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Manchin Issues Heated Criticism Of Blankenship Over Upper Big Branch Documentary

Reported: Mar. 31, 2014 4:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin issued a blistering statement over a documentary on the Upper Big Branch Mining disaster funded by former Massey leader Don Blankenship.

“Adroit Films, the propaganda firm behind this shameful documentary, never disclosed to me the intent of this film. They lied to my face and told me this documentary was focused on mine safety, an issue I have been committed to since the Farmington Mine disaster that killed my uncle and 77 miners,” Manchin said in a prepared statement. “Had I known the film was in any way associated with Don Blankenship, I would have never agreed to the interview. I spoke with them for more than half an hour about mine safety and how we must prevent an Upper Big Branch disaster from ever happening again.

“Yet, the producers only dedicated one minute and thirty-two seconds of my 30-minute interview to mine safety – one of the most important issues in West Virginia – to attempt to vindicate Don Blankenship. He should be more concerned with his role in the deaths of 29 brave miners and the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation rather than filming a propaganda documentary.

“I am not only livid that I was lied to, but I am even more enraged that Don Blankenship would manipulate a tragedy to promote himself and his own agenda. I am going to pursue every legal recourse available against Adroit’s despicable tactics. The most tragic part of all of this is that the families of these miners are forced to suffer yet again at the hands of Don Blankenship.”

You can watch a YouTube video of the documentary here.



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