nothin's scarier than a blank page

18 June 2011

Yep, Van Jones wants to debate Glenn Beck. Asshole.

Here's the article from Think Progress, and its accompanying video.

"I issue a personal challenge to my beloved brother Glenn Beck.  I will debate you anytime, anywhere, at any point.  I'll give you an hour, you give me five minutes, and I will stand up for our values.  But you have to stop talking [expletive] about us and start talking to us.  You got one week left before your show goes off.  My phone is ringing.  Call me.  Call me, Glenn Beck.  And let's have this fight.  Let's have this discussion.  Let's have this argument.  Let's have this battle of ideas.  Battle of ideas.  And let's fight for liberty and justice for all."

Yes, I'm calling Van Jones an asshole.  What?  Do you think Van Jones' battle cry is noble?  You don't think it's self-serving... and a little too late?

Glenn Beck began his assault on Van Jones two years ago.  There was enough ugly information available that Jones eventually resigned.  THAT would have been a dignified time to request a debate.

For years, Lefties like Media Matters have been assaulting Beck.  He was their Desirable Number One.  They had a crew of people watching him to catch any possible bite that could be used against him.  They bullied his sponsors, a move that eventually led (in part) to Beck leaving Fox News.  PRIOR to beginning an assault on Beck, THAT would have been a dignified time to request a debate.  Hell, DURING the assault would have also been a more dignified time to request a debate.

Now?  Van Jones wants to debate Beck now that he's leaving cable news and has only 10 episodes left?

Now?  He announces it now, when he could have phoned up Beck's people and discussed it in private, later revealing the mutually agreed upon details?  Now, he throws down the gauntlet and pretends that he's extending an olive branch?

If Van Jones were going after anything but a desperate attempt to get his name in the media, he would have approached this situation with class.  He did not.  He preached to a choir-crowd that he has challenged Beck to a debate on a show that has limited shows left, all of which are presumably planned.

And-- wait -- did Van Jones really ask for a debate?  He used the word debate, but he described a situation in which Beck talks for an hour (e.g. Beck's show) and then Van Jones talks for five minutes.  That ain't a debate.  That's Beck handing over precious minutes of free air time on Fox News.  Good one, Jones.  Well played.

Now the Lefties will be able to advertise the end of The Glenn Beck Program in conjunction with the ill-informed meme "Beck's too chicken to put his money where his mouth is" or "Beck's afraid to debate Van Jones" or even "Van Jones proves Beck is a liar".  That puts the ass in the class.

The article notes
 In late 2009, Beck introduced a “red phone” on his set, giving his prominent critics a direct line to call him. “Call me anytime, we want to have a dialogue,” Beck said. We’ll soon find out if he’s sincere about that.
THAT was the time to arrange a dialogue with Beck.  Let's say you have a fight with your spouse and you suggest counseling.  The spouse declines to reply and then divorces you.  A year later, she makes a toast at neighborhood party and says that she is now open to counseling, if her ex isn't too chicken to do it.  The people at the party would laugh.  (Or, at least, gasp at the nonsensical logic.)  But Van Jones's audience cheered.

I have a friend, J, and we have a difficult time meeting up.  Over the years of our friendship some times we have been incredibly close, and at other times it has been rocky.  Overall, I believe that we value each other's presence in each others' lives.  Yet we do not get together often.  It's silly, really.  But it comes down to timing.  For example, for the past year or so, I've needed advanced notice to plan for dates.  Sometimes that has meant a few days, sometimes that has meant (and been explicitly explained to him) "at least a couple hours advanced notice."  In other words, I wasn't able to go grab a beer at a moment's notice.  For whatever reason, he has been mostly unable to plan ahead (be it days or hours).  Our most recent plans were thwarted by car troubles (on his part) about which he did not contact me until I inquired the following day.  I choose not to think that he's an asshole, and other behavior and communication indicates that while he's being jerky, he does actually want to spend time with me.  He just doesn't care enough to make plans a day or an hour in advance.

Why this long story?  This friend of mine is not respectful of my time.  He lives in his world, and if I can fit myself into his world, then he and I get to spend time together.  (To be fair, in reaction to this, I have begun treating him in the same manner.  He's not the only one who has been jerky here.)

Why would someone want to spend time with a friend whom they enjoy as a person but who disrespects their time?

Why would someone want to waste time on an enemy whom they would enjoy debating but who disrespects their time?

Van Jones wants to debate Glenn Beck... but he waits until the end days of Beck's show?  And he expects Beck to takes this request seriously?  AND they cite Beck's offer -- an offer that had been shelved by "his opponents" and collecting dust -- as evidence that Beck should jump on this opportunity?  It took Van Jones years to reply to Beck's offer, and Beck is gonna get painted as the chicken when he declines?

Sorry, Van Jones, but Glenn Beck has more important things on which to spend his time in his last episodes on Fox.  Perhaps he'll have time for you on GBTV.  The question is, will you, Van Jones, be true to your offer to "debate" Glenn Beck "anytime, anywhere, at any point"?  Van Jones, will you be willing to bump Beck's rating and GBTV publicity, or is this offer only good when you are the one who will receive the largest PR bump?

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