“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” –Sir Walter Scott
Today, I listened to an interview on Aspen Public Radio in Colorado, which was done in response to the showing of Gasland Part II at a theater there. Elise Thatcher interviewed director Josh Fox for about twenty minutes, the first twelve of which were rather monotonous — the same drivel that Josh has spewed for the past few years. But then things got really interesting.
The subject of FrackNation came up and Fox dismissed it swiftly, accusing Phelim McAleer of not being a journalist — right after Fox admitted to never having watched the film. That would be the equivalent of a teacher grading an essay without ever having read it. Maybe that is because Fox, who really is little more than a crude stenographer of the absurd, wouldn’t recognize a journalist if he saw one.
There was one scene in FrackNation, however, that Fox said he was familiar with, the footage from Gasland showing the copy of the lease Fox claimed he received in the mail from an oil company in 2008. That is when the Aspen NPR interview went beyond interesting. Obviously flustered, Fox asked if he could “go off record.” I’d want to go off the air too if I had been in his shoes, because this fabrication had already been exposed in detail and was undeniable.
The lease flashing across the screen in Gasland was not a lease that Fox had gotten in the mail from an oil company in 2008. It was, rather, a lease that was developed by a coalition of landowners, the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance.
Now, how does one get out of a lie? Either one fesses up and tells the truth, or one digs himself into a deeper hole and attempts to cover it with yet another lie. Well, Josh didn’t fess up. Instead, he claimed that he was a member of NWPOA and had gotten the same lease or a similar lease as the farmers, saying that he was part of the leasing pool and then dropped out.
Now, let’s follow the Fox’s tail, I mean tale, from the beginning. Fox claimed on national television interviews and in Gasland that in 2008 he received a lease in the mail from an oil company for his land. (NOTE: He doesn’t have any land.) Initially, he refused to disclose what company sent him the lease, claiming he was under an agreement with the company not to disclose that information.
Upon further investigation by members of NWPOA, it was discovered that the unique typos in the lease, that he supposedly was offered, were the exact same unique typos that were in the lease that was developed by NWPOA. Upon even closer examination, it was determined that what Fox displayed in Gasland was not even the final official version of the NWPOA lease, but rather a copy of the draft lease that was sent out to members in an email dated July 9, 2009. So, the lease he claimed he was offered in 2008 wasn’t even in existence at that time!
Josh has gone on record numerous times claiming the monetary offer that was made to him in the lease was $4,750 per acre up front bonus money, almost $100,000 for the less than twenty acres that he doesn’t own. But if Josh was a member of the landowner group and got the same lease, or even a similar lease as the farmers, why was he offered way more than what the landowners/farmers were offered? In fact, why was he offered way more than what anyone in the entire county was offered, regardless what lease it was or from which company it was offered? In the interview, Josh thought he was being careful to say “similar” lease but that doesn’t work. The leases were the same.
Ah, yes, if Josh was a member . . . if. Time to fess up or dig a deeper hole covered with yet another whopper.
I’ve maintained the database from the very day that NWPOA was created. I’ve handled every piece of mail received by NWPOA having recorded and deposited every membership check for $25 ever received by NWPOA. I can verify unequivocally who is and who is not a member of the landowner group. Josh Fox is not and never was a member of the alliance.
Now, if he can provide a cancelled check or a check number, I would be more than happy to do a search of the database – just in case he joined under a fictitious name.
I doubt Josh will ever fess up to what appears to be a willful misrepresentation of the truth. Instead, he’ll probably just keep digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole – so deep that he may need the assistance of one of the gas industry’s rigs to pull him out!