Green Czardom and Purple Prose (Update: And Now He’s Gone)

Glenn Beck’s campaign against Van Jones, the White House’s green jobs czar, has escaped our notice until just recently (no cable!), but the story has definitely broken through into the bigger media mainstream. And man oh man, damning statements by a pre-White House Mr. Jones keep turning up, in this case offensive mocking of the former President. The latest:

The easy way to try to bring the price of energy down is to simply increase the supply – just being to drill more – to drill off shore, to drill here, to drill there, coal, to go with oil shell and tar sands – do whatever you can to get more petroleum into the system – And we heard our president (George W. Bush) saying just that. Thats what he wants to do. And I hate to say this, I hope I don’t offend anybody, but the President of the United States sounded like a crack-head when he said that. ‘I just – a little bit more – just a little bit- just a little bit more, a little bit more – a little bit more petroleum, I could get a little bit more.’ It was shameful. Am I wrong?

Yes. Completely. (Even though the former President Bush gave credence to the nonsensical “addicted to oil” concept, as if pricing of commodities should viewed in psycho-therapeutic terms.)

Here’s the video.

It’s hard to see how Mr. Jones can survive — or have been confirmed in the first place if he had been put in an Administration post that required Senate approval.

The latest developments from this afternoon, via The Washington Post blogs.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs offered few signs of support at his daily briefing Friday for embattled White House adviser Van Jones, saying only, “He continues to work for the administration.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), called on Jones to quit or be fired, saying, “His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.”

UPDATE (5:55 p.m.): Mickey Kaus says gone by midnight.

UPDATE (2:20 am. Sunday): Kaus was way off, or at least by a day. It took until late Saturday for Jones to submit his resignation. From The Washington Post:

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement announcing his resignation just after midnight Saturday. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”

Hard to see any “lies and distortions” being to blame when his critics were using his own video statements and direct quotes to oppose him.

UPDATE (3:15 a.m. Sunday): Statement was actually released by White House after midnight, early Sunday, avoiding Sunday papers but not Sunday TV shows. Or the Internet. What poor staffer had to stay up late to hit send? (Guessing you wouldn’t trust the scheduling function on the computerized distribution system.)

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