The green jobs czar, Van Jones, who was accused of being a 9/11 Truther, has issued a denial and an apology.
He denies that he’s a 9/11 Truther, and is sorry he was caught saying Republicans are “arseholes” on camera in February.
Here’s the statement:
In recent days some in the news media have reported on past statements I made before I joined the administration—some of which were made years ago. If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologise. As for the petition that was circulated today, I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever.
My work at the Council on Environmental Quality is entirely focused on one goal: building clean energy incentives which create 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and use renewable resources.”
Pretty weak apology: He’s not feeling all that bad about the things he’s said, just the fact that other people are upset about what he said.
So, it looks like this isn’t going to go away, unless some actual news breaks in the next few days, or everyone gets hammered over the labour Day weekend and gets a case of amnesia.
Maybe it’s best for both parties if Van Jones steps down, anyway. Says Kate Sheppard, a popular green blogger, over at the New Republic. It’s not like he’s really doing much in the administration that he couldn’t do out of it:
If Jones does get pushed out, though, perhaps an even bigger irony here is that he’s always been more effective and influential outside the administration. Having followed Jones since he was a relatively unknown advocate for green jobs in the Bay Area, it seems to me that he’s actually had less impact over the energy debate from his current post at the Council for Environmental Quality than he has at many other points in his career.
Jones, after all, hit the national scene in 2007 when he worked with Nancy Pelosi to get the Green Jobs Act included in the energy bill. He was soon being profiled in Time, The New Yorker, O Magazine. There was a point in 2008 when he was the keynote speaker at nearly every major liberal summit, from Netroots Nation to Take Back America, and seemed to be more skilled at eliciting enthusiasm for climate action than anyone else in the country. Indeed, when Jones joined the administration last March, many environmentalists worried that were losing their most charismatic and visible spokesman.
Those fears have, to some extent, panned out. Jones’s most public appearance in the past few months was when he stood up at a White House press conference to ask the gathered reporters to silence their cell phones (he had no further remarks to make). Instead of playing a public role in drumming up support for clean-energy polices—something he was extremely effective at—he’s now a relatively low-level bureaucrat struggling to steer stimulus funding toward green-job programs. In all honesty, Glenn Beck may have more to worry about with Jones outside the White House than in it.
UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has an article from Rense.com from 2002 that further links Van Jones to the Truther movement.
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