Van Jones was being dragged on social media for what many called a tone-deaf interview with Jared Kushner on Monday. The CNN commentator appeared to handle the president’s controversial son-in-law with kid gloves, lobbing him softball questions while all but fawning over him, Twitter users said.
Jones was supposed to be quizzing Kushner on criminal justice issues – a topic which Kushner has said he’s championing while in the White House – but most of the questions came across as Jones fawning over his guest, social media seemed to say in unison.
Kushner, the senior White House aide whose qualifications have been questioned as much as his ambiguous job title, was reportedly told by Jones, “You have like the dopest job in the world,” before being asked fluff rhetorical questions like, “How are we going to get peace in the Middle East?”
Chances are that would have wanted to know answers to questions that were a bit more substantial, including holding the Trump administration accountable for its uninspired response to allegations that Saudi Arabia killed a U.S.-based journalist in Turkey this month.
Jones could have even asked Kushner about Kanye West, whose meeting with the president this month was also with the first daughter’s husband. Instead, social media users chided Jones as being a “safe journalist” hand-picked by the president’s handlers instead of someone who prefers more aggressive interviewing tactics.
Kushner also apparently got off easy because he wasn’t pressed on any of the president’s initiatives.
While Jones has made a name for himself as a political pundit who scored a TV show interviewing high-profile folks, he is not a trained journalist so some of the scrutiny falling on him may not be called for. But the social media consensus seemed to be that he squandered an opportunity to ask some real hard-hitting questions to a central figure in the president’s administration, robbing the nation of a chance to get answers on a number of subjects Trump and his cronies have been especially elusive on.
Social media noticed and didn’t hold back expressing their opinions about Jones. See more below.
"Van Jones" is a safe journalist for 45 administration - that's the reason he has access. pic.twitter.com/lZNh5FW41I— Alvonda M Howard (@AlvondaHoward) October 22, 2018
Van Jones never fails to ask the stupidest questions no one is thinking while thinking he's a genius at doing it. Got to give him credit tho-it's not easy to upstage Jared Kushner for biggest dbag in the room. pic.twitter.com/X8AJS6zSwQ— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 22, 2018
Don’t have a problem with Van Jones interviewing Jared Kushner.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 22, 2018
Do have a problem with Jones asking Kushner Fox-style softball questions.
In recent weeks, Lesley Stahl, the AP White House team & now Van Jones have all secured rare sit-down interviews with Trump and Kushner; rare opportunities for a non-Fox interviewer to hold this dishonest, racist, unhinged White House to account.— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 22, 2018
And they've all blown it. Sigh.
Van Jones is the Kim Kardashian of politics.— Openly Black Studs Twerkel. (@thewayoftheid) October 22, 2018
this van jones & kushner double album doesn't slap— Desus Nice (@desusnice) October 22, 2018
I feel personally let down by that interview. I cried *with* Van Jones when nazis marched on Charlotte. I cannot ration why he would work w/ the administration that not only inspired but defended them. Plus, crooks can't be expected to do responsible criminal reform. It's all bad— Rita (@NotATrumpCard) October 22, 2018