Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kevin Begos of the AP celebrates Phelim McAleer and FrackNation, cites unknown "environmentalist", calls Josh Fox an "extremist"

Can someone contact Kevin Begos, AP and correct some of the errors in this?

This contains some very subtle propaganda techniques.
Such as branding Josh Fox and Phelim McAleer equals,
both are "extremists".

I have attached his contact info below.


'FrackNation' film attacks fracking critics
Kevin Begos, AP Energy Writer 1:05p.m. EST January 21, 2013
(Photo: Adam Hunger, AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — "FrackNation" is a new documentary that attacks opponents
of fracking for oil and gas, but it also raises a bigger question: Is it possible to criticize
environmentalists without being a tool for big industry?

Fracking is a method of stimulating oil and gas from deep underground that's led to a
historic boom in U.S. production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on
the environment and human health. "FrackNation," an independent documentary produced
by Los Angeles-based filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, addresses the issue
from an unusual perspective.

The release of the documentary now is clearly an attempt to play off a current Hollywood
film on fracking, "Promised Land," which stars Matt Damon. But the David vs. Goliath roles
are turned upside down, since McAleer's pro-fracking production received thousands of
small donations on the fundraising site Kickstarter, while Damon's film, which has an anti-fracking
angle, had millions of dollars in funding, including some from the United Arab Emirates.

McAleer says anti-fracking activists have based their crusade on faulty claims and a
disdain for the actual wishes of many people in the rural communities where land is
drilled. His main target is Josh Fox, the director of "Gasland," the 2010 award-winning,
anti-drilling documentary that has inspired many critics of fracking.

One leading environmentalist welcomed "FrackNation's" take and said he can't wait to see it.
"It's great this guy's done this documentary. I think it's sort of a second wave to the more hysterical
first reaction" to fracking, said Michael Shellenberger*, president of the Breakthrough Institute,
a Berkeley, Calif., nonprofit that argues for new ways to address environmental problems.

[*=who the heck is this guy? anyone heard of him? or the Breakthrough Institute?]

Like a genial* Michael Moore with an Irish accent, McAleer narrates his confrontations with
fracking opponents. Though some of McAleer's questions are simplistic and leading, it's startling
to see how some critics of fracking react.

[* Genial? Has Begos heard about how McAleer misrepresented himself to the victims
of water contamination along Carter Road in Dimock, gaind their trust, then made a hit
piece? Has Begos heard that McAleer blocked Julie Sautner in her driveway and refused
to let her leave
? She had to call a large man to come and help her.]

Fox, himself a journalist, dodges McAleer's questions, hangs up on him and even uses his
lawyers to try to have trailers for "FrackNation" removed from YouTube and Vimeo.
Fox said in a statement that he's refused to deal with McAleer "because he has persistently
harassed Josh Fox and represented his statements in a false light." Fox also said McAleer
has a long history of baiting environmentalists, denying climate change and spreading misinformation.

In eastern Pennsylvania, a landowner involved in a lawsuit against gas drilling companies
confronts McAleer on a public highway, threatens to sue him, says she has a license to
carry a pistol and calls 911. A police officer arrives and determines that McAleer has
done nothing wrong.

[NOTE: This was on Thursday. Watch the video and judge for yourself. Notice how McAleer
hounds, harrasses and runs after a 79 year old woman, Yoko Ono, and also Susan
Sarandon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKijMZVzbZw ]

Shellenberger, who hasn't seen the film yet, said it's interesting that McAleer used low-budget
counterculture tactics to make a pro-drilling argument. He welcomed the fact that "FrackNation"
also presents the views of numerous people in rural areas who say gas drilling is a benefit,
not a curse.

For example, Montrose, Pa., farmer Ron White and his son say the royalties from drilling
have helped keep the family farm in business, and that his water and land haven't been harmed
by a nearby gas well.

[NOTE: One person has identified the guy in the brown hat in this video
shouting about how the industry has saved his wife from cancer, as Ron White:
http://www.splicd.com/tKijMZVzbZw/150/190  Still trying to get confirmation of this.
Funny/strange that Begos moves into a discussion of cancer next!!!]

McAleer also shows a respected cancer researcher some of Fox's claims that the chemicals
used in fracking will cause cancer.

"If people say fracking is causing cancer, they don't know what they're talking about,"
University of California at Berkeley scientist Bruce Ames replies, noting that cabbage
and broccoli also contain minute portions of chemicals that could technically be called

In strictly visual terms, FrackNation also quietly makes a point by showing that most of the
Pennsylvania countryside in drilling areas is still beautiful, and not a wasteland. Though
drilling is an industrial process, the iconic wells and fleets of noisy trucks that service the
process disappear from a drilling pad after a few weeks or months.

But though "FrackNation" discredits some of the most extreme anti-fracking rhetoric, it also
sometimes goes too far in dismissing legitimate concerns. For example, in tiny Dimock, Pa.,
where drinking water wells were tainted with methane, McAleer leaves viewers with the
impression that drilling never caused problems for about a dozen families.

In fact, state environmental regulators determined that a drilling company contaminated the
aquifer underneath homes there with explosive levels of methane and issued huge fines.
The state later determined the company had fixed the problems, and most of the families
reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement.

"FrackNation" also doesn't acknowledge that Texas regulators say there were some problems
with leaking gas and air quality in the early days of the boom there, and The Associated Press
recently found that federal officials did have evidence that gas drilling may have contaminated
some water wells in that region.

On such points, "FrackNation" is guilty of some of the same sins of exaggeration that
it criticizes Fox for.

Yet Shellenberger said anti-fracking critics such as Fox and advocates such as McAleer may
both be necessary.

"The radicals often play an important role in these environmental conflicts, to hold
regulators' feet to the fire, to motivate industry. I think the radicals have played a positive
role — but it can go too far," Shellenberger said, while adding that the presumption that
environmentalists are all "on the side of all things good" is too simplistic.

McAleer, a journalist and filmmaker who previously covered the IRA for England's Sunday
Times and other papers, said the Kickstarter campaign didn't accept money from oil and gas
companies or their top executives. But critics have noted that one of his previous films
attacked Al Gore and global warming, while another touted the benefits of a mine in a poor
region of Romania.

"FrackNation" is scheduled to air Jan. 22 on cable channel AXS.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Kevin Begos Contact Info:
11 Stanwix Street, Suite 1020
Pittsburgh , PA 15222
Editorial - 412-281-3747
Kevin Begos , kbegos@ap.org

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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