A funny thing happened to a press-conference video on the way to the iTunes store …
posted at 5:46 pm on December 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
… it got censored by Apple, or at the very least bowdlerized. Matt Damon and John Krasinski held a presser to promote their new film Promised Land, which attacks the American natural-gas industry and hydraulic fracturing. Damon and Krasinski didn’t mention that the film was financed by a significant investment from United Arab Emirates, which has a lot of financial incentives to stop American energy production. Our friend Phelim McAleer asked the two actors about their curious silence over the film’s UAE connection, but as the Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond notes, you’d never know that from the iTunes version of the presser:
Apple, the company that introduced its Macintosh computer with a “1984” TV commercial warning of an Orewllian world of group-think, was being accused Monday of censoring a documentary filmmaker who asked an inconvenient question during an event starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski.
The actors were at an Apple store in Soho on Dec. 3 to promote Promised Land, the film opening Jan. 4 that is co-written by the two co-stars. The movie features Damon as a salesman for a natural gas company while Krasinski’s character warns of environmental degradation associated with hydraulic “fracking.”
When event host Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine asked for questions from the audience, conservative filmmaker Phelim McAleer was called on first. Judging from an audio podcastposted at iTunes, McAleer asked the only unfriendly question of the evening, though you wouldn’t know about it because it is not included in the podcast.
But McAleer says he has proof of Apple’s alleged censorship because, against Apple’s rules, he surreptitiously videotaped the entire event.
If you have only seen the iTunes version of the presser, here’s the part that got redacted:
Actually, Damon gives Phelim a pretty good answer (Bond has more on that in his article). There’s no reason why Apple had to cut out the question and this response, but the fact that they did raises some pretty interesting questions on its own.