Earlier today I posted on how Katie Couric tucked her head up inside her telegenic colon and deceptively edited an interview with a panel of gun owners in order to make them look stupid.
In the documentary, ominously titled “Under the Gun”. This is what happened
There is one poignant scene in which a group of gun owners, in the person of members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, are asked “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” (according to the Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski, this happens at 21:48 into the film)
The panel is left stunned into silence. Presumably because only Katie Couric, she of the telegenic colon, had the intelligence to think through the repercussions of such an act.
Unfortunately for Couric, and fortunately for the gun owners, Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, the group providing members to the pane discussion, made a tape of the discussion. The tape shows that the members responded immediately to the question.
Van Cleave complained. A producer, Kristin Lazure of Atlas Films (@KMLAZURE) gave this response. The tl;dr version is FOAD.
“I’m truly sorry to hear you were disappointed with the final product. We knew when we set out to make a film on such a divisive issue that we weren’t going to make everybody happy. However, we have heard from many gun owners following our screenings and the television premiere who felt we gave the issue a balanced look and reflected their views accurately.”
Then the main producer, Couric’s buddy Stephanie Soechtig also chimed in with FOAD:
“There are a wide range of views expressed in the film. My intention was to provide a pause (my emphasis added) for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”
Right. Because nothing gives an audience time for reflection like looking at people who seem to have been embarrassed into silence.
Then perky Katie chimed in
“I support Stephanie’s statement and am very proud of the film.”
The incident came to the attention of Erik Wemple who is the media critic for the Washington Post.
Here the Erik Wemple Blog stroke our gray beard and reflect: In the years we’ve covered and watched media organizations, we’ve scarcely seen a thinner, more weaselly excuse than the one in the block above. For starters, it appears to count as an admission that this segment of the documentary was edited. The artistic “pause” provides the viewer not a “moment to consider this important question”; it provides viewers a moment to lower their estimation of gun owners. That’s it. As far as the rest of the statement, adults in 2016 may no longer write the phrase “apologize if anyone felt that way” and preserve their standing as professionals…
Many of those who sampled the discrepancy between the video and the audiotape were already enraged by the depiction of these gun owners. The statements from Soechtig and Couric will surely intensify the backlash, as well they should. An apology, retraction, re-editing, whatever it is that filmmakers do to make amends — all of it needs to happen here.
Nothing is going to happen here in regards to editing the documentary, etc. But something very important has happened. For the first time the media has been caught red-handed in framing a Second Amendment story in a patently dishonest way AND the a major player in the traditional media, itself, is calling foul.