Katie Couric Sued Over ‘Biased’ Gun Doc Edits

           RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – A pro-gun group sued Katie Couric for $12 million for allegedly manipulating interview footage with the group’s members answering her questions in a documentary advocating gun control.
     The documentary, “Under the Gun,” debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January. It was produced by Couric and directed by defendant Stephanie Soechtig.
     In a complaint filed in the federal court in Richmond, Va., the gun-rights group, Virginia Citizens Defense League says the filmmakers dramatically altered footage of Couric’s interview with its members, “purporting to show [them] … stumped and avoiding eye contact for nearly nine seconds after Couric asked, ‘if there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?'”
     However, a separate recording of the interview, made by the group, shows that Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb, responded without hesitation to Couric’s question.
     As recounted in the Sept. 13 complaint, “After nearly nine seconds of silent footage — instead of the responses that the VCDL members had actually provided — the Defendants inserted footage of someone closing the cylinder of a fully-loaded revolver, driving home the point that the exchange was over. The manipulated footage falsely informed viewers that the VCDL members had been stumped and had no basis for their position on background checks.”
     The plaintiffs continue: “The exchange portrayed in the film is a work of fiction.”
     “Unedited audio recording of the exchange reveals that, in reality, Couric had expressly acknowledged that the VCDL members had an answer, and the VCDL members had not been stumped but had immediately begun explaining the bases for their position on background checks,” the complaint says.
     League President Philip Van Cleave told Courthouse News, “The only way to hold Katie Couric and the others responsible for knowingly making, selling, promoting, and distributing a film that falsely represents VCDL and some of its members, was to sue them. All Americans should be concerned by such a purposeful misrepresentation, as such tactics can be used by the media to push any kind of agenda forward.”
     The group is seeking $12 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages for each plaintiff to the defamation suit.
     Thomas Clare of Alexandria, VA-based Clare Locke, represents them, and did not return Courthouse News’ call for comment.
     Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for director Stephanie Soechtig, told Courthouse News, “It’s ironic that people who so passionately defend the Second Amendment want to trample the rights guaranteed to a filmmaker under the First. Stephanie stands by UNDER THE GUN, and will not stop her work on behalf of victims of gun violence.”
     Michele Hinchey, defendant Epix’s Director of Corporate Communications, told Courthouse News in an email, “The claims against EPIX in this lawsuit are completely without merit. ‘Under the Gun’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it received critical acclaim. EPIX saw the Sundance screening and acquired the documentary at that time. The network had no role in its creation or production and should therefore not be a party to this lawsuit.”

%d bloggers like this: