside.

At the end of August, Beck's campaign against Jones was still in high gear but had little to show. Despite more than a month of the same accusations being repeated, Jones remained in the White House. And so Beck and his allies stepped up their opposition research. On September 1, the Web site DefendGlenn.com circulated a video of Jones referring to congressional Republicans as "assholes" during a lecture at the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative. Jones publicly apologized, bringing wider attention for the first time to Beck's agitation. Yet it was hardly a fatal blow.

In the end, it was neither Beck nor DefendGlenn.com that forced Jones' resignation. On Thursday, September 3, the conservative blog GatewayPundit.com reported that Jones had signed a 2004 petition calling for "immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war." The petition's wording did not claim that the government was responsible for the attacks, but it was vague enough to push Jones onto the political third rail of the 9/11 Truth Movement. The next day, Senator Kit Bond, a Republican from Missouri, called for a hearing on Jones' "fitness" to advise the president.

The hearing never took place. Jones proffered his resignation to the president the next day, Saturday, September 5.

What Beck had failed to do in nearly two months of huffing and puffing, GatewayPundit accomplished in two days with a single-page document. Still, most media reports mistakenly described Jones' resignation as a "victory" for Beck despite the fact that none of Beck's charges ever made waves outside the insular world of conservative media. Only in September did the story break, driven by discoveries that were made independently of Beck's shows. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum stated fact when he told CNN's American Morning on September 7, "[Jones] could have survived, laughed off all of [Beck's] empty accusations. What happened was, GatewayPundit got the goods."

The truth of this didn't stop Beck from taking the credit for Jones' fall. He dismissed talk of victory not because he had little to do with Jones' resignation, he let on, but because he had so much more work to do. Even though no policies had been derailed and no communists had been smoked out of the White House, his ratings spiked, and the taste of blood was fresh in his mouth. He wanted more. On the Monday after Jones' resignation, Beck promised to continue unmasking Obama's many communist czars. "We will continue to demand answers," he promised. "This is not over."

One week later, on September 12, roughly eighty thousand Americans answered Beck's call to gather en masse on the National Mall. They came to protest the president in terms they learned from Beck. Hundreds of signs combined Soviet and Nazi iconography with historically inaccurate references to czars. Among the many signs on display that day, very few mentioned green jobs or the petition that forced Van Jones' resignation. More popular were signs stating flatly what Glenn Beck could not. Among them were several that read: OBAMA'S PLAN = WHITE SLAVERY.

 
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