Van Jones Talks Prison Reform, Mandatory Minimums, Marijuana Legalization



Van Jones, President of Dream Corps, and Political Correspondent on CNN, joins David to discuss prison reform and ends up angrily leaving the interview after …

37 Comments

  1. David wanted to change the topic to another direction, and Van Jones want to talk specific about the prison system. I don't see what he done wrong here, and David why are you playing the victim all of sudden? Van did the right thing!!!

  2. The connective tissue between what Pakman initially said and what he was going to ask ("Atheism is a rather banal thing relative to American culture yet is still vilified by the electorate, how strong do you think will be the reaction against something more radical relative to current norms as legalization?") was rather clear, making Jones' choice to flip the fuck out rather questionable, but I agree with those who say that David should have just let it slide instead of trying to push back against him, thus compromising the interview.

    Jones comes off worse, nevertheless, though, given HE also could have chosen to let it slide. Bad form all around.

  3. The only thing that Van Jones said that was wrong was assuming that atheism is the same thing as anti-religion. That's not a fair assumption for all atheists, but I'm not surprised.

    David was correct about his point, but he should have let it go under the circumstances that the conversation was obviously going off the rails.

  4. Fuck you, prisons should never be for profit!!! This encourages slavery, you idiot!! Entrepreneur? I don't think so, not in the prison system. What? Do you have a part in it? Don't ride the fence!!

  5. van jones is CNN's racist attack dog,  van jones can't control his hate for Mr. Trump.  He was shaking when he called Mr. Trump a "classless clown", you can tell this bigot hates all white people.

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  7. The American justice system is so corrupt it's not funny the common people pay 36% in taxes and the wealthy pay 16% in taxes and the justice system is just getting rich off the taxpayers' dollars that inflate their budgets and probably took their books and some Judges, Wardens and Police officers are getting rich off of it. And some cops throw down drugs on the individual to make it look like he did more than needed to convict them. But one thing about Amsterdam at least they make marijuana us off drug like alcohol and cigarettes and they moderated and tax it but the American government is not that intelligent to figure that out and if we've made it legal and sold here in America we would put the drug cartel of Mexico out of business but no leaves wanna have a war so they can waste more money on military equipment and things like that and says spending money on our education system or to increase minimum wage for people to have a decent wage to live off of . But the American government doesn't give a damn about the American people it's just the business of them they need care less if people go hungry in America they just want to waste American people's tax dollars and shovel and their pockets. And people should really think about who their voting for when it comes selection time because the people we are put in office now are just wasting our taxpayers' dollars why we have potholes are infrastructure fallen apart and I hope the judge's that have those fancy sports cars like driving down roads filled with potholes.

  8. I'm a huge fan of Van Jones.  I was so upset when Obama caved on the false allegations of Mr. Jones thereby taking away his post as someone to spearhead our green job initiative.

  9. He cut the call because you blindsided him. He came on to talk about the Prison Industrial Complex, not atheism in politics. Had you begun the segment as one in which you and Van Jones would volley back and forth on many different topics, then the segment would have bounced from one topic to the other and he would have been prepared to discuss that.The entire conversation was about prisons and criminal justice but once you found common ground on that one issue, you stuck in your statements about atheist candidates even though he clearly wasn't invited on your program to talk about that.

  10. Wow, that guy turned into a total ass in about 30 seconds at the end. And what he was saying made so much sense. The question was fairly irrelevant but he could have answered as best he could and asked to move on. I THINK he thought that the David Pakman show was an 'atheism orientated' channel and that this was primarily all you wanted to discuss. He should apologise for hanging up like that. Then you can get him on again, he was one of your better interviewees (he was completely sane and had good ideas).

  11. While Van Jones probably shouldn't have hung up,  and doing a interview is hard and I don't blame Dave for the first question about atheism mr. Jones did answer that question and since the issue was about prison reform it wasn't necessary to ask again and I can see how Van Jones could have been offended.   And getting young people for drug use out of prison is a terribly important topic so please go to his website.

  12. Van Jones had reasonable arguments, but he kinda overreacted a bit toward the end.
    While I can understand hes annoyance, from hes point of view, that the interview was starting to go away from the subject in question. I think he could have deflected it in a better way instead of losing goodwill at the end.

    For me it just seemed like he got very defensive about hes religion in a kinda stereotypical bias towards Atheism. As in Van Jones thinking something along the lines of "Oh here we go again. The Atheistic religion bashing in every subject…"

    The negative of Van Jones irritation though could be that he was sort of polarizing when hes goal was clearly otherwise. Making the interview ending on a theme of seemingly stereotypical views between two groups rather than agreeable compromise.

  13. He was happy enough including evengelical christians in the subject discussed but got all pissy when David brought up atheism?

    David wasn't being anti religious, he was just talking about two opposite sides within the demographic in relation to the subject at hand.

    Another one of those smart stupid people.

  14. Wtf? How did that escalate? David is simply continuing the discussion. Van for some reason feels threatened by the odd but interesting topic David opens and hangs up. Wow. I thought a Yale education would teach u how to be resilient, guess not.

  15. Damn David, you've got a thick skin dealing with tempers on your show so much of the time.  Keep up the good work. If Jones didn't want to answer the question, he could have politely declined to comment.

  16. I am more on Jones' side here than Pakman's, if I have to choose.  Van Jones should obviously have just answered the question, but was an unwarranted non-sequitur, having nothing to do with the issue.  It would be like me saying "So, who do you think is going to win the World Series this year?  You used to have a drinking problem–what do you think about this year's Cubs?  What?  I'm just stating a fact and asking a question.  Having a dialogue.  What's wrong?  Tommy Lasorda also had a drinking problem and that guy was great at predicting baseball outcomes."  Even if you weren't asking Van Jones about atheism, once he seized upon that detour instead of focusing on your question (which was about pot legalization), you as a good interviewer should have re-directed back to the important issue at hand, not gotten bogged down in proving your case about the unpopularity of atheism.  It was an analogy he took objection to, and rather than taking a different path to get to the intent of the question, you and he had a fistfight on the detour road.  That burden should fall more on the interviewer than on the guest. 

    Besides, it isn't a terribly great analogy to start with.  Candidates that are in favor of pot legalization have begun to be generally accepted within both Liberal and Conservative circles, even though they aren't yet in the majority (and don't yet have much corporate backing on this issue).  Nobody in either party is getting elected as an atheist (there have been about 3 in Congress in the last 75 years, I think).  What you are subconsciously doing is taking Van Jones' legitimate momentum about drug reform and setting it backwards (via analogy) to the almost complete stagnation of atheism popularity.  It is like talking about the growing successes of the Detroit Lions, finally, after decades of hopelessness, and then saying "Yeah, well American football is only played in 2 countries in the world, though, so get back to me when a majority of countries support it."  Way to ruin a Lions' fan's good mood with something that isn't even on the spectrum of relevant things to him.  And making it worse is that you are mostly on his side even as you do this.

  17. Van Jones was acting irrationally. David ask him one question about a desperate topic, and he flips out, and starts accusing David of not doing research. Instead of just giving an honest answer to the question, he pretends there's some egregious offense taking place. Forcing David to defend his question. In the process, Van interrupts, and then walks out. I watch him on CNN all the time sitting through panel discussions that cover everything from "Blizzard 15" to Obamas favorite hamburger. What I suspect happened here is a case of doubters panic. He doesn't like discussing his religion with outsiders, because it only results in a loss of faith. So, he got antsy, and shut down before he walked into what he saw as a trap. It was a perfectly fine question, and although it diverted from the original topic, to go on the defensive, and walk off over one question is ridiculous. To put it another way, if David's last question was, "Who's your favorite Power Ranger?" Jones would've answered, and the interview would've have ended with smiles. He only stormed off, because the question offended his religious sensibilities.

  18. I listened again more carefully, and it seemed to me David was just making a comparison that individuals who say they are atheist and individuals who say they are for legalization both face high risks that they will not be elected due to staunch opposition. Van Jones seems to have had an visceral reaction to the subject of atheism, missing the point, while David also may have not noticed this misunderstanding in time to make the connection back to prison reform more obvious. That's my take. It seems like a simple human misunderstanding. Although, Van shut down communication, which doesn't help matters. Staying in the conversation, being calm, demonstrates the ability to emotionally handle conflict, but hanging up demonstrates a strongly emotional fear of being contradicted.

  19. The atheism stuff was way off topic.  Nothing wrong with "having a conversation," but the man's time is valuable.  I'm an atheist as well, but a time and place for everything.

  20. David probably should have dropped the atheist line of questioning when Van Jones started to push back such as when Van said he didn't even know why David was even discussing the atheist angle. Since the interview was supposed to be about criminal justice reform and the issue of an atheist trying to get elected President was not directly related, the atheist angle should have been dropped. However, Van Jones got way too defensive about it. Maybe he thought that David was trying to provoke him?

  21. guy couldve just hit the reset button back to the agreeable nature of the interview by simply saying he was drawing a parallel of something he considers as possible as having marijuana legalized off the top of his head. guy wanted to prove he was right so he kept going back to that point when he shouldve just moved on.

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