'The Sky Is Pink' Examines Fracking's Media Machine
Although it was created in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fracking proposal, Josh Fox's "The Sky Is Pink" offers as much commentary about the press surrounding the natural gas industry as the industry itself.
Fox, a filmmaker most noted for his fracking documentary "Gasland," released this new short film weeks after Cuomo announced a plan to approve hydraulic fracturing in areas along the state's border with Pennsylvania.
In the film, Fox interviews former Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields and "Merchants of Doubt" co-author Naomi Oreskes to examine the veracity of the natural gas industry's claims of safety.
It also explores the press relations strategies employed by the industry, including how the American Natural Gas Association has employed the same PR firm that helped the tobacco industry fight cancer claims over a half-century ago.
Beyond the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing, Fox also examines the media machine that reports on the industry. The film purports that disinformation from the natural gas is perpetuated by "he said, she said" style reporting in environmental journalism. In Fox's interview with Oreskes, the author explores the dangers of merely restating information from both sides as it gives legitimacy to claims that may not have merit.
"An ordinary person who doesn't know what to think doesn't need to think that I'm right, they just need to think that there's a debate," said Oreskes in the video. "Because so long there's a debate, then there's an argument for staving off regulation."