Van Jones attacks Roger Ailes for calling Obama ‘lazy,’ misses context

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
Font Size:

Appearing on CNN Wednesday, former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones attacked Fox News head Roger Ailes for calling President Obama “lazy,” implying that the characterization is racist.

But Jones’ criticism appeared to lack the full context of Ailes’s remarks, published in a Vanity Fair excerpt of a new biography about the head of Fox News called “Roger Ailes: Off Camera,” by Zev Chafets.

“Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life,” Ailes said, after news of Democrat Hilary Rosen’s infamous declaration that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. “He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that,” Ailes said, according to Chafets.

“This is the kind of stuff that is really disgusting at the end of the day,” Jones said on CNN Wednesday. “First of all, Barack Obama’s hair is white. He looks like the black Santa Claus who shaved his beard off. You don’t go looking from Tiger Woods to Morgan Freeman in three years if you’re not working hard. There’s a racial charge that some people find offensive.”


“This is the kind of stuff that really brings back into the mud,” Jones said.

But Jones never mentioned the next sentence of Ailes’s quote, where he explained that Obama had called himself “lazy” in an interview with Barbara Walters.

“I didn’t come up with that. Obama said that, to Barbara Walters,” Ailes told Chafets.

“There is a deep down — underneath all the work I do, I think there’s a laziness in me,” Obama told Walters in 2011.

Follow Vince on Twitter

Hat tip: Mediaite