Above is the altered footage taken from the film “Under the Gun.” It includes a stretch of b-roll taken of the interviewees waiting for the interview to begin, not their actual responses which were recorded and published by the VDCL after being removed from the film.
Criticism continues to hound Katie Couric in the wake of her flawed film “Under the Gun” after interviewees published personal recordings of the interview proving that the filmmakers edited the footage to put gun owners in a negative light. The film contained altered footage of interviews with members of the Virginia Citizens’ Defense League (VCDL).
Philip Van Cleave, VCDL President described “Under the Gun” as an “Infomercial for gun control” and not a documentary as it was originally presented. In the wake of the exposed alterations Couric quietly issued an apology saying “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.”
The unaltered audio recording of the interview is available on the VDCL’s website.
The NRA-ILA was quick to issue a response of their own, calling for Couric’s job. She currently holds a position at Yahoo! as a Global News Anchor and prior to that she worked on CBS News and the Today Show.
“This is just another example of anti-gun propaganda being passed around as ‘news’ by ‘journalists’ who don’t believe in the Second Amendment, don’t like guns or the people who own them, and are in the pockets of politicians like ex-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton,” said the NRA-ILA on the Frontlines.
“Katie Couric’s deception is unacceptable. As Second Amendment supporters, we are fed up with the media’s smear campaign against guns and gun owners.” The NRA-ILA is asking people to join them by signing their petition.
Other journalists have also criticized Couric, although not always for her ethics. Mathew Ingram writing for Fortune said “[The eight-second pause] has given more ammunition to supporters of Donald Trump and other right-wing gun advocates who argue that the media is biased against their cause and uses tricks to discredit them. In effect, Couric just provided them with some blockbuster evidence that this is in fact the case.” The article was ironically syndicated by Yahoo! Finance.
Second Amendment expert and staunch gun-rights activist Alan Gottlieb is calling for more than just her job. Speaking for the Second Amendment Foundation he points out that “Under the Gun” depicts the filmmakers breaking serious gun laws in the process. Gottlieb is asking for a full investigation by the Department of Justice.
“There can only be two explanations for this,” said Gottlieb. “Either federal gun laws were violated, or Soechtig made the whole thing up. If the latter is true, then her credibility just went out the window, taking Couric’s along with it. If the former is true, and the unidentified producer actually did buy the guns, and if he was sent to do that–as Soechtig’s remarks imply–then that’s possible evidence of a criminal conspiracy, or at the very least being an accessory.
“For Soechtig to claim that buying guns in the manner described is legal takes either remarkable audacity or monumental stupidity,” Gottlieb said. “The only way to sort this out is with a full DOJ investigation, which we think should begin promptly.”
Couric and her team probably expected this to blow over quickly and quietly, but it’s clear that “Under the Gun” will be remembered for a long time–just not for the reasons they set out for.