At the Four Seasons last night GasLand producer Trish Adlesic told me about a significant quote having been removed from a 2.26 Wall Street Journal story about her film. Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp., told the WSJ’s Ben Casselman that “we have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror.” The quote appeared online but was yanked sometime in the early evening.
GasLand director Josh Fox
“Just as Josh Fox, director of the Oscar-nominated film, GasLand, was heading west to the Academy Awards, the Wall Street Journal reported on the gas industry’s losing campaign to discredit the film. An article, called ‘Oscar’s Attention Irks Gas Industry,’ by Ben Casselman, surveys the unsuccessful attempts to persuade the Academy of Arts and Sciences to pull the documentary.
“GasLand depicts nationwide instances of home water contamination near gas drilling sites that have been fracked. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a novel gas drilling process that introduced the use of large quantities of toxic chemicals.
“When the article was published on Friday night, it was the first time an industry spokesperson deployed a shift in strategy from the industry’s standard denials and repeated assertions that fracking is safe, despite the numerous reports of problems, such as flammable water, contamination of drinking water, trucks leaking toxic and radioactive waste-water on public highways, the pollution of streams, as well as fires, and explosions in which people have been injured.
GasLand producer Trish Adlesic (right) with Inside Job co-dp Svetlana Cvetko (l.) and actress Helen Shaver (center) — Four Seasons hotel bar, Friday, 2.25, 9:25 pm.
“‘We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror,’ Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp., was quoted as saying in WSJ.
“However, if you go to the article, you won’t find Pitzarella’s statement because within the hour the quote disappeared, say citizen journalists, who screen captured it and posted it on Twitter. GasLand director Fox, in Los Angeles, awaiting Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, has questions:
“Why did this key quote disappear from the article? Why did the WSJ censor its own piece? Does the gas industry get to edit the Wall Street Journal?” Fox wondered. “Who pulled the quote?”
Here’s a screen capture of the originally-posted story: