Howard Kurtz Gets Van Jones/Glenn Beck Story Wrong

Wow, did Howard Kurtz of CNN (and the Washington Post) ever screw up the Van Jones/Glenn Beck story.

As Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters reported, in a segment of his CNN show, “Reliable Sources,” Kurtz accuses Beck of targeting Jones, a self-described “communist” who is now President Obama’s green jobs czar, because a group Jones founded called Color of Change is attacking Beck.

Here is a transcript of the brief segment that Sheppard prepared:

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Glenn Beck devoted some time this week to trashing a man named Van Jones, a special adviser at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLENN BECK: Let’s start at Yale Law School. Van Jones showed up wearing combat boots and holding a Black Panther book bag. A major turning point came in 1993 when he was arrested during the Rodney King riots. He spent the next ten years as a full-fledged radical. Among other things, founding a group called STORM, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement which held study groups in the Marxist and Lenin teachings. And why is it that such a committed revolutionary has made it so high into the Obama administration as one of his chief advisers?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KURTZ: And why is it that the Fox News host would target this relatively obscure administration official along with that scary music? Van Jones was a co-founder of Color of Change, an advocacy group that has been promoting an advertising boycott of Beck’s show over his denunciation of President Obama as a racist. Some three dozen advertisers have pulled their spots from the Beck program, a detail that Beck somehow neglected to mention.

Had he bothered to prepare properly for his TV show instead of concentrating on Beck hunting, Kurtz would have realized that Beck has been attacking Jones for weeks on the “Glenn Beck Program.”

Long after Beck started pursuing the Jones story, Color of Change seized on Beck’s controversial characterization of President Obama as “racist” to urge an advertiser boycott of Beck’s show. After Color of Change began its anti-Beck boycott campaign, I broke the story that Jones was a co-founder of Color of Change and that the group had tried to cover up its ties to him by scrubbing its website.

Of course, the group’s outrage is probably fake. Color of Change was just waiting for an opportunity to lash out at Beck and Beck’s “racist” comment gave it to the group.

All in all, very sloppy work by Kurtz who seemed more interested in a “gotcha” than in getting to the bottom of the story. He should correct his embarrassing mistake.

Not surprisingly the mendacious, malicious idiots at Media Matters for America, anxious to destroy anyone on the right, fell for Kurtz’s misleading story. Media Matters ought to know better. At the initiative of high-profile fabulist Eric Boehlert, it has already opined at length about the Beck versus Jones story.

It’s worth noting that in the item linked above, Boehlert refers to the American Spectator, which has published my ongoing coverage of Color of Change and related stories, as a “fringe pub.”

of course, Boelhert failed to disclose in his rant that his boss, David Brock, used to be an investigative reporter for the American Spectator. Could this be because Boehlert, like his Media Matters colleagues, is deeply unethical?

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