That's the first paragraph of the NYT story on the Van Jones resignation — which is also its first story about Jones. The site's "Caucus" blog did take notice of the controversy — and the issue of the NYT's failure to write about it — yesterday:
Keeping up with Jones: Republicans are accusing one of Mr. Obama’s top advisers of being a communist and calling for his resignation....Whether the Bush administration allowed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen as a pretext for war? The petition — read it — "calls 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." (Boldface added.)
Mr. Jones was caught on tape using an unprintable word to describe Republicans and allowed his name to be put on a letter requesting an investigation of whether the Bush administration allowed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen as a pretext for war....
Conservatives are abuzz over the mainstream media’s oversight of the story. According to the Washington Examiner, as of 11:30 a.m. Friday, none of the major news outlets, including The Times, had mentioned the controversy.
The Caucus toned down what the petition said and did not link to it. There's a big difference between "allowed" — which might mean only the administration was not sufficiently vigilant — and "deliberately allowed" — which accuses the administration of knowing and letting it happen. The petition is asserting that there is reason to think the Bush administration wanted the attacks to occur so it could lead us into war. The innocuous paraphrase in the Caucus prevents us from feeling outraged at the document Jones "allowed his name to be put on." There's that word "allowed" again! How passive and unknowing was he? He signed it! Let's speak English and quit pussyfooting. The Caucus wanted to frame this as a story of bad old Republicans causing trouble.
Now, back to today's article on the resignation:
Controversy over Mr. Jones’s past comments and affiliations has slowly escalated over several weeks, erupting on Friday with calls for his resignation.Not just knowingly, but deliberately. Please quote to the petition. And link to it.
Appointed as a special adviser for “green jobs” by President Obama, Mr. Jones did not go through the traditional vetting process for administration officials who must be confirmed by the Senate. So it was not until recently that some of Mr. Jones’s past actions received broad airing, including his derogatory statements about Republicans in February and his signature on a 2004 letter suggesting that former President George W. Bush might have knowingly allowed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to occur in order to use them as a “pre-text to war.”
Mr. Jones’s involvement in the 1990s with a group called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement prompted recent accusations by conservative critics that he associated with Communists. The group, according to a post-mortem written by some of its founders, was an anti-capitalist, antiwar organization committed to achieving “solidarity among all oppressed peoples” with “direct militant action.”"Involvement," "statements," "associations" — what did Jones do exactly? The NYT should serve its readers by putting us in a position to think about the trustworthiness of the Obama administration and its selection of "czars." This isn't just another occasion to note that "Republican blogs" and "conservative talk show hosts" attack the administration. It's interesting that the opposition won a "victory," but more important than the endless partisan battles is the question whether we can trust the administration.
Republican blogs and conservative talk show hosts, notably Glenn Beck of Fox News Channel, seized upon Mr. Jones’s statements and associations.
Mr. Jones apologized on Wednesday...Does that mean the NYT will not go into the matter of what Jones did and said and what the Obama administration knew about it? He's gone now. Go back to looking away, like good little Obamites.
“I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past,” Mr. Jones said in a statement announcing his resignation that was released early Sunday morning....