On Sunday, CNN’s Reliable Sources tore into Katie Couric’s anti-gun feature, Under The Gun, which was exposed for selectively editing an interview with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Couric asked a question about background checks, which VCDL members immediately answered, but the film crew decided to leave that on the cutting room floor, instead showing eight seconds of silence that made gun owners look like idiots. Director Stephanie Soechtig said the pause was added for people to ponder the question. The Huffington Post and National Public Radio criticized the decisions, with NPR saying that this “manipulation” would never meet their standards for interviewing.
Stelter said Soechtig’s reason for the pause was “BS,” before bringing in Liz Harrington of The Washington Free Beacon, the news organization that first broke the story about the edits, on the show to discuss the controversy.
Harrington added that it’s misleading and that documentaries should be focused on the facts. Stelter then asked David Zurawik, a media critic with The Baltimore Sun, if these edits could be defended in any way, shape, or form. Zurawik then went on the warpath:
“Absolutely not, Brian—if I vented the contempt I have for that kind of dishonesty in the documentary format, I think I’d drop over right now from a stroke. It’s outrageous in that—what you called a BS explanation—absolutely. That was so bad, I couldn’t believe it. We wanted to listen to her [Couric], to pause to think about it, please. And the lie upon lie! Dishonest documentary makers are one of the lowest forms of life in media. No defense.”
Ouch. But Soechtig is not backing down. Besides seemingly admitting to breaking federal gun laws while making this feature, she remains unapologetic over the decision to selectively edit her feature. The National Shooting Sports Foundation found this admission troubling and urged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to investigate the matter.
It seems Couric and company have no friends save for the anti-gun crowd.