Energy & Environment

Matt Damon’s anti-fracking propaganda film gets a rewrite

Matt Damon’s anti-fracking propaganda film gets a rewrite

Phelim McAleer of the New York Post has an interesting story about “some very hasty rewriting” to the script for Matt Damon’s upcoming environmentalist propaganda film, “Promised Land.”  The film was to follow the usual brain-dead Hollywood formula: handsome, intelligent guy working for Evil Oil Company discovers their evil plans to rape the Earth for profit, falls in love with a beautiful small-town victim of corporate greed, and takes against heartless planet-smashing capitalist evil to save the day.

In this case, the instrument of corporate malevolence was to be “fracking” – the increasingly popular and successful technique of hydraulic fracturing, in which pressure is exerted with water and chemicals to widen underground fissures, releasing oil and natural gas.  The environmentalist community has made fracking the new target of their rage and hysteria, asserting that the chemicals used in the process are seeping back up to contaminate ground water.  As usual, they’ve been lying through their teeth to push their agenda.

McAleer calls the roll of shame:

In courtroom after courtroom, it has been proved that anti-fracking activists have been guilty of fraud or misrepresentation.

There was Dimock, Pa. — the likely inspiration for “Promised Land,” which is also set in Pennsylvania. Dimock featured in countless news reports, with Hollywood celebrities even bringing water to 11 families who claimed fracking had destroyed their water and their lives.

But while “Promised Land” was in production, the story of Dimock collapsed. The state investigated and its scientists found nothing wrong. So the 11 families insisted EPA scientists investigate. They did — and much to the dismay of the environmental movement found the water was not contaminated.

There was Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers in Texas, a group that produced a frightening video of a flaming house water pipe and claimed a gas company had polluted the water. But a judge just found that the tape was an outright fraud — Wolf Eagle connected the house gas pipe to a hose and lit the water.

Other “pollution” cases collapsed in Wyoming and Colorado. Even Josh Fox, who with his Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” first raised concerns about flammable water, has had to admit he withheld evidence that fracking was not responsible.

So the Damon film is getting a rewrite to make it more factually accurate, right?  You wish!  No, according to McAleer’s sources, they’re just making the anti-fracking fraudsters into “secret agents employed by the fossil-fuel industry to discredit the environmental movement.”  In other words, they’re rewriting this into a magical fantasy where all of the anti-fracking activists’ bruising real-world encounters with (ahem) inconvenient truth are portrayed as sinister manipulation by the Even More Evil Than We Thought Oil Companies.

And they’re pushing this tripe for Oscar consideration!  They’ll probably win, too.  Who cares if it’s true, as long as it’s politically correct?

Hollywood propagandists prey upon the natural assumptions of veracity and community that accompany realistic-looking productions.  Audiences naturally assume that something which looks like it’s based on real events must be fundamentally true, even when the film doesn’t explicitly claim to be based on actual events and people.  And they tend to assume that if Hollywood pumps big money and big stars into such a project, it must be about something “everybody knows.”  The movie producers make casual assumptions, which viewers tend to adopt, so they don’t look out-of-touch during conversations about the film.

Movie audiences have been willing to believe some fairly outlandish things, when they are presented with a straight face and a whiff of documentary authority.  The remarkably successful viral marketing campaign for “The Blair Witch Project” was a great example.  A big push to sell this “shocking true-ish story” about the dangers of fracking will get the politically correct ideas planted in plenty of heads, without producing a commensurate rush of viewers racing to the Internet to find out what really happened.  There are real questions to be asked about fracking – there are real questions to be asked about virtually everything – but the only thing anyone will remember is the heartbreaking scene of a little kid drinking contaminated water and melting into a puddle of goo in Matt Damon’s arms, while he wails about what a fool he’s been, throwing away his life as a servant of Big Oil super-villains.

Modern fracking techniques only date back about 15 years, and the term has only really entered public discussion within the past couple of years.  It’s amazing how fast a leftist obsession can rush to the screen, with big stars, big production money, and a sloppy script.

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