Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pa. fracking filmmaker gets busted in Congress

Pa. fracking filmmaker gets busted in Congress

There's been such a recent flurry of First Amendment outrages -- mainly against journalists but also private citizens -- involving cops arresting reporters, seizing videos and pictures, etc. But this new episode today make take the proverbial cake:

WASHINGTON -- In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Republicans also denied the entrance of a credentialed ABC News news team that was attempting to film the event.

Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Gasland" was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building.

Approximately 16 officers entered the hearing room and handcuffed Fox amid audible discussions of "disorderly conduct" charges, according to Democratic sources present at the arrest.

Fox's "Gasland" is the definitive look at the environmentally abusive side of the gas-drilling bonanza talking place in rural Pennsylvania. Now, apparently, it's not just the deep earth that's getting fracked -- but constitutional rights as well.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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