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Ed Begley Jr. Responds to James O'Keefe Smear Tactics

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Dear Friends,

On March 28, 2014, I agreed to join award-winning producer/director Josh Tickell for a lunch meeting, as I was told that my presence would help him secure the financing he needed for a documentary that he was trying to get made.

I was paid no money for attending, and was not to receive any money at any stage of the production or post-production of said film. I merely went to this lunch to help get a documentary produced about fracking.

I was told that the donor wanted to remain anonymous, and having seen many documentaries with “Anonymous” in the Thank You credits, I knew this was not uncommon.

When I attended the lunch, I was asked to confirm that this donor, “Muhammad,” wanted to give anonymously, which I did.

It turns out I was the subject of a hidden camera “sting” where I was made to look foolish in an edited-down, 20-minute synopsis of a two-hour lunch. The 20-minute piece in no way reflects my views nor the reality of our conversation. In fact, they made it seem like I was in favor of additional dependence on foreign oil and in support of an oil-money funded film, which I am NOT. Indeed, it is quite odd to be portrayed this way, as everyone knows I have worked for the exact opposite outcome for more than 30 years.

Thirty-plus years that have been far less about idle talk and more about clear, pro-environmental action on my part.

There is very little foreign oil in my bicycle, my electric car, my 6kw of solar, or my 75kw wind turbine.

And, when I do use fossil fuels, it is always in a super-efficient automobile that gets 58 mpg.

While I do support a film that explores the facts about fracking, comments made by others on this subject during the lunch or before or after the lunch do not reflect my views.

Who is this filmmaker who performed the sting, and what are HIS motivations?

You need only Google the filmmaker’s name, James O’Keefe, to see his extreme tactics in the past to entrap people on video, tactics that include a break-in at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office, to which O’Keefe pleaded guilty.

After viewing the video, it is clear that he has doctored the video and audio in my piece, just as he has done in the past.

The un-edited version of the James O’Keefe tape tells a VERY different story about my participation in the conversation on March 28th at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Please review it here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v6HZ5VLmyes

Or, search for:

“Full unedited raw video, exclusive release by online casino Project Veritas”

I understand that few will want to sit through the full four hours that cover the lunch and several other recordings.

The lunch begins at 1:54:30, but, scan forward to 2:28:35 to get what was asked of me and what I actually answered.

2:28:35 Muhammad: “If Washington DC continues fracking, America will be…uh…energy efficient and they won’t need our oil anymore.”

I do not say ANYTHING in response to that bombshell, I am so shocked. I want to leave.

So, at 2:30:20 I do announce that I’m leaving.

Muhammad implores me to stay for 5 more minutes. I glare at Josh and do so.

A discussion begins about Mariel Hemingway using her social media accounts to promote the fracking documentary.

As we are discussing my potential social media participation, Muhammad asks me:

2:30:40 Muhammad: “And, you’re in with us on this, right?”

Ed: “Oh, yes”

I’m very clearly responding “oh, yes” to using my social media efforts to promote the documentary, NOT to support further dependence by America on foreign oil.

The edit in the 20-minute video is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent my reaction to Muhammad’s outlandish statements.

In this era where self-proclaimed journalists can easily take outrageous liberties with video recordings, I would hope that people judge me on my clarion clear, decades-long track record for supporting the environment, personally and professionally, and not on one poorly recorded, poorly edited lunch meeting video.

For the record, I do not support and never will support foreign oil dependence, nor do I want to see fracking proliferate in our country. My hope is that green energy and renewable resources support American growth. I live this possibility every day.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ed Begley, Jr.

 



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About the Author

Ed Begley, Jr. is an Actor, Environmentalist, and author of Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life. He has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Ed serves on the boards of organizations including the Thoreau Institute, and the Union Of Concerned Scientists. His work has earned awards from numerous environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Southern California Gas Company.

Currently, he can be seen on HBO’s “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” and the new Amazon Prime show “Betas”.

Ed lives in Studio City, CA in a small, energy efficient home with his wife and co-star Rachelle Carson and their daughter Hayden.





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