Ed Driscoll

High School Confidential

Kyle Smith has a hilarious,  and dead-on accurate column on how the New York Times “missed” the Van Jones story — and why that seems to be happening with near weekly frequency at the increasingly dotty Gray Lady:

Newspaper of record? The Times isn’t so much a newspaper as a clique of high school girls sending IMs to like-minded friends about their feuds and faves and raves and rants. OMFG you guys! It’s no more objective than Beck is.

Jones wasn’t an obscure functionary. There was a huge profile devoted to him in The New Yorker back in January. He was a “legendary figure” in the environmental movement, says The Washington Post. He got four breathless fanzine pages devoted to him in Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s bestselling book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded.” He was a rising cstar, maybe even a supercstar.

To date, The Times has still not told its readers that Jones is or was a communist, calling this notion merely a charge made only by Republicans — we all know how nutty they are! — not as a fact.

Yet Jones said in 2005, “By August [of 1991], I was a communist” and “I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ ” If Comrade Jones has disavowed communism, I couldn’t find any mention of it.

The Times continues to treat communism as a cute campus peccadillo like pot smoking or nude streaking. A Times think piece (Sept. 9) worried that Jones’ fall was “swift and personal.” Being a communist is personal but being the pregnant teen daughter of a vice presidential candidate is public business?

Beck doesn’t claim to be neutral, and neither should The Times. It doesn’t have to report both sides of the news any more than Beck has to give equal time to Janeane Garofalo.

But — in both cases — wouldn’t that be fun?

Definitely read all the snark that’s fit to print.