LAS VEGAS — Van Jones, the former Obama “green jobs czar” who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he signed a petition calling for an investigation into whether the Bush administration deliberately allowed the Sept. 11 attacks to happen, was given a standing ovation by liberal activists here at the Netroots Nation conference.
In a video introduction, former DNC chairman Howard Dean called Jones a “hero.”
During his speech, Jones said that he threw himself a long “pity party” after his exit from the administration, but compared his own struggle to the larger state of the nation. He made the case for investing in new energy technologies, and dismissed concerns about the deficit.
“There’s plenty of money out there, the only question is how to spend it,” Jones said.
In an onstage Q&A following the speech the Nation‘s Ari Melber said that the only reason Jones was targeted was that he was black and progressive.
Melber also told Jones, “You’re popular here because you get stuff done, but also because you’re cool.”
UPDATE: Ari Melber emails to say that:
I gave several reasons for why Van was targeted – he was black, progressive, and he lived a life with work that had the kind of creativity and experimentation that made it easy to smear and lie about him. I stated all these points together in my opening question.
Your post incorrectly suggests that I only gave the reasons of black and progressive.
I checked the video, and indeed he did also mention the third reason for why Jones was targeted. You can watch Jones’s speech and the Q&A here, and the part Melber is referring to kicks in around the 35 minute mark.
Video of the standing ovation below.