The Tears of Van Jones

August 10, 2016

Former White House czar Van Jones is in touch with his sensitive side.

Jones, a CNN commentator, seasons his Democratic talking points with appeals to emotion.

When First Lady Michelle Obama delivered an address at the Democratic National Convention, Jones indulged a few tears.

"Van Jones, I’ve got to call you out. I saw you crying during this," CNN host Anderson Cooper said.

"If you weren’t moved by that, go see the doctor," Jones responded.

"People are going to start getting emotions they didn’t know they had," Jones said about Hillary Clinton’s nomination for president. "Sometimes on CNN we cover news. Today we’re covering history."

Of course, the Democratic partisan can be selective in his use of pathos.

Jones said that a DNC appearance by the Mothers of the Movement, a group of mothers whose children were killed in encounters with police, was "powerful, powerful, powerful." He felt differently about the RNC appearance by Patricia Smith, the mother of a U.S. foreign service officer killed in the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

"I worry about exploiting grief," Jones said about Smith’s appearance.

In 2009, Jones resigned from his position as the Obama administration’s "green jobs czar" after his past political activism came to light. Jones helped form a communist group, called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), in 1994.

"I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary," Jones told the East Bay Express.

While Jones was still a member of STORM, the group advocated on behalf of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal and participated in the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. Jones claims he left the group for mainstream political activities in 2000, before STORM protested "U.S. imperialism" in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Jones’ name appeared on a petition speculating that "U.S. officials in the current administration" allowed 9/11 to occur "as a pretext for war." Jones claims his name was added to the petition without his approval and that he was never a 9/11 Truther. His name was later removed at his request.

Published under: CNN , Van Jones