No Fracking Way

FrackNation attacks Promised Land

by Dory Hippauf on September 26, 2012

The Landmen were the clues.

When a virgin area is going to be exploited by frackers, they send in the landmen to sign up as much land as cheaply as possible. I have had landmen in my family and had three as friends – one drank himself to death, one shot himself, and one is still out there doing what he can to sign up rubes cheap: “Look for the dudes with the beards driving the buggies”. Landmen are the used car salesmen end of the oil and gas business. Chesapeake’s Aubrey McClendon evidently started out as a landman.  Get the picture ?

In today’s New York Post is an opinion column entitled “For his next escape – Matt Damon’s troubled anti-frack film”.  It was written by Phelim McAleer.

Phelim McAleer is a journalist and the director of “FrackNation,” a documentary about fracking.  Let’s take a bit of time and review McAleer and McElhinney.


Coming Soon to a rented hall near you will be FrackNation (and will probably be promoted by the industry PR group, Energy-in-Depth).   The movie production costs were partially funded through the use of KickStarter – an on-line site for raising project funds.

Industry gets cast in ‘FrackNation,’ the latest documentary on the drilling debate

November 30, 2011 – Pittsburgh Post Gazette, By Erich Schwartzel 

Excerpt: “The film, however, is being partially funded through donations on the Kickstarter website, and the roster of “executive producers” who have donated at least $1 includes scores of energy industry associates. The filmmakers said Thursday they plan to return any donations given by “senior” workers in the industry, which they define as executives.”

Excerpt: “FrackNation was directed by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, a married couple living in Marina del Rey, Calif., whose previous subjects include Al Gore and anti-coal environmentalists. Their treatment of natural gas drilling will “look at both sides of the argument,” Mr. McAleer said.”

FrackNation describes itself as “FrackNation is a feature documentary that will tell the truth about fracking for natural gas. Watch the video to find out more.”  

Let’s take a look at McAleer and McElhinney, shall we?

Together they own Ann and Phelim Media LLC, and are documentary film makers.  To their credit their films include:

  • Not Evil Just Wrong, a rebuttal to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth
  • Mine Your Own Business, a film about mining Romania, Madagascar and Chile

 A review from The Guardian describes Mine Your Own Business as:

Green goblins – A Michael Moore-style documentary depicts environmentalists as misguided meddlers | Media Guardian,| by Rory Carrol |  Wednesday 1 November 2006

 Excerpts:“The feature-length documentary follows the Michael Moore template of championing the underdog, in this case impoverished communities in Romania, Madagascar and Chile, but instead of attacking the mines it goes for the ecologists. 

Mine Your Own Business, whose British premiere is this week, casts the green movement as the influential villain of a worldwide campaign to block development and deny people the chance of jobs and a decent life.”

 Of the couple, McElhinney seems to be popular one.  She’s described as Tea Party activist according to the College Conservative.

The Real Conspiracy: A Report from RightOnline | College Conservative | Jun 24 by Nicholas Kowalski

 Excerpt (Emphasis added): “The inaugural Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting was announced at the closing dinner. John Fleischman of Flash Report – a site dedicated to exposing corruption in corruption-plagued California – received the recognition. Documentarian Ann McElhinney, Tea Party activist and radio show host Dana Loesch, and pollster Scott Rasmussen paid tribute to his life’s work”

RightWing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, writes:

 Ann McElhinney – Is This Woman ‘Fracking’ Crazy? – Ann McElhinney of Frack Nation at CPAC | by Josh Glasstetter on Wed, 02/15/2012

“Ann McElhinney is very upset about dumb, lying environmentalists and very excited about fracking, which is a miraculous gift from God. She’s making a film about it – Frack Nation – and she pitched the CPAC crowd last Saturday on her right-wing response to the critically acclaimed documentary Gasland. 

The thesis of McElhinney’s manic, meandering speech is that fracking is the best thing to ever happen to us, but it could be squandered by ignorant and dumb people who have been tricked into opposing it by scheming, dishonest environmentalists who agree with Vladimir Putin and secretly hate the Bald Eagle.”


FrackNation is reportedly scheduled to be released around the same release time of Josh Fox’s Gasland-2, maybe the release date will be changed to coincide with Promise Land?

I’m guessing McAleer’s opinion piece on Promised Land is designed to rally the frackers and help promote FrackNation.  So far, judging from the comments on the NY Post page, McAleer’s has succeeded in rallying the “fractivist” community, feel free to go and add your own comments. 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Chip Northrup September 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

thanks, flaming frack holes

that should sell a lot of tickets . . . to Promised Land and GL II


TXsharon September 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

From Ann McElhinney’s Twitter page:

Journalist, Documentary Filmmaker, Public Speaker, Despised by Environmentalists, Recovering European. Get out of My Lightbulbs.


fred jones September 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

Frackers are in a race against time. As more and more water tables are polluted and rural towns are destroyed and the devastation will increase as the 6-10 years of HVHF start to show just how bad an idea this was from the start, the fracker coverup campaign will unravel and support will dwindle. So……..the PR game MUST be set into overdrive BEFORE Mother Nature shuts the whole process down. This is exactly why we are seeing more “documentaries” about how wonderful HVHF is. Frackers also know they are losing the support they once had, thus the push to buy politicians, cow-tow to the Tea Baggers and the Far Right……..easy marks full of stubborn know it alls who know very little and refuse to question (when it’s obvious these dumb dumbs have abused ANY education they received) so the focus by BIG GAS is and has been increased to keep what little base they have left, when COMMON SENSE prevails. Desperate measures for desperate times.


Judy Muskauski October 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

I love your articles and your style of writing! You absolutely nail the topics with facts they can not dispute! I’m still waiting to see an article devoted to you in EID, (to get you that “Badge of Honor” !)
P.S. I’d like to order an advanced, signed copy of your book please!!


Victoria Switzer December 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I was tricked into interviewing with this guy..he pretended to be interested in saving Ireland and questioned me in a repetitive and grueling interview that lasted nearly 4 hours…I have never been victimized like this by any journalist or reporter…if this is the way he operates then I can not imagine his film will be filled with truth. Sincerely, Victoria Switzer resident of the Dimock Gasfield


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