The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 5, 2013

Matt Damon's "Promised Land" clashes with pro-fracking ad



By Mark Drajem

Bloomberg News

Before many Pennsylvania movie-goers settle in for Matt Damon's film about the fight over natural gas drilling, they will see a message from the energy industry offering "straightforward facts" about hydraulic fracturing.

The unorthodox, on-screen pre-buttal of "Promised Land," which opens nationwide Friday, is part of an industry campaign aimed at heading off criticism about the process, also called fracking. Instead of direct attacks, which the industry used against the documentary "Gasland," they are trying to paint Damon's movie as derivative, condescending and cliched.

Taken together the industry campaigns — at Pennsylvania movie theaters, on a website and using social media — underscore efforts to combat negative perceptions about the practice, deal with persistent questions about the risks of pollution and head- off calls for more oversight and regulation.

"The oil and gas industry is at the bottom in terms of public respect, and this movie is not going to help it," John Hanger, the former top environmental regulator in Pennsylvania, said in an interview. "It describes the oil and gas industry as fundamentally dishonest, and willing to do anything to win."

The film directed by Gus Van Sant pits Damon as an out-of- town gas-company land man facing off against an environmentalist played by John Krasinski in the fictional town of McKinley. The industry uses cash bribes, hard sells and Machiavellian maneuvers to get its way.

"Fracking is a great premise for real drama," James Schamus, the head of Focus Features, a unit of Comcast's NBCUniversal Media that produced and distributed the film, said in an interview. "It represents Americans deeply conflicted about how to deal with these issues."

The energy industry's public relations pushback against the film echoes the fictional stealth "propaganda campaign" depicted in the film, he said.

Text Only
News
  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 1plane18.jpg Air travel a leap of faith for passengers

    Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Honduran president: U.S. has enormous responsibility for crisis

    The historic influx of illegal immigrants from Central America is caused primarily by the high demand for illicit drugs in the United States, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Today's Editorial: Child's sensibilities shield bad parents

    Periodically, a decree goes forth from the county seat announcing a special on child support, generally in the form of reducing charges and fines for all those able and willing to make good on some payments now past due.

    July 25, 2014

  • Budd fundraising run to pass Geisinger

    MILTON — It’s “kickstands up” tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. from LT’s Tavern on Route 405 in Milton where hundreds of motorcycles will take off on a run to raise funds for the Budds, the Ohio family whose matriarch, Sharon, recovers at Geisinger Medical Center from grave injuries suffered in a rock-throwing incident two weeks ago.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.