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Van Jones flexed his “shut-them-down” muscle Tuesday when a former U.S. rep came on CNN with a startling conspiracy theory. Jack Kingston (R-GA) tried to write off the high school survivors of the Parkland shooting tragedy as “left-wing pawns,” an idea that Jones found false and disgustingly offensive.

“When you say something like that, it’s so bad,” Jones rebuked on AC 360. “I’m going to tell you why it’s bad.”

He explained how the theory sent a horribly wrong message. “Here’s the thing, it’s not fair — you’re sprinkling out there, that maybe these kids are illegitimate and that’s wrong,” Jones said.

But let’s rewind here: Jones showed a lot of dexterity in confronting Kingston from early on in his news segment. He began with a powerful ode to the young people who had survived one of the deadliest mass shootings since Sandy Hook in 2012.

“It’s so tough to see the distinction between those young people who are so clear, so forthright. Disagree with them, don’t like their policies, if you feel that way, that’s fine,” Jones explained. “But if you look at the character of these young people, how clear they are, how forthright they are, how much integrity they have, and to have that — right up against these presidential tweets — you couldn’t imagine a more juvenile response to a mass killing of children than to use that opportunity to try to stick your finger in the eye of the people who you didn’t like before, anyway.”

Did a rebuke of Kingston’s half-cocked theory turn into an eloquent summation of the young Parkland tragedy survivors? Yes, yes it did.

“Those young people are better-spoken than most of us on television and they’ve never been on television before,” Jones shared.  “So if there’s any hope in the country, it’s in this generation that’s rising.”

Before Jones reached his concluding statements, he really hit his point on the head. “To stand over the bodies of children and poke your finger in the eye of your adversary is as low as you can possibly go in public life, and it’s a shame the president did that, but I’m proud of these young people.”

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