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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)

In response to Dave, August 24, 2009 at 05:12 PM:

Sorry, but my sequence of events is correct…Fact Check…

1. July 23, 2009 – Audio transcript…Glenn was checking into Van Jones several days before his comment that is deemed racist by some
2. colorofchange begins looking for any way to attack him
3. Glenn makes a comment perceived to be racist, opening the door for a vicious attack by colorofchange
4. colorofchange boycot
5. Glenn continues his investigation of Van Jones

Even before Glenn was looking into him (as far as I know…there might have been earlier discussions from Glenn before the July 23rd date) Michael Savage mentioned Van Jones radical history on his program broadcast on March 12, 2009.

Glenn Beck is a patriot and is trying to preserve the America we all love, keep up the great job.

Do your own research and you will find the same truths about Van Jones. He claimed himself a communist. Look it up. I dare you to disprove Glenn's claim.

I'm not African American, I'm a white middle class, middle age male that was appalled to hear Glenn Beck's strident anti-Obama, racist creed. I wrote to two advertisers on the show including one that I have a very strong business relationship with complaining about their continued advertising support of his radical, rabid garbage. I am happy to see that both companies saw the light and pledged not to advertise on the Glenn Beck Show. His kind of racist diatribe has no place in the dialogue on how we should move forward in a broad range of subjects from health care to Afghanistan to social security to taxes to the Bush administration's deceit.

I'm tired of the hatred, the racist talk, the vitriol. Glenn Beck doesn't discuss topics or debate them with reason and facts. He spews, he attacks, he's all about fear and hatred. Do you folks who support him really believe he does this for the good of the people, the good of our country? Seriously? He does it solely because he can make a buck. The more he rants, the greater his audience and the more money he makes. Believe me, if liberals were as brainless and could generate the same audience, he'd be attacking Republicans. On the other hand, Van Jones is all about social and economic justice. He should be the one to listen to; he's truly interested in the future of our country. Hate gets us nowhere; environmentalism, green jobs, new energy speaks to tomorrow and our country's prosperity. Congratulations, Mr. Jones, keep up the good work!!! Thanks Color of Change for leading the boycott; keep it up until we get rid of those who abuse our airwaves.

Ooh, Scary Black Man! Feeling the pinch a bit there, Glensky? I thought "Revolutionaries" were cool again. Radicals, too. So, it's cool for black guys to run around toting guns at political events, & claiming to have beaten by SEIU "thugs", as long as they have their ideology straight, but the Negro who disagrees with Glenn "I just love this country soooo much, *sniffle*" Beck, that guy is a threat to America? Listen: the key to any good fiction is suspension of disbelief. This requires, if not logical rigor, then at least internal self-consistency. If you keep stepping on your own talking points like this, people are just gonna stop paying attention. Also, that thing about screwing your sister? WAY too much information, dude.

I am so tired of you white people hating yourselves so much, feeling guilty for the slavery your generation had nothing to do with, allowing yourselves to be shaped and led by Acorn and tax cheats! What the hell is wrong with you? THINK! You're going to wake up one day soon and you're going to wonder how you arrived at supporting 4 and 5th generation welfare recipients, government freeloaders and more runaway government spending while your up early every day going to work and feeling like a drone, working not only for yourselves and your family but having to "share your wealth" with alot of people who don't want to be responsible for their own. Why do you think you owe anyone much more than taking care of you and yours? If we were all responsible for our own house we wouldn't be in 2/3 rds of this mess.

Regardless if people think the boycott or the organizers are without merit their boycott is not curtailing freedom of speech. Glenn Beck has the right to rail against white hating biracial politicians, imaginary eugenics programs and global alien-communist conspiracies till the cows come home, there is just no constitutional guarantee he should be financially compensated. In downtown Syracuse, by the main bus stop, there is a man who frequently yells about the end times while waving a bible at bemused bystanders. There is plenty of space in the world for self-styled prophets and their predictions of doom and damnation. If Glenn Beck's show doesn't survive rest assured that in Syracuse (and many other trash strewn urban streets across this great nation) there is a soapbox waiting for him. Trust me... he'll fit right in.

Hilarious - it is ok for Van Jones to participate in Rodney King riots, to create S.T.O.R.M., to brag in his own writings and speeches about being being an avowed Communist - but not ok for Glenn Beck to tell America about that, regarding a man very high up in the Obama administration, who is setting policies Americans will have to obey, whether a majority of us approve of those policies, or not.

Would the Founding Fathers recognize this as America, the land with a govt of Public Servants of WE THE PEOPLE?

No, they would not. They would wonder about the blood they spilled to try to acquire freedom for this lot.

I watch Glenn Beck and I am always enlightened and entertained. He is doing the job journalists used to do before they became Obamabots, and no one cares more about this country. Libs always hate Glenn, Rush, etc. even though they have never listened to them. When I was an uninformed Democrat I hated them too, then I listened to them. You libs should really stop getting your news from MSNBC or the LA Times.

Van Jones is a criminal turd who should be in prison not employed by taxpayers.

Hey Georeg at 10:06. Glenn could care less if you won't watch CNN. He isn't even on CNN. Another well informed, and hate-filled liberal loser.

I LOVE BECK!!!! QUESTION with BOLDNESS and SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR!!!! GLENN is a voice we need!!
I am SICK to the point of VOMIT!!!I am so SICK of people screaming racism because someone has a difference. We have a BLACK BROTHER holding the highest office in the USA!!! Therefore, there is no need for Affirmative Action anymore. We would not have a BLACK MUSLIM PRESIDENT without the white vote. I am a victim of reverse discrimination with Affirmative Action. I do not care if the person in my White House is BLACK, WHITE or YELLOW. I do care about their associates, connections and background because you can come to a reasonable conclusion about a person and what their hidden agenda's may be. PEOPLE DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!! I elect not to support any of the 36 companies pulling their ads because they have not done their homework on Van Jones or the Colorofchange.org who is pushing to get rid of Beck.
I hope the companies pulling the ads realize there are more viewers that support BECK and FOX news than the ones that are screaming racism. The ones screaming racism support NBC or CNN and have never supported FOX nor do they have a job or the money to purchase their products. BECKS ratings are climbing. GO BECK GO FOX!!!! SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR GLENN the sleeping giants will support you.

I was born in southeast asia and came to this country and worked hard. I'm glad Mr Beck is asking the questions he is. I would say he's the only one really challenging the white house and that really irks them. The president is used to softball questions from the white house press corps and he's caught off guard when tough questions are asked. thus if it's not staged or on teleprompter, he fumbles.

Exactly what did Mr. Beck not tell the truth about?

I guess Glenn didn't have a very restful week off, since he is back to whining and crying again. Boo-FREAKIN=Hoo.

I think what you will find with most media is the lack of good questions and their inability to develop a clear picture of the truth. At the end of Glen Becks show he presented his viewers with a list of questions. Does the reporter of this article think these questions are unreasonable?
Does the Los Angeles Times believe it would be a bad business move to start asking real questions? Are the reporters at the LA times capable of learning a reporting lesson from Glen?

Beck should me be more responsible of what he says. You can't just on national television and call somebody racist without any facts to back it up. He is still going to have high ratings but he is going to learn the lesson.

To anyone who asks, "Is there any proof that Obama is a Racist?" must be headless.

To anyone who claims to be a neighbor of Color of Change, I don't believe you.

To Mr.Beck, I don't always agree with you, but you have a right to question the Marxist in the White House, go for it.

They [the czars] aren't vetted through Congress, you know.

Many of them are vetted, such as Herbert Allison (TARP), Aneesh Chopra (Technology) and Jeff Zients (Government performance).

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