Corbett’s Corner Hears Victimhood from Natural Gas Opponents

A radio show on WILK 103.1 FM called Corbett’s Corner took calls the other night from natural gas opponents who discussed the movie “Promised Land” and portrayed themselves as victims of the media. 

Driving home the other night  I tuned into Corbett’s Corner where listeners were discussing the new Matt Damon movie Promised Land.  Hosted by the irascible, but highly entertaining, Steve Corbett, the show runs from 3-7 P.M. every weekday, as its host eviscerates one politician after another, regardless of affiliation, and takes on all sorts of issues in sometimes unexpected ways.

Corbett is a fixture in Northeast Pennsylvania.  He allows listeners to call in and discuss things of interest in the local community.  It was no surprise then to hear listeners call in to talk about Promised Land, which is quickly diving into Waterworld territory insofar as box office receipts compared to the pre-release hype is concerned. Having opened to Oscar fanfare, the film has grossed just over $5 million dollars over two weeks and not a single member of the film’s cast garnered a nomination for their appearance in the film.

Promised Land was written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, who also happen to be the main actors.  The movie offers Hollywood’s view on the natural gas industry, although reportedly the original script targeted the wind industry.   Thus far the film has received  pretty negative reviews across the board, including by well-known Hollywood publications.  Having listened to Steve Corbett’s show, I felt it necessary to address a few points made by folks who called into the show.

The first call came from a woman named Wendy from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.  Listening to her speak for 10 minutes I could only imagine this must have been Wendy Lynn Lee, who we have featured on our blog for her strident anti-development views.

Just judging by the sheer fear and intimidation expressed by the folks on the pro side, especially the folks from some of the hit organizations like Energy In Depth, judging by their fear, it looks like this must be a pretty good movie and its going to tell the story of just how grossly and environmentally damaging fracking is to human life.  (Segment 1 – 1:45)

Wendy always assumes we fear her, her friends and their activities, but it’s hard to fear a movie whose writers repeatedly show they know little about the science behind hydraulic fracturing. The movie is really emotional propaganda funded, in part, by  the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates who have a pretty significant interest in seeing the United States continue to import oil. Phelim McAleer exposes that questionable funding source in the following video:

Energy In Depth has used Promised Land to draw attention to The Real Promised Land and its worked. For example, the Real Promised Land now has more Facebook “likes” than the movie’s page.  We don’t fear Promised Land – we view it as a an opportunity to educate American’s on the significant benefits natural gas development is providing to communities and middle-class families across the United States.

Wendy somehow believed our “fear” is portrayed through The Real Promised Land, but in reality the site  was created to provide factual information and to connect viewers with individuals who actually live in areas experiencing natural gas development. We thought, quite rightly, that anyone who didn’t like the way Matt Damon and John Krasinski presented the information in the movie might want to hear from real people living in the Marcellus Shale region.  We were correct and that’s why our Facebook page is gaining such traction.

It seems Wendy believes anything put out  by industry is nothing more than propaganda but, in reality this photo on the New Yorkers Against Drilling (NYRAD) Facebook page is more reflective of propaganda than stories from hard-working Americans.  In fact, The Real Promised Land highlights the stories of 8 Pennsylvanian’s who provide their views and experiences regarding natural gas development occurring in their communities.  I don’t know about you, but where I come from we don’t call positive stories from our neighbors propaganda.

Is this what people think shale gas development will look like in New york?

Real propaganda: This is what natural gas opponents want everyone to think it will look like in New York.


Here’s what Steve Corbett, in a refreshing analysis, had to say about on natural gas development, its opponents and some of these tactics:

I have already made it clear with what my position is, as long as you don’t poison the water or air and kill us all in the process I’ll give the gas and oil industry the time and the place to make their case.  They are far better at it than the activists are and there are some real smart bright people dedicated sincere, genuine people who oppose fracking and I’m just real disappointed in the so called movement because I just don’t see a movement.  (Segment 2 – 2:20)

Here is another segment of the show featuring Wendy.  She is always interesting to hear, even though we vigorously disagree.

The next listener to call in was a women named Judy.  Like Wendy, Judy is also an activist.  She called into the show to discuss the media.  She somehow asserts that local media doesn’t cover hydraulic fracturing related issues, as incredible as that seems.

What I see is a buying of the media and what I see is that the people on the ground have become their own media, because the local media will not touch anything related to fracking. (Segment 2 – 0:20)

Like many other natural gas activists, Judy is playing the victim card.  Steve Corbett does a great job explaining how Judy’s comment holds no ground.

Here’s where your opinion falls flat, because I’m in the media.  I am as well known a media voice in Northeast Pennsylvania as anybody, because I have been doing media successfully here for 25 years.  People know who I am, they know me from the newspapers, radio, television and what I find stunning is that we here at WILK radio have a relationship with the gas and oil companies.  They have aired commercials here.  Has that stopped me from having free willing, honest, discussions? No, not even close  (Segment 2 – 1:05).

After hearing this most people would take a second to try understand exactly what Corbett meant, but Judy took this opportunity to pull another victim card from her hand and throw it on the table:

I have been listening for the past three years on and off and I have heard this often and I can’t argue with you on it because its true.  What happens I am not sure, I have heard some people say that when they call they get bashed.  (Segment 2– 2:10).

Huh? Corbett, of course, saw through this argument and  interjected this; “The only bashing I will give you is asking questions.”

The remainder of Judy’s conversation may be heard here and you can catch the beginning here.

It was an interesting radio show, to be sure, and it’s not hard to see why listeners have tuned into Corbett for 25 years.  It also perfectly illustrated the victim mindset of some natural gas opponents.  They are convinced they are victims and, it appears, so shall it always be.  Nevertheless, as Corbett notes, there are sincere skeptics, not out to arbitrarily kill the industry, with whom it is occasionally possible to engage in a combined effort to improve the process.  Expanding on his point, it’s a darned shame we don’t hear more from them and less from these voices of doom.


  1. I think you belong in this group.

    • Bill says:

      I’m a bit confused; perhaps some words of enlightenment as to your reasoning? The website you point at is about contributors to Gov. Tom Corbett.. This article is about Steve Corbett, a radio personality in NEPA. The only two things I see in common are the last name and the state of PA.

  2. James Barth says:

    This Irish national, in the U.S. for 18 months, who is making Frack Nation, embarrasses himself, and proves himself to be a fool and virtual liar, by his question posed to Matt Damon. Despite his off base question, batted away by Mr. Damon, Massaro describes it as: ” McAleer exposes that questionable funding source in the following video”.

    By doing this, you discredit yourself, and Energy in Depth, which I must say, Massaro does in every post he writes. EID is as much a joke as the Irish national who is making the pro frac’ing film, in the U.S.

    The director should really be directing his film against the Irish Government, and, the Irish people (of whom he is an embarassment), since they just enacted a 20 month moratorium where the industry must prove its wild claims of safety. Instead, funded by Lord knows whom, he comes to the U.S. where frac’ing is running wild, virtually with red carpet treatment, to make a pro frac’ing film.

    Follow the money, Tom. Follow the money. Why put up a clown Irishman, who knows nothing about the issue? By his own admission on Democracy Now, he has delved into this over the past 18 months, while making a pro frac’ing film!

    Let’s see. He is given answers by Energy in Depth, and, he asks questions that support those answers? He then calls it FrackNation? I saw him on Democracy Now, and, he was a very thin caricature. With all the industry money, you can’t come up with better than that?

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      You haven’t even seen it, Jim. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the exposure of Josh Fox’s faux lease, the Sautners going apoplectic upon learning their water is fine and Julie threatening Phelim with NRDC intervention. As for the money, there is no industry money in FrackNation. It was funded with KickStarter. Oh, as for Ireland, well they’re just doing what the French did and will quietly undo later as Europe proceeds with natural gas development. It’s happening there now, you know, and will grow. Everyone with gas will develop it. Yes, even the French.

      • Jim Barth says:

        Of course I have yet to see it Tom, it hasn’t aired on Mark Cuban’s airwaves, or anywhere (to the public), has it?

        As I mentioned, I did see the clip where McAleer gets fly swatted by Damon for making a false, and irrelevant assertion, about the film’s funding. The disrespectful way McAleer phrased, and spoke, his assertion, combined with the falseness of his information, speaks volumes about his lack of character, and, his lack of professionalism.

        Then, I watched DemocracyNow, which featured McAleer, making gross, misleading, insinuations about the history of Dimock water, by focusing only on the last Region 3 EPA test results, from mid 2012 (Norma’s lid blew off January 1, 2009, and PADEP held Cabot responsible for the thermogenic methane migration, at a minimum, into the wells and houses, for 2 and 1/2 years, and through two “Consent Agreements) and, while ATSDR is conducting further studies of the Dimock water. He’s declaring this water, “perfect”, based on Region 3’s statement that the water is safe to drink, after so little testing? Then, how does he feel about the EPA’s exhaustive, peer reviewed, test results that declare the industry as connected to the Pavillion, Wy, contaminations? He must just love those results even more, no?

        That he referred to shale gas extraction, and the burning of shale gas, as “progressive”, while attempting purile word play portraying American “progressives” as not being interested in “progress”, because he sees them as being against shale gas extraction, is mind boggling.

        Burning fossil fuel as a projected solution to our energy needs is not “progress”. Being stuck in the 19th century is not progress. Making snide little comments about straw men, in this case, “progressives”, is right out of the Energy in Depth playbook, as is fabricating straw arguments.

        It seems to me that McAleer is surfacing now, in an attempt to dredge up interest in the upcoming showing of his video effort. This hollow man is a spokesperson for the industry?

        I hope his camera was more in focus than the narrative you have described him presenting. EID, and the industry, love setting up their straw men, and their straw arguments. What is a mystery, though, is who you think you are reaching, outside of your choir, or even what you think you are revealing, by turning over such small rocks.

        The industry would have been, and would still be, so much better served, if your PR company focused, honestly, on the problems that the industry is causing, and by working on solutions to them, instead of denying the problems ever exist, and that the victims are all fraudulent.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          Yeah, yeah, Jim. More of the same from you. Everybody who doesn’t agree with you is snide. Sure.

    • Victor Furman says:

      Comrade Barth

      “An Irish national, in the U.S. for 18 months”

      Your words reveal you…

      You left out so many other labels in your rant. The truth in any expose need not be labeled anything other then the speaker of truth no matter race creed or color and your tone is that of a bigot. Frack Nation is still playing in NYC and the reviews it is getting speaks volumes for the mic from Ireland. You remind me of the fat white man on the steps of the Alabama capitol building in the 1960’s with a beer in his hand hollering send them back on a one way boat. Thank you for your post that reflects not just you but the sentiment of those who stand with you.

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