Film producer Katie Couric and her director Stephanie Soechtig are being sued for $12 million after deceptively editing their anti-gun documentary Under the Gun. The documentary made a gun rights group in Virginia look like they couldn’t answer a simple question.
In the film, Couric asked members of Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL): “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” Members responded almost immediately to Couric’s question, but the scene was edited so that the members appeared struck silent for about 9 seconds.
In May, Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon released audio from Couric’s interview with gun-rights group which blatantly shows the deceptive editing.
Watch the original scene:
The audio paints a far different picture than the deceptive editing of Couric’s film above.
One member of the group immediately responded: “So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, ‘No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.’ Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, ‘That’s a bad guy,’ then you can’t punish him.”
The Washington Examiner reports:
Now VCDL is suing Couric and Soechtig for “false and defamatory footage,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the gun-rights website Bearing Arms. VCDL alleges in the lawsuit that Couric and Soechtig “manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: They wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing universal background checks by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.”
In addition to deceptively editing, VCDL alleges that filmmakers used lighting trickery to make them appear sinister, as shown above.
According to the case, VCDL seeks not less than $12 million in compensatory damages, $350,000 each in punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs, and an injunction against “disseminating, distributing, or publishing” any version of the film.
You can read the full defamation case against Couric’s documentary here.
Tell Hypeline what you think — What’s your reaction to the deceptive editing? Leave a comment below.
(H/T: Bearing Arms)