All Articles Tagged "van jones"

Van Jones Joins Revived ‘Crossfire’ On CNN

June 27th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Credit:Daniel Tanner/

Credit:Daniel Tanner/

The ratings over at CNN have been faltering, despite a network makeover that included letting go of Soledad O’Brien. It seems the network is turning to some previous favorites to lure viewers to return to the network. The political debate program Crossfire is coming back to CNN and among those on the panel are Van Jones, the founding president of Rebuild the Dream, an organization that promotes innovative policy solutions for the U.S. economy. Jones worked as the green jobs advisor for the Obama administration in 2009.

Jones, who is the  author of two The New York Times best-selling books (The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream), will co-host with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and conservative columnist S.E. Cupp along with Stephanie Cutter, who like Jones, will represent the left. Cutter is a partner at newly-launched strategic consulting firm Precision Strategies. She previously served as the deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign and was Michelle Obama’s chief of staff and senior adviser to then-Senator Obama during the 2008 election.  She also served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Adviser for communications and strategy.

All four hosts will also appear across the network’s programming and its special coverage surrounding elections and political events.

“Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did – it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, in a press statement.

Crossfire was one of CNN’s most popular shows when it initially aired from 1982 to 2005. Conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Tom Braden were the original hosts of the program,  and other hosts included Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, James Carville and Paul Begala.

In Our Own Backyard: Nine African-American Environmentalists Who Changed Our Community’s Landscape

April 11th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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African Americans are at the forefront of today’s environmental issue, actively seeking ways to improve and break ground (literally). And not all environmentalists are tree-hugging, burlap-wearing hippies.

Whether it’s through the African-American Environmentalist Association that aims to educate the Black community on the issues of the environment today or through community service in our own backyards, African Americans have been giving their time, talent and legacies in order to close the racial divide in environmental activism.

We recognize these nine African-American environmentalists for their contributions to the health of our community and Earth as a whole.

Donna Brazile, Roland Martin Could Be Next To Leave CNN

January 31st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The cuts at CNN could get deeper very quickly.

Just yesterday, we reported that Soledad O’Brien has been removed from her morning anchor position, among other changes. Now, Fishbowl DC is reporting that Roland Martin and Donna Brazile could be the next two on the chopping block. The website notes that three new faces — civil rights activist Van Jones, The New York Times’ Charles Blow, and Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher — have appeared regularly on the network as of late. And both Martin and Brazile were excluded from the network’s coverage of the inauguration.

Charles Blow. via Twitter

Charles Blow. via Twitter

Brazile is also an ABC correspondent; Martin has a program on TV One and serves as an analyst on Tom Joyner’s program.

In other media news, Long anticipated cuts are going to be made at Time Inc., which, like many media companies, is suffering at the hands of dropping newsstand readership and advertising sales. According to Bloomberg, 500 positions are being eliminated, about six percent of the company’s workforce. Essence, Real Simple, and People are among the magazine titles at Time. Cuts are expected across all divisions.

It’s All Love? Pro-Black Men Who We’re Surprised Dated Or Married White Women

November 26th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Andres Otero/

While interracial relationships are not nearly as uncommon as they once were, we’d be lying if we said that the dating and marriage histories of some of the nation’s most outspoken black social activists didn’t come as a surprise to us. Let’s take a gander at socially and politically active black men who dated outside of their race.

Oh My Damn, You Fine! 10 Men Whose Good Looks Snuck Up On Us

November 14th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Ever looked at someone and at first glance, they were just okay, but at a different angle, in a different situation, or whatever happened, they all of a sudden looked good as all get out? It happens more than we think, especially when a man gets a makeover, grows some nice muscles we didn’t see coming and puts some Chapstick on (I was kidding on that last one, but it does help!). Check out these 10 fellas whose good looks crept up on us and now we just can’t get enough. Call a sista!


I guess if you’ve been a ride or die fan of Nas since Illmatic, you probably picked up on the fact that Nas is more than just a man who can rhyme very well, he’s a FINE man who can rhyme very well. I think it was just the very baggy clothes and the ruggedness back then that had some scratching their heads when other women would squeal, “GIRL, Nas is FINE!” But the older he gets, the more we hear that voice, the more we can’t help but wish we knew Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones a little better outside of the music. And granted, we’re not fans of the way things fell apart with Kelis, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that those lips are a gift. Man oh man…

Van Jones And The American Dream Movement

October 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Charlotte Young

With the Occupy Wall Street Journal protest now in its third week, activist and author Van Jones is setting the record straight on the success of the protest and its deeper implications on America, despite a lack of serious coverage from the media.

According to the Root, Jones views the protest as part of the larger American Dream Movement, a group of progressive voices fighting for struggling Americans. The movement was started in part by Jones in June. He interrupted his presentation on Monday at the American Dream Conference to give his audience an update on the protest; declaring that US Marine Veterans were standing beside the protestors to protect and support them.

“This is a movement moment! Something’s happening in America! Don’t you give up on this country! Don’t you give up on this movement! This is your movement,” he said to the crowd.

Using the Tea Party as a model, Jones began to organize the American Dream Movement and helped to raise the support of over 70 progressive organizations. Compared to the Tea Party, the American Dream Movement began with 1,597 house meetings, almost double the 800 house meetings the Tea Party had at its start. In addition the American Dream Movement was able to mobilize 131,203 people, nearly triple the Tea Party’s 50,000 people at its conception.

One of the hindrances to the liberal side, Jones said, was a dependence on the president to be able to fix everything.

“We have the wrong theory of the president’s seat,” Jones said at the conference. “We somehow thought that by electing a single person, an individual who was inspiring…that we could just sit back and munch popcorn and watch him.”

Past presidents have always been accompanied by strong movements in Jones’ view. For example, Lyndon B. Johnson signed civil rights laws in coordination with the strength of the Civil Rights Movement. Franklin D. Roosevelt was urged to bring the New Deal into effect because of the Labor Movement.

Jones emphasized that all progressive activists, labor, LGBT rights, immigration and all others, must work together instead of branching off to fight for their independent causes.

“If we can be as warm and sharing and kind as the Tea Party, which one might suspect is a relatively low bar, we might be able to do something for our country. That’s the invitation to you,” he said.

The three-day American Dream Conference will bring representatives from 35 different organizations to the forefront, including People for the American Way, the Hip Hop Caucus and the League of Young Voters.

During the next two days, participants at the conference hope that their brainstorming and interactions will enable them to take the movement to greater heights across the country.

It’s Easy Being Green: 7 Innovative African American Environmentalists

August 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Environmentalists have evolved from the tree hugging hippies making a case for preservation areas to passionate politicians who have no problems telling us an inconvenient truth. All along black people have been active in the campaign for environmental issues, but more recently many have become major players in areas ranging from green jobs, to urban gardens to heading the EPA. Here’s our list of top black environmentalists:

Lisa Jackson is best known as head of the Environmental Protection Agency – an appointment bestowed upon her by President Barack Obama. She is the first person of African American descent to serve as EPA Administrator. The chemical engineer was employed by the EPA for 16 years before taking the helm. She has become the first EPA administrator to focus on reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. She was also cited as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine.

Van Jones: Something in the Tea

July 19th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Slate) — “I’ve been unemployed or underemployed since September 2006,” said Benito Diaz. “The only thing I’ve done since then is part-time jobs, not even in what I used to work in. Frustrating is not the word. Yeah, so, the most important thing to me is the issue of jobs.”  There are seven of us sitting around Diaz, listening and nodding. This was the sharing portion of the meeting, when everyone got three minutes to talk about how the economy was affecting them and the poor schlubs they knew. When we were done, according to our briefing papers, we were scheduled to talk about “the time in your life when you felt most proud of your community of America.” And after that, we were supposed to make some lists.  We were making history, maybe, sitting at one of the inaugural get-togethers of the American Dream movement, aka the Rebuild the Dream movement, aka the insanely ambitious project that Van Jones has been talking about ever since Glenn Beck and some bloggers succeeding in bouncing him out of the White House. This get-together, in a Quaker meeting house in Washington’s Dupont Circle, started at 4 p.m. on Saturday and went on for two hours. It was one of about 1,600* such parties happening around the country last weekend, and one of 10 within a short bike or car ride from my house.

Read More…

Color Of Change: Pursuing an “Unapologetically Black” Agenda

June 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Eric L. Hinton

They are ghastly images seared into the public consciousness.  Much like the horror of witnessing innocent victims leaping to their deaths before the towers fell on September 11th, the images of  countless blacks wading through floodwaters and clinging to rooftops with hand-scrawled “Help Me” signs, shook the nation to its core.  The disaster that killed nearly 1,900 people, mostly poor black residents of New Orleans, and caused over $81 billion in property damage, prompted many across the nation to shake their heads in disbelief.  Could this really be happening here? In the United States? In 2005?

At the time James Rucker was serving as a director of grassroots mobilization for  The organization, which serves a largely white base, develops and executes fundraising, technology, and campaign strategies for progressive causes. Prior to Katrina he and Color of Change co-founder, Van Jones, had been kicking around ideas for something like MoveOn for black people.   As Rucker sat in his living room watching alarming footage from Katrina stream across his television, he felt compelled to act.

“When Katrina happened it became this very clear moment around the country when you saw black people effectively had no political power.  The level of disservice and neglect that happened in the aftermath was unacceptable.  And it wasn’t as if the White House was reacting ‘Oh my goodness Black America is going to have our heads for this.’  It spoke to a political impotence on the part of Black America,” said Rucker.

A few days later Color of Change was born.  It started out focusing on Katrina, fighting for everything from housing rights, to FEMA payments, to the protection of displaced survivors’ voting rights.  In the six years since the web-based, African-American political advocacy group launched, 800,000 members have contributed to or taken part in various lobbying and public education campaigns.

Today the work is focused on an eclectic mix of targets ranging from the obvious — Glenn Beck and Fox News — to the unexpected, such as the Congressional Black Caucus.  The fledgling organization has morphed and grown into a force that investigates claims of police brutality, insists on criminal justice reform, examines media misrepresentation of blacks and demands accountability from elected officials.

Among its victories Color of Change counts raising public awareness and money for the legal defense of the Jena Six, six black boys who initially were charged with attempted murder in the 2005 beating of a white student in Louisiana.

The Wrong Black Man: Van Jones’ Faux Activism

June 29th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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"Yvette Carnell "As of late, the Left end of the political blogosphere has been all abuzz about a grassroots group started by Van Jones.  Jones is most remembered as a former activist, Green Czar, and the second (Rev. Jeremiah Wright being the first) in a long line of black and brown people thrown under the bus by Obama. I haven’t heard this much hoopla about an organization since another black man, equally as vacuous, promised change we could believe in back in 2008.

Seeing as how there’s been no substantive change in the status quo since Obama took office, thus ripping open a gaping leadership chasm on the Left, I’m not surprised that liberals have chosen another black man as the embodiment of their political ambitions. The problem is that, yet again, they’ve got the wrong black man. At this point, I’m unsure if those on the Left who supported Obama and now support Van Jones are activists or L.A.P.D. patrol squads.

I mean, how many times can they pick the wrong black guy based on a murky, but generally agreed upon, standard that he fit the description? In the lead-up to the kick-off of Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream launch, Jones tweaked his predecessor’s motto a bit, boldly announcing that “it’s not ‘Yes He Can’, it’s ‘Yes We Can’, thereby shifting the responsibility of governance from Obama to the American people. This was the first Van Jones assertion to get my spidey senses tingling. Because no matter which side of the aisle you come out on, we should all agree that the responsibility of governing rests with the people we elected; members of Congress and the President.

The people made their choice at the ballot box, now it’s up to our elected officials to carry out their end of the bargain. If not, then what are they doing on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue anyway? If they are not responsible for translating their campaign promises into legislation, then we’d all be better off setting up tent cities in Washington D.C. and coalescing around a direct democratic model.

Van Jones’ call to action – that we are responsible for our own governance – is weak. It’s weak because it is a thinly veiled ruse to drum up support for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Only a week after NetRoots attendees voiced their displeasure with Obama’s tepid approach at executive leadership, Van Jones kicks off his “we’re the problem and the solution” outfit and expects us to believe that it’s the natural outgrowth of activism? I don’t buy it. I think Van Jones’ leadership role in this organization is payback from the White House for his willingness to exit without incident after he was summarily fired without cause. I know one thing for certain:  The role of Van Jones is that of gatekeeper, not activist. He’s part of the power ecosystem now.

In exchange for bowing to Glenn Beck, he’s been awarded a platform. A platform that allows him to redirect the broad dissatisfaction that liberals have with Obama to the Tea Party.Van Jones doesn’t desire to usher in real transformation of our political system anymore than our President does. They have power.  Why would they seek to alter or diminish it? And our battle is not with ourselves but those with real power. Our battle is not with a handful of Tea Partiers who hold seats in the House and Senate, but with a group of Democrats who hold a majority in the Senate and one Democrat who occupies the Oval Office.

These are the people we voted for and these are the people who abandoned us. Someone should tell Mr. Jones that most Democrats didn’t vote for the Tea Party in 2008 or 2010 and thus, aren’t looking to hold Tea Partiers responsible for pushing the progressive agenda.

But since our vote is our currency in this transactional enterprise  known as  politics, and since we did vote for Obama and a slew of other anemic Democrats, we are looking to Democrats to hold up their end of the bargain. If Rebuild the Dream aims to hold real people with real power accountable for real failures, then I’m game. But if the aim of the organization is to jedi mind trick us into believing that the Tea Party is the reason for our season of discontent, then spare me. And most certainly don’t insult me.

The democrats don’t need us to rally in order to get the job done. They need them. And until Van Jones and others can get onboard with that idea, I’ll pass on rebuilding the dream and opt instead for tearing down the status quo. This, of course, is the real job of activists.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, and