Van Jones on How to 'Rebuild the Dream'

Monday, April 02, 2012

In the summer of 2009, Van Jones, special adviser on the environment and green jobs to President Obama, faced a media firestorm. It was fueled by investigations into his past. Jones, a committed environmental activist and civil rights attorney, resigned the following September. "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide," he said at the time. Since Jones resigned over two years ago, President Obama has faced mounting criticism from environmental activists, while contenders for the GOP nomination claim that the president is too extreme in his efforts to protect the environment.

Whether or not President Obama has environmental protection at the top of his agenda, Van Jones's activism continues unabated. He describes his efforts in a new book, "Rebuild the Dream" on The Takeaway.


Van Jones

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]


Two grass-roots movements. One, the "Tea Party." The other, "Occupy."

How are they treated on public radio's The Takeaway?

In the case of the Tea Party, author Carl Hiassen, with host John Hockenberry, belittle the movement. Complete with caricatures of pistol-wearing, vaguely threatening freakshow radicals.

But we know, from accurate reporting of Tea Party rallies, that such a portrayal, with the laughing assistance of John Hockenberry, is a highly inaccurate and misleading one.

Second, there is the Occupy movement. We know, again from accurate reporting, that the Occupy movement really has been associated with significant numbers of arrests, violent demonstrations resulting in property damages and some injuries. Notably, the movement has also been associated with a smaller, but yet significant, amount of crime and commercial disruption, particularly at the Occupy Wall Street site in Zucotti Park, Manhattan.

I'd be reluctant to link Van Jones too closely to the Occupy movement, except that Jones himself did it, in a recent New York Times interview:

So how does The Takeaway treat "Occupy"? As a serious and meaningful political movement, full of significance and worthy of careful and generous discussion. The Takeaway actually hosts Van Jones, to help him promote his book. When, I wonder, was the last time The Takeaway hosted Ann Coulter, for a friendly neighborhood interview to help her promote a book?

Two movements; two standards. Indeed, what ya might call a "double standard."

Apr. 02 2012 10:18 AM

He admits he did crazy stuff when he was a 'young radical' what? How have his views changed? Is he still, by his own word, not Glenn Beck's, a communist for example? Should that matter? what if he were a nazi?
would the same air of congenial conviviality filling the studio exist were you interviewing a conservative christian with strong views against gay marriage and illegal immigration say, things you and the whole culture of NPR obviously support?
Not one skeptical question...not one...

Apr. 02 2012 10:02 AM
Matthew from Astoria.

Van Jones is an amazing voice. Very inspiring. Thanks for having him on. His clarity of thought is awesome.

Apr. 02 2012 09:57 AM

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