Judge Shoots Down Defamation Lawsuit Against Katie Couric Gun Doc

The $12 million defamation lawsuit filed against Katie Couric for her gun documentary, “Under the Gun,” was dismissed this week by a federal judge.

U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney, Jr. shot down the complaint filed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League and granted the motion to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit arose from Couric’s decision to add an 8-second pause to the film to seemingly make members of the VCDL look stupefied during a line of questioning concerning whether convicted felons or those on terrorist watchlists should be allowed to purchase firearms.

You can see the deceptive pause in the video below:

Couric apologized for the pause and said it was put there for “dramatic effect” after the VCDL called her out for misrepresenting the group in the film. But she made no effort to fix the film — that is, remove the deliberate pause and add in the six-plus minutes of responses VCDL members gave during the line of questioning — or to stop promoting and distributing the film in its current misleading state.

VCDL then sued the former news anchor for compensatory damages to the tune of $12 million and punitive damages to the tune of $350,000 per plaintiff in Sept. of 2016.

Judge Gibney acknowledged that the pause existed Wednesday, but said that it did not rise to the level of defamation.

“The plaintiffs’ defamation claims fail because the interview scene is not false,” wrote Gibney. “’Under the Gun’ portrays members of the VCDL not answering the question posed by Couric. In reality, members of the VCDL did not answer the question posed by Couric. They talked about background checks and gun laws generally, but did not answer the question of how to prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing guns without background checks. The editing simply dramatizes the sophistry of the VCDL members.”

Tough break for VCDL. Why didn’t it go their way? Well, consider the source of the opinion. To that end, VCDL made the following observation on its Facebook page:

On September 30, 2009, Virginia Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner recommended Gibney for a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. On April 14, 2010, President Obama nominated Gibney to the seat that had been created by the retirement of Judge Robert E. Payne, who had taken senior status in May 2007. Gibney’s nomination was approved by the Senate on December 16, 2010, during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress. He received his commission on December 17, 2010.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Duck life August 16, 2018, 9:44 pm

    The lawsuit was issued and rejected. This case has many problems to solve.

  • Nemo June 2, 2017, 7:13 pm

    I wonder if the judge is an unofficial member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the real power from behind the scenes, as is Couric (a long time CFR media propagandist), as is Webb, as is Warner, as is Obama. Just because there is no record of him being one doesn’t mean he isn’t working in accordance with their (gun-grabbing) agenda.

  • Mr. Sparkles June 2, 2017, 4:47 pm

    It is unfortunate that a judge,whose mandate is to review and rule strictly by law, would allow politics to color his judgment and poison his ability to offer a truly unbiased opinion but he is the one that will have to live with it. I truly hope he never has to live with the result of his sophomoric opinions but I believe that the long road of life is full of curves and karma will intervene and the honorable dingbat will get his comeupims.

  • gunbob June 2, 2017, 2:25 pm

    The whole thing could have been avoided if these idiots would just have known better then to trust any member of the libtard media to portray anything about guns in a fair way.
    Do you want to become a part of this or as the commies would call you, a “useful idiot”?
    Don’t be a tool, don’t talk to the media about anything, guns or not!

  • Chris Baker June 2, 2017, 1:43 pm

    It’s pretty clear to anyone who speaks English above about a 6th grade level that saying a pause added does not change the conversation, is a lie. Katie Couric Lied. The Judge lied. He should be impeached.

    • Z June 2, 2017, 2:40 pm

      Impeachment isn’t a legal process that can be brought against a judge. Omission isn’t the same thing as a providing false testimony, if it were, the fifth amendment wouldn’t exist. I don’t care who elected the judge, the ruling is legally sound.

    • kane June 10, 2017, 11:29 pm

      U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney, Jr. was a BHO appointment in 2009, go figure.

  • Curly June 2, 2017, 1:41 pm

    Is anybody surprised? Liberal so called judge rules on liberal so called journalist.

  • kane June 2, 2017, 11:11 am

    So Gibney’s ruling means that during an interview whenever a question is asked that might not be addressed to the satisfaction of the interviewer it is not incumbent that the question be asked a second time. Instead the interviewer can now totally alter on film key circumstances of the exchange without any legal consequences.

    • Z June 2, 2017, 2:41 pm

      That’s always been the case. The solution is to not give interviews.

  • Zupglick June 2, 2017, 10:46 am

    Hey! Judges are people too! And I still think Katie is an ugly, backstabbing, elitist B___H!

  • Dan Knowlton June 2, 2017, 10:40 am

    So, just for clarification…
    We can say “Gibney has………aw, shit……brains” and it is not wrong?
    We need to look into impeaching libtard judges or any other judge that does not rule only on the basis of existing law.

    • Z June 2, 2017, 2:44 pm

      The ruling was entirely based on the law. I would have enjoyed seeing Couric or the producer finically penalized but the omission of a response isn’t the same thing as a lie. Perhaps we need to “impeach” idiots who don’t educate themselves before posting to web forums.

      • DIYinSTL June 5, 2017, 11:03 am

        In this case, the ruling was NOT based on the law. Judge Gibney states “The editing simply dramatizes the sophistry of the VCDL members.” Sophistry is “A subtle, tricky, superficially plausible but generally fallacious method of reasoning.” Whereas the case was supposed to be about defamation, the Judge ruled against the plaintiffs because he thinks the political beliefs of the VCDL are based on fallacious reasoning. Certainly appealable.

  • Charles Kimberl June 2, 2017, 10:15 am

    I think America is about fed up with these self-serving left wing judges.

  • Jay June 2, 2017, 8:24 am

    Why is it so called Judges can’t keep personnel opinion out of rendering Judgments, which are suppose to be based on LAW? They can’t, it’s called money!

  • Dr Motown June 2, 2017, 8:21 am

    That’s why you DON’T give taped interviews to these folks! Make it a live debate that they can’t edit “for effect.” Or insist in the contract that you have to give approval to the final product. Then, you can sue them if they renege on a written pledge.

    • Jay June 2, 2017, 8:26 am

      Exactly, think ahead and CYA!!

    • Z June 2, 2017, 2:45 pm

      Spot on.

  • Wil Ferch June 2, 2017, 7:36 am

    There’s a problem even with this report……the text in this report says…” Judge Gibney acknowledged that the pause existed Wednesday, but said that it did rise to the level of defamation.”

    Ahhh…..maybe you meant to write that it did NOT rise to the level of defamation ?. This sentence error dramatically alters the meaning to the opposite intent.

    • S.H. Blannelberry June 2, 2017, 9:20 am

      Thx for catching that!

  • Franks62 June 2, 2017, 4:09 am

    Political stance influences judicial opinion! News at 11.

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