If you thought the targeting of Van Jones for vilification by the Right
was about his race, his youthful flirtation with socialism, or a
petition he signed about the 9/11 attacks, you'd only be a little bit
right. And if you think it was about the Color of Change campaign against Glenn Beck's show on Fox News Channel, you'd really miss the mark.
The racism and red-baiting suffered by Jones at the hands of Beck and
his admirers are simply key elements in a marketing strategy designed
to serve Very Big Business -- the oil and other business interests that
support the astroturfing group Americans for Prosperity. The strategy
is simple: prey upon the worst fears of the right-wing folks who live
next door in order to get them to organize against their own interests.
When word of Van Jones' resignation from his White House post hit the
airwaves, Americans for Prosperity's Phil Kerpen, the group's policy
director, wasted no time in taking personal credit. In his column on
FoxNews.com, Kerpen wrote, "The Van Jones affair…is one of the most significant things I've ever had the honor of being involved in."