Yesterday, Pavlich wrote about Katie Couric being busted for deceptively editing her group interview with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Couric has a new anti-gun documentary, Under the Gun, and it seems the folks behind this piece of propaganda were doing everything they can to make pro-gun activists look like idiots. In the clip, Couric asking “if there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons, or terrorists, from walking into a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The feature shows seconds of silence as to insinuate that Couric has stumped them. It’s pure unadulterated crap, as Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon pointed out with the unexpurgated audio clip that took place.
Yet, have no fear, folks. The makers of this documentary didn’t mean to make them look like thoughtless troglodytes. In fact, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple noted that the statement that sought to clarify the editing seemed to a) admit to it as such and b) was probably one of the most pathetic excuses ever to give for engaging in such behavior. This is how director Stephanie Soechtig explained the omission of the VCDL audio [emphasis mine]:
“There are a wide range of views expressed in the film. My intention was to provide a pause 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.”
Wemple was not impressed, especially how Couric reacted to the controversy [bold text highlights Couric’s statement]:
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. To compound matters, here’s the accompanying statement from Couric:
“I support Stephanie’s statement and am very proud of the film.”
That, from the Katie Couric of Yahoo News, of “CBS Evening News,” of “60 Minutes,” of the “Today” show and so on.
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.
Oh yes, all of this definitely needs to happen. Moreover, these dirty tricks anti-gunners deploy because the facts, laws, and public are not on their side only further discredit their grossly unconstitutional crusade to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
For starters, the question itself is ridiculous since it’s predicated on the idea that background checks actually stop felons and terrorists from obtaining firearms—they don’t. Second, the film's trailer seems to be heavily centered on the outrageous debate of stripping Americans’ civil rights based on mere suspicion. It begins with the documentarians asking NRA members that people on the terror watch list can’t board an airplane, but can buy a gun. Yes, sounds bad—but the real question is how does one actually get on the list? Moreover, how do you find out you’re on the list? And if you’ve discovered you’re on the list, what’s the process of getting oneself removed from it since you’re not a terrorist? The answer: we don’t know. There’s no due process, which is why the American Civil Liberties Union has rightly slammed and filed a lawsuit over these government watch lists. The fact that anti-gun liberals want to codify a mechanism that strips one's rights away without due process is a disgrace.
I’m not alone on this one. Even the pro-gun control Los Angeles Times editorial board said that Americans on the terror watch list should be allowed to buy guns. Also, there’s no reason to panic. Yes, there are about 1.1 million people on the lists, but the vast majority on the list aren’t even American citizens, so they can’t buy guns here legally. By all estimates, there are less than 10,000 Americans on these lists. Oh, and it’s been riddled with inaccuracies and embarrassments. A simple Google search will bring you stories about children being flagged as no fly. An 18-month-old baby was removed from a Jet Blue flight in 2012, with numerous others under the age of 10 being cited for being part of the dark world of terrorism. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was on a no-fly list, and The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes was on the list for merely flying to Turkey—that’s his guess.
This terror watch list talking point is another way for liberals to try an expand background checks, though they’re trying to do so by integrating possibly unconstitutional, and widely inaccurate, government no-fly lists into the National Instant Background Check System that will lead to innocent Americans losing their Second Amendment rights. The fact that liberals are even entertaining incorporating these lists into NICS, which are not transparent and lack due process, is horrifying—and is nothing more than cheap political theater. Couric’s documentary is exactly that—a grotesque manifestation if liberal smugness towards gun owners and the Second Amendment.
A moment of silence for viewers to reflect on the question—what balderdash.
UPDATE: For your enjoyment...