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UPDATED: Glenn Beck goes after Color of Change co-founder Van Jones


Glenn Beck used his popular Fox News show this afternoon to attack the background of Van Jones, a White House environmental advisor who co-founded an African American political advocacy group that organized an advertising boycott of his program.

During his 2 p.m. PDT show, Beck did not address the boycott spearheaded by Color of Change to protest the talk show host’s remark last month that he believes President Obama is “a racist.” 

Instead, he spent a large share of his program suggesting that Jones, who co-founded Color of Change in 2005, is a radical. Jones now serves as a special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

During a six-minute biographical profile, set to ominous music, Beck said Jones was twice arrested for political protests and has described himself as a "rowdy black nationalist." The talk show host cast the piece as part of a broader examination of Obama's "czars," special advisers to the president who "don't answer to anybody."

"Why is it that such a committed revolutionary has made it so high into the Obama administration as one of his chief advisers?" Beck asked.

Christine Glunz, a spokeswoman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, noted that Jones has been lauded as an environmental hero and said his entire focus is on “building clean energy incentives which create 21st-century jobs.”

“Glenn Beck is trying to change the subject,” said James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, who noted that Jones has not been active with the group in almost two years. “The issue is his baseless fear mongering.”

Beck has gone after Jones in the past. On July 28, he called the activist a "self-professed communist" and questioned the role he was playing in the administration. His latest assault on Jones came as Color of Change announced that it has secured commitments from 36 companies who have pledged not to advertise on Beck’s popular program, including Wal-Mart and Sprint. However, some of the companies never had a presence on "Glenn Beck." Representatives of Procter & Gamble and AT&T – listed by Color of Change as companies that had signed onto the boycott – told The Times that their companies did not run spots on Beck’s program to begin with.

While the advertising boycott has generated substantial media coverage, Fox News said it has not impacted the network’s revenues or Beck’s audience. "The advertisers referenced have all moved their spots from Beck to other programs on the network so there has been no revenue lost," a spokeswoman said.

Since his Fox News show launched in January, Beck has attracted a sizable audience with his strident denunciations of the Obama administration and apocalyptic warnings about the country’s direction. Late last month, during an appearance on the morning show “Fox & Friends,” he accused Obama of having “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

“This guy is, I believe, a racist,” he added.

The flap that ensued did not appear to dampen Beck’s viewership. This month, his show has averaged 2.25 million viewers, 99% more than tuned in during the same period last year, when the network aired “America’s Election HQ” during the time period. And his ratings are up from July, when Beck's program averaged 2.05 million viewers. Fan websites such as Defend Glenn have called for viewers to fight back against the advertising boycott, and some media veterans have denounced the tactic as a suppression of free speech.

The controversy has triggered a broader discussion about the risks to advertisers of running commercials amid the incendiary rhetoric of cable talk shows. Clorox announced last week that it was pulling its ads off all political talk shows.

"We do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show host,” the company said in a statement. “After a comprehensive review of political talks shows across the spectrum, at this time we have made a decision not to advertise on them. Clorox has done very little advertising on political talk shows overall, and given the sometimes inflammatory nature of these shows, we feel our advertising investment is best directed elsewhere.”

-- Matea Gold

File photo of Glenn Beck by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


As boycott continues, Glenn Beck's audience swells

Comments () | Archives (2569)


Why is it so easy for blacks to denounce whites as racists, but when the roles are reversed, people in the liberal media go nuts?

If the discussion of Van Jones is the only thing you came away with from this program then you are indeed a very poor reporter.

Mr Beck brought up some very valid and reasoned questions regarding the number and size of the bills being pushed through Congress, the question of who is actually writing these bills and why, with the massive debt this nation already has are we continuing to spend, spend, spend....

I am very interested in this Czar and the others. It appears there is more to the "Green" Czar than meets the eye. I look forward to learning more...Hope my Congressmen and Senators have several phone lines.

By complete happenstance, I have had my longtime and quite conservative business located next door to Color Of Change for more than a year. I have not met a more polite, nonradical, multiracial, well-behaved, well-educated, hard-working group of serious-minded and fairly mainstream young people. They don't rant, and they think about their positions carefully.

Mr. Beck on the other hand seems unhinged and appears to want to generate panic and hysteria. Unthinking outrage is not going to make this country a better place.

Why is this Marxist/Communist (Jones) anywhere near my WH? He is an ex-criminal and probably still is! I want my country back now. Obama & the Socialist/Marxist who are now controlling the WH and Congress are in for one big surprise. WE THE PEOPLE have just begun to fight back. Every single one of those who are bent on destroying our Constitutional Republic will be voted out next year. We will not go down quietly into the night. They have awoken a sleeping giant.

It's not right for Glenn to call Obama a racist, just like it shouldn't be right for blacks to denounce whites as racist. So the "Go Glenn" slogan is wrong. Is there any proof that Obama is racist.

go go go Glenn we are with you

Your article reads "Beck's assault on Jones came as Color of Change announced that it has secured commitments...". Shouldn't it read "Color of Change's assault on Beck came after Beck exposed Jones..." since the events occurred in reverse order. Kind of changes the intent of the article though.

If you listen to Van Jones speeches, the dude is loco!

When are you going to release the videotape of Rashid Khalidi farewell bash with Barack Obama and Bill Ayers in attendance?

Yeah, "Go Glenn!!" Go back where you came from and stop tainting the airwaves with your vitriol!

As the left used to say, this could have a chilling effect on political commentary in te media. While I don't watch Beck very often, he is the only one actually talking about these "czars" and giving any backgrounds on them. They aren't vetted through Congress, you know. By the way, one of those two arrests was not in a political protest, it was during a riot. You may remember the event, it was the riot that ensued after the cops who beat Rodney King were let off the hook by a Simi Valley jury. I don't think there is any connection between the WH and a concerted effort to silence critics of the administration. At least, I don't want to think that.

Glenn Beck is deranged. He doesn't deserve any of our attention.

Just the final straw to stop my shopping at walmart by 75%..i still like there auto service, but i will wean that also..See i too have a choice!


Thomas: Are you really THAT clueless? The white man dragged the black man away from his home land to sell him as personal property to other white men. White children were (and some still are) raised to believe that people of color are not equal to white people. Racism that exists as a result of a long history of prejudice and inequality is justifiable. Racism that exists because of perpetual ignorance is not. You, my friend, are demonstrating the latter. Oh, and by the way, Fox News, by its own admission, has some of the highest ratings of any media outlet anywhere. If the media, as you claim, is liberal, then Fox must be as well.

I wonder if Beck will cry because his advertisers left him :(

It is beyond me, why any person, outside of them who cannot think for them self, would listen to them such as Beck, Limbaugh that preach (HATE), How do you think people as Hitler got the bulk of people to follow him, They pray on the weak minded.

I don't think advertising boycotts are an appropriate response to extremists like Mr. Beck. Fox News is much like professional wrestling in that it depends on shock, outrage and hyperbole to attract viewers. We all know that it’s staged and intended to titillate.

There is no history in this country of Black people enslaving White people, so maybe that's why the factual reality of Whites in positions of power denying power to Blacks is a basis, historically, for the label of "racist" to fit better the facts of a White person acting racist.

Glen Beck is modern day equivalent of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the traitor who denounced everyone who disagreed with his crazy views as Communists. Just like Glen Beck trashes everyone who correctly notes that he is a hypocrite stirring up controversy so he can sell more books.

He's living proof that ".. you can fool some of the people all of the time."
He's a hater of the first degree. Beck & Rush -- two heads of the same pin.

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