Did Michael Bloomberg order Katie Couric to remove pro-gun researcher John Lott Jr. from her documentary “Under the Gun?”
According to Lott, an economist by trade, the author of the seminal book “More Guns, Less Crime,” and the founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, he was cut from the film at the request of billionaire business magnate Michael Bloomberg.
“Katie Couric and her staff interviewed me for almost six hours — two hours pre-interview and then almost four hours on tape — and what I found is that the filming that they did of me was used extensively in the movie, originally,” Lott told Breitbart News.
“But Katie Couric did a private screening for Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg apparently insisted that anything from me be removed from the movie,” he continued.
Lott’s research is considered to be a thorn in the side of gun control advocates, because, you know, it uses these things called “facts” and “data” to dismantle their gun-grabbing agenda and anti-gun arguments.
Decades ago, when gun grabbers were shouting from the rooftops that allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms in public would lead to wild, wild west shootouts in the streets, it was Lott’s sound research that showed a negative correlation between crime rates and concealed carry. In other words, crime decreased as the number concealed carriers increased, thus dispelling the long-running myth that more guns create more crime.
To be honest, the fact that he was even interviewed for Couric’s documentary is surprising. The fact that he was cut out, well, that’s no surprise at all. Back in May, the director of the film explained her version of why Lott’s segments were left on the cutting room floor in an interview with The Guardian.
“[Lott’s] research has been criticized and largely discredited, and when we went to include it in the film, it felt like unnecessary real estate to put in the film, because we know his research has been debunked many times,” said Soechtig.
“We kept going back to the idea that we wanted to reserve the real estate in the film for the responsible gun owners,” she added.
Soechtig’s statement raises an obvious question. If Lott’s research has been “largely discredited” and “debunked many times,” why would she interview him in the first place? Why bother? Why waste the time? It would seem that Couric and Soechtig initially thought Lott could bring a valuable perspective to the table (hence the six hours of time spent interviewing him) but something or someone changed their mind along the way.
It’s also worth noting that Couric and Soechtig deliberately added an 8-second pause to the film to make gun owners look stupefied during a line of questioning concerning whether convicted felons or those on terrorists watch lists should be allowed to purchase firearms. Couric later apologized for the edit after the gun owners outed her for misrepresenting them in the film.
“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…” said Couric in a statement back in May.
“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,” said Couric.
But back to Lott, his claim of the Bloomberg-ordered censorship was initially mentioned by radio host John Cardillo, whose brother helped finance the film.
Earlier this month, Cardillo was interviewing Lott and the two discussed Bloomberg’s involvement.
“I don’t know if you know this… I don’t know if we spoke about this, but my brother knows one of the financiers on the Katie Couric project — he was sort of an ancillary financier who’s actually pro-Second Amendment — and he told me your footage from that documentary was cut after a private between Katie Couric and Michael Bloomberg,” said Cardillo.
Lott said that he was not aware of the private screening or Bloomberg’s involvement.
Cardillo then iterated, “Yes. They were going to run it, and Bloomberg and Couric had a private screening and after that screening is when your footage was cut.”
There has been no word from Bloomberg on whether he ordered Lott to be removed from the film. One shouldn’t expect him to come clean, either.