Josh Fox Bullies Filmmaker, Decides to Make Own Documentary

Move over Josh Fox and Gasland. There’s a new documentary on the way that will set the record straight and deliver the real truth about fracking. The new documentary is appropriately named FrackNation. Filmmaker and journalist Phelim McAleer is working on it now. In today’s New York Post, McAleer writes about how he was inspired by Josh Fox’s legal bullying into creating it:

Fracking is probably one of the most misunderstood words in the English language.

Thanks to the Oscar nominated documentary “Gasland,” many people believe fracking — a process of getting natural gas out of rock — pollutes water and creates wastelands wherever it is used.

But like so many documentaries nowadays, Gasland is high on anecdote and emotion but low on science and fact.

One of the most dramatic images in “Gasland” is footage of a resident lighting his tap water with flames shooting out of the faucet.

As a journalist, I wanted to learn more, so I went to a Q&A with Gasland director Josh Fox. As I questioned him, Fox eventually admitted that he knew people could light their tap water in these areas decades before fracking came on the scene.

But he did not include the fact in his documentary because, he said, “It was not relevant.” That was quite an admission, so I quickly threw a recording of the Q&A up on YouTube, and, to my shock, Fox got a Manhattan law firm to write to YouTube threatening it unless the video was removed immediately.

Quicker than I could say “fair use,” Fox and his lawyers pursued my little clip across the Internet, and using threats, shut it down wherever it appeared.

Well, I’m Irish and not very used to being told to shut up. Instead, I got very interested in just what Josh Fox, a fellow journalist, was trying to cover up.

I decided to make my own documentary, called “FrackNation,” dedicated to telling the kind of stories Josh Fox seems to want to suppress. But unlike Josh Fox and “Gasland,” I couldn’t rely on corporate financing from HBO — or wealthy Hollywood actors.

So we decided to use KickStarter, a crowd-funding Web site. We put our FrackNation pitch up just three weeks ago, and already we have raised more than $140,000 in small donations from ordinary members of the public.*

Phelim needs to raise $150,000 to finish the film. He’s at $143,467 as of 7 am on March 2. MDN encourages our readers to head on over to and make a pledge. Let’s help put FrackNation over the top!

*New York Post (Mar 2, 2012) – ‘Frack nation’