What began as a run-of-the-mill segment of Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. ended with a surprising twist. Host Stuart Varney was interviewing Josh Fox, a film director and anti-fracking activist, about a recent report released by the Environmental Protection Agency that suggested fracking did not pollute drinking water. When Fox accused Varney of lying about his own personal views on fracking, Varney replied by booting him from the show.
According to the executive summary of the EPA’s report, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms [of possible contamination] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” Varney wanted Fox to explain why the EPA, an organization that generally opposes fracking, would release a report that seemingly undermines their viewpoints.
Fox argued that the quote was taken out of the context of the entire report itself, a 1,000-page document that was only publicized last week. The EPA, Fox claimed, wrote the executive summary in such a way to placate the Obama administration, which supports fracking and would be angered if study endangered public approval of the practice. Fox also blamed the influential petroleum industry for creating a chilling effect on the EPA’s willingness to properly interpret its data.
Varney appeared visibly confused at Fox’s suggestion that Obama’s camp supports fracking. “You think [the Obama administration] wants to frack?” Varney asked Fox, his voice incredulous. Fox then went on the offensive, accusing Varney of having mentioned off-camera that he would not allow fracking to take place on his property in New York.
“Why would you not frack on our own property and then prescribe it for other people in America?” Fox asked Varney, who replied that his property is located within the watershed. Varney related that he and his neighbors worried about the quality of the drinking water before fracking ever came into the picture.
“You are absolutely wrong. I do believe you are lying right now,” said Fox.
“Lying?” Varney asked. “The interview is over, young man! I am not lying. I did it myself. Thank you. Goodbye. You are out of here, son! You are out of here! Don’t call me a liar! Don’t do that, son! Cut. That’s it. Thank you very much. Will you please leave?”
Watch the video of the segment below.