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Rightbloggers 1, Van Jones 0

My story about WorldNetDaily today makes the case that a “fringe” Website can actually have an impact on the mainstream political debate if, as WND does, it gives readers what they want while reporting every nugget of scandalous information that comes its way. That’s definitely what’s happening with Van Jones, the White House adviser on green jobs. If Jones resigns, it will be because of the spadework of Gateway Pundit, a very right-wing blogger who found two pieces of evidence that Jones had signed onto to the politically toxic “9/11 Truth” movement.

Yesterday, he found Jones’s signature on the 2004 911Truth.org petition, alongside the signatures of Ed Asner, Howard Zinn and Ralph Nader. It was damaging enough for Jones to release this walkback.

Today, Gateway Pundit has a January 2002 article from the conspiracy site rense.com listing Jones as an organizer of an event outside Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) office demanding an investigation of 9/11. On the surface, that’s not so out there. At the time, the Bush administration was stonewalling on an investigation. But the article (and keep in mind, rense is a wild conspiracy Website) reports that “the delegation will demand that these questions (and others) be raised and answered publicly,” and the questions include “What is the relationship between Bin Laden, his family and the Bush family and the Carlyle Group?” and “Did the CIA have foreknowledge of the attack, who tried to profit with put options on American, United, Merrill Lynch stock just before the attack?”

Gateway Pundit is pretty far out there: he refers to the president as “Dear Leader” (as North Koreans refer to Kim Jong-Il) and he has a botched post about an old interview of Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), which was uploaded to YouTube a year ago. GP calls it a new video in which Stark “explains Obanomics.” But you don’t need to be a reporter for The Washington Times to reveal something damaging about an Obama administration official.

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