Sunday, September 6, 2009

Van Jones, we hardly knew ye

Since PR is my business, I know a little bit about news cycles and how best to leverage them. And I have to admire the way the White House played the Van Jones story, aided and abetted by their friends in the mainstream media.

Jones was the White House advisor on "green jobs" who just started to become famous this past week, for all the wrong reasons. A quick look at his past showed Jones to be an avowed communist, a horrible racist and a 9/11 'truther," meaning he repeatedly expressed the belief that the U.S. government brought about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Even for an administration filled with radicals, Jones was way, way out there, and his presence was an embarrassment to the Obama administration because they either a) hired him, knowing all of the ridiculous, stupid things he had said in the past and thought they were acceptable, or b) hired him without bothering to check his background. There was no good way to spin Jones' presence as a White House advisor.

By Friday, it was obvious they had to cut Jones loose, but the PR guy in me really admires the way they did it. They released the news late on Saturday night of a holiday weekend, too late to make the Sunday newspapers, and on a holiday weekend when most big cable anchors are off-duty and won't be back until Tuesday, at which point the Jones story will be considered "old news." Give them an "A" for media spin, and a "F" for the hiring practices.

Here is one of many great Van Jones moments. He explains that "White polluters and white evironmentalists are steering poison into the people of color community." Yeah, that's what those white environmentalists do, they steer poison.

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