Appalachian Basin

What the Media has Wrought

Bryant LaTourette
New York Landowner

I attended the DEC public comment hearing in Loch Sheldrake, NY yesterday. I am a landowner caught in the middle. I have attended two hearings now and found some disturbing similarities.  The day started wet and rainy, something we have grown to be accustomed to in NY. I arrived at Sullivan County Community College early and was told they had hot coffee over in the hospitality tent. I stepped outside the tent after hearing some angry voices. I turned on my camera to record the incident as it was starting to intensify. When I asked the youth (who appeared to be about 20 years old) a question, he smacked the phone right out of my hands.  (more after the jump)

As a natural reaction, I held onto the kid by his collar; my second instinct was to defend myself. But before it came to that, I stopped and looked into his eyes — and saw a man blinded by anger and fear. Immediately, I felt my own anger shifting from kid in front of me over the media. The media, and professional activists who, with a straight face, suggest that developing natural gas in NY will lead to the end of the world, created this rage in the youth. True journalism and facts do not sell unless it’s a scandal or sad story, even if telling that story involves a total disregard for the debris of facts and data left behind.

The anger in this youth was created from fear with no factual backing. But today, who needs facts? Facts take time to learn; even longer to explain. Today’s model is to convict first and then ask questions later or often not at all. Yesterday’s altercation was proof of this collateral damage. The comments were not of this young man’s own, but rather were reflective of the distortions that created the fear that caused him to lash out. I honestly can’t blame him. If I didn’t see or had not been following this issue for four years and relied on nothing but the media and these groups for my information, maybe I would have lashed out the same way. What has happened to unbiased reporting and objective, fact-based journalism?

The whole scene of the hearing and the trained behavior of the anti’s can also be blamed on this incident. The youth was a student — not the imported bus crew or the transient, professionally trained activist.

When the officer took the report from me he asked if I wanted to pursue charges. I closed my eyes for a second and saw this young man’s face filled with true fear and anger.

I then stated he is just a victim caught up in a media created hysteria fueled by professional activists who have mastered the art of the science of fear to create puppets–soldiers to fulfill an agenda of a few.

The gentlemen I refer to and who can be seen in the following video of a portion of the altercation, ended up starting three separate incidents during the day. He was eventually escorted off the premises by police and DEC officials and was later charged by police for actions in another incident.

The Manhattan SGEIS hearing occurred today and the majority of natural gas supporting landowners have chosen not to attend after the display of rude behavior  and now violence from the past three events. Landowners are individuals that speak for themselves. They are usually respectful by virtue of upbringing. The opposition displays a learned, trained behavior that is used to forward an agenda by intimidation.

The folks so adamantly opposed to landowner rights actually train and endorse this behavior by holding courses on civil disobedience.  Once this was an actual fine art that lead to developments like the Civil Rights Movement seeking to correct real injustices.  Today it has denigrated into adult temper-tantrums and acting out like a child to deprive someone else of their rights because the energy source being developed is not the advocates preferred choice.  The format of the hearing that has been consistent over the last three hearings will be repeated in Manhattan, I’m certain. Once the doors open and the verbal timed testimony begin, the judges will stop the clock many times due to the unruly outbursts. At least one of the opposition will be escorted out. The landowners need no prepping on behavior; we actually live and work here, and have respect for the communities in which we live.

Our civil obedience is just basic instinct–one of sincere nature and respect for our neighbors.

So why is there likely to be a low turnout of landowners in NYC? Self respect, respect for others and respect for our hard earned tax dollars to not be wasted on extra security for a one-sided agenda of instigation, intimidation and disrespect.

Our quest to defend our basic landowner’s rights isn’t extreme and has nothing but facts supporting it. Today, facts are but minor details and inconveniences. Facts and details take time to verify and do not sell!

The news needs to be NOW and the presses have to roll the first story out to win the hits on their websites to promote advertisers and make their payrolls. It is a sad time for truth in our country, and especially in New York.

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