"Gasland" Director in Handcuffs

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 1 2012 5:07 PM

"Gasland" Director in Handcuffs

BONNEVILLE, Utah -- The 2010 documentary Gasland, a muckraking tour of towns that have had water supplies ruined (apparently) by hydraulic fracking, ends with some deeply undramatic scenes. Director Josh Fox set up his camera in some congressional hearings, with the (soon to expire) Democratic majority grilling energy industry representatives on the safety and ingredients of their craft. A camera pan reveals that no one else is really paying attention.

Problem solved. John Broder reports that Fox, now a fairly prominent activist, tried to film a quickly-scheduled hearing and was arrested and removed for lacking credentials.

Mr. Fox was released by the Capitol police shortly after 1 p.m. with a misdemeanor citation for, in his words, “practicing journalism.” He said in a telephone interview that he did not have to pay a fine or post bail. A court date was set for October.
Mr. Fox said that Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled on short notice and he tried to contact committee staff to get clearance to videotape it. He never got an answer, he said, so he and a videographer showed up at the hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building, where they were told they could watch the hearing but could not tape it.

The photo is from this video of the incident.

There are strict rules governing who can and cannot film inside the Capitol itself. Inside House and Senate offices, though, there's no such standard; I've been to many hearings and events put on, mostly by conservative members, that were heavy with iPhone cameras and camcorders.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 23 2014 9:01 AM Tristan Da Cunha: Life on the World's Most Remote Island
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:46 AM How Men Talk About Relationships in Rom-Coms: While Playing Sports
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 7:00 AM I Stand with Emma Watson
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.