Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bill Moyers Blasts Chevron For Attacking First Amendment Rights

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers, the celebrated and venerable journalist, blasted Chevron's recent attempt to force an independent filmmaker to turn over the 600 hours of private video outtakes from the documentary "Crude," in an article which appeared on the Huffington Post recently. "Crude" chronicles the legal struggle of more than 30,000 indigenous people and their lawyers in Ecuador where Chevron is accused of dumping more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste directly into the Amazon Rainforest.

Moyers, along with Michael Winship (the Director of the Writers Guild of America, East) wrote the article in response to Chevron's unprecedented attempt to force Joe Berlinger, the director of Crude, to allow Chevron to rummage through his files to find film footage that the oil company can take use to attack the litigation pending against the company in Ecuador. They were uncompromising in their condemnation of Chevron's maneuver, writing: "Chevron is trying to avoid responsibility and hopes to find in the unused footage -- material the filmmaker did not utilize in the final version of his documentary -- evidence helpful to the company in fending off potential damages of $27.3 billion…If we -- reporters, journalists, filmmakers -- are required to turn research, transcripts and outtakes over to a government or a corporation -- or to one party in a lawsuit -- the whole integrity of the process of journalism is in jeopardy; no one will talk to us."

Read the entire article here.