Los Angeles, CA - AN OSCAR-NOMINATED filmmaker has been accused of censorship after he forced YouTube to take down footage of him being asked difficult questions by a journalist.
Josh Fox, the director of Gasland, had been under pressure after footage of him being questioned by journalist Phelim McAleer emerged on the Internet.
In the exchange, Fox is forced to admit that he withheld facts from the documentary which would have undermined his argument that drilling for natural gas is dangerous and pollutes water.
In Gasland, Fox features two families who can light their water. Fox claims this is because of a type of gas drilling known as fracking.
However, in a Q&A after a recent screening in Chicago, Fox admitted that he knew families in the area had problems with naturally occurring gas in their water decades before fracking started. He also admitted that there were reports of people lighting their water as far back as 1936 in New York.
However, Fox said he had not included these reports in the documentary because they were "not relevant." See the exchange here.
The Q&A was starting to go viral before Fox had his lawyers make YouTube shut the video down.
The website BigHollywood described McAleer's questioning as "quite possibly one of the greatest pieces bonafide journalism I’ve ever seen."
Townhall.com said it exposed "another Oscar nominated film full of scare mongering and nonfactual arguments."
Josh Fox's lawyers claimed that the use of a small excerpt of Gasland in the video breached their copyright.
However, Phelim McAleer said this was just an excuse to allow them to stifle independent, critical journalism.
"Our use of 26 seconds of Gasland in a report of 3:10 minutes comes totally under fair use. We showed the excerpt so that the audience would know what was being discussed and criticised. That's why the fair use rule exists."
"Josh Fox seems to not like answering difficult questions and when he is revealed as hiding facts from his audience, he wants to shut down the journalists. He wants to stifle the freedom of the press using a fake copyright claim, when the truth is, he just wants to cover up his own unethical journalism," McAleer added.
PHELIM MCALEER is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. He specializes in asking difficult questions of the mainstream environmental movement. He famously had his microphone turned off for asking Al Gore some inconvenient questions about his documentary. He was threatened by an armed guard at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen for asking an activist/scientist difficult questions about Climategate and he was assaulted on live television for taking a skeptical look at the conference,
He is the producer and director of Not Evil Just Wrong - a documentary which examines Global Warming.
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