If you rely only on the three major broadcast networks or one of the top major national papers as your news sources, the name "Van Jones" might prompt you to say,"Who?" But, while the media had difficulty reporting on Van Jones the embattled member of the Obama Administration, it had no such trouble covering Van Jones the anti-Iraq War protestor.
Jones, who was President Barack Obama's so-called "green jobs czar" resigned in the middle of the night on Sept. 6 - a Saturday night/Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend. He had for weeks been embroiled in controversy after revelations that he had signed a petition demanding an investigation into whether the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job by the U.S. government, was a self-described communist and had publicly derided Republicans as "a**holes." But the story had gotten little coverage from the mainstream media.
However, take a look at this video (1:25 in). Jones shows up in a CBS March 23, 2003 "The Early Show" segment touting the efforts to protest the 2003 invasion into Iraq by shutting down the city of San Francisco.
"We are very, very proud that while George Bush was shutting down Baghdad with violence, we were shutting down San Francisco with non-violence," Jones said.
As the "green jobs czar" Jones would have had an influential role at the White House. He participated in an interview with The Washington Post on August 10. And although there was no mention of any of those past indiscretions, he told the Post's Lois Romano he was responsible for $80 billion in stimulus money and the 6.8 million "green jobs" the money was to create.
"Well, you know, there are - we have a potential in the total $787 billion - that is a part of the energy package, according to the Council for Economic Advisors, to create about 6.8 million job years total, and then, as - as we go forward, the subset of that, which is about that $80 billion, will produce green jobs," Jones said to the Post. "So, the total - the total number of jobs for the entire recovery package is 6.8 million job years."
"CBS Evening News" did run a segment on Sept. 4 about Van Jones, reported by CBS correspondent Bill Plante and even as "Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor pointed out - there had been little mention of him up until that point.
"Chances are that until this week you'd never heard the name Van Jones," Glor said. "He's a presidential adviser who suddenly finds himself in the middle of an uproar over what he said about Republicans and his views on 9/11. Now, some in the GOP say it's time for Jones to resign."