In May of 2016 Katie Couric and her associates produced a “documentary” entitled, “Under the Gun.” Its website describes the film as follows:
“UNDER THE GUN examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase. Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista and Tucson, as well as those who experience daily gun violence in Chicago, the documentary looks at why politicians are finding it difficult to act and what is being done at the state and local levels. The film is executive produced and narrated by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig.”
The film’s anti-gun predisposition is clearly conveyed by that description. Included in the “documentary” is a clip in which Katie Couric interviews the pro-gun rights group, Virginia Citizens Defense League. Couric asks them, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” The group’s members are then shown looking around in silence for nine seconds, appearing stumped by the question. But in reality it was later revealed that members of the group offered responses to her question immediately. The edited version and a portion of the actual responses can be heard in this news segment on Fox News from May 26, 2016:
What a devious and unfair thing for Couric and her friends to do. Couric initially dismissed the criticism of the misleading editing, saying she was proud of the film; but she later (when the criticism wouldn’t go away, presumably) issued the following apology:
“As executive producer of ‘Under the Gun,’ a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL),” she wrote. “My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless.
“When I screened an early version of the film with the director, Stephanie Soechtig, I questioned her and the editor about the pause and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she described it, ‘dramatic effect,’ to give the audience a moment to consider the question. When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response….I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously.”
So let me see if I understand this correctly. The makers of this “documentary” thought it would be better to edit out what was actually said and substitute a version that was, in essence, fiction? Sounds perfectly in keeping with how the Left approaches just about everything. It is no exaggeration to say that there is always an attempt to mislead and misrepresent in whatever the Left produces, because that is what is necessary for the Left to advance its agenda.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League has filed a $13 million defamation suit and they are entitled to every penny, in my humble opinion. This was no accident. According to her own apology, Katie Couric knew that the film’s selective editing would give viewers a false and unflattering impression of the members of this group, and that is what it intended to do. One can only imagine what Ms. Couric’s response would be if Fox News, for example, edited an interview with her so as to purposely leave viewers with the false impression that she was stumped for words; but then, fairness is something that leftists believe only they are entitled to. No expense is too great for someone else to pay for the sake of advancing the Left’s agenda.
A panel of politically-mixed journalists on Fox’s ‘Happening Now’ this morning seem to think Couric’s apology was enough penance, even while they unanimously called the actions of Couric and her film associates “inexcusable.” This remark by Bill McGurn of the WSJ, however, really hit the nail on the head:
“We all know in our business that it’s very easy to skew things with just a little touch here, where we place things and so forth…”
Absolutely they all know. That little perk is precisely why the Left gravitates to the field of media.
It’s time to send Couric and other elites a message that they aren’t at liberty to abuse anyone else to get what they want. Give Virginia Citizens Defense League their $13 million.