Beck on the Apollo Alliance: "Talk Me Out of the Crazy Tree"

Usually, I just laugh at Glenn Beck and his musings, but when he goes after clean energy and green jobs, my laughter quickly fades away. Beck yesterday spent consider time on his Fox show attacking the Apollo Alliance, which is a coalition of green groups, labor and social justice organizations all working to transition our economy to a clean, sustainable one. To Beck, that's a scary concept and worthy of derision.The 6-minute segment, though unfortunate and dangerous for the uninformed, is high on unintentional comedy. To prove that there is indeed a "vast left wing conspiracy" with President Obama at the controls, hurling us toward some dark world full of wind turbines and solar panels, Beck takes to a dry/erase board armed with only a marker and his intellect. He and his guest, Phil Kerpen, director of policy for Americans for Prosperity, then run through some of the groups in the Apollo Alliance and its founding members, with special emphasis on founder Van Jones.

Jones, who also started Green for All, is a hero to many, and most who hear him speak come away fired up to create change. The President clearly saw Jones' leadership skills and brought him into the White House as the Green Jobs Czar. But to Beck, Jones is a villain because he advocates for clean energy jobs that put people back to work.

Here's a few other of Beck and Kerpen's missteps, followed by the truth:

Kerpen described the Apollo Alliance as a "radical organization" designed to "bring together elements of organized labor with the community organizers with the green groups, the environmental groups."

Truth: Of course, social justice leaders, environmental groups, and labor unions are part of the Apollo Coalition. That's the point of the alliance. But Beck left out a bunch of "radical" business groups that are also part of the Apollo Alliance, like PG&E; and Google, two of the most successful corporations in the country.

Beck credits the Apollo Alliance for helping design the economic stimulus package, passed in February, and infers that they did this behind closed doors.

Truth: The Economic Recovery Act, which totaled over $800 billion, had many influences. The Apollo Alliance released in December, 2008 a paper with suggestions for the bill, many of which were incorporated into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. One important part was the "down-payment" of more than $100 million dollars for green-collar job creation.

More on the Apollo Alliance:
Apollo's Fire: A Book Review
Jerome Ringo: A New Face for a New Environmentalism?
A Better Vision for the Southwest's Energy Future