A district judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against Katie Couric over what the Yahoo News anchor herself described as “misleading” edits in her 2016 gun control documentary, Under the Gun.
The $12 million defamation suit was filed the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) in September 2016, as they claimed that responses from their members were edited in a way that made them appear stumped by Couric’s questions on gun laws and regulations. The suit was dismissed by District Judge John Gibney Jr. Wednesday.
On May 25, 2016, Breibart News reported that Couric was busted for manipulating the responses of pro-gun advocates in Under the Gun through selective editing. Footage from the documentary appears to show an eight-second pause between the time Couric asked a question concerning gun control and the time in which VCDL members answered:
But the Washington Free Beacon obtained the actual audio of the VCDL members interacting with Couric, and that audio makes clear they responded to Couric’s question immediately. The pause had apparently been inserted to make it appear as if the pro-gun advocates featured in the film were stumped by Couric’s question.
Couric released an statement of apology in light of the compelling evidence that a pause had been inserted between her question and the VCDL members’ responses. She wrote:
As executive producer of Under the Gun, a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless.
She went on to admit that the eight-second pause was a “misleading” edit that “[did] not accurately represent” the response of VCDL members.
Despite Couric’s admission, Judge Gibney dismissed the defamation suit against her last week. He ruled that the depiction of VCDL members did not meet the threshold of making them appear “unfit as a gun rights advocacy organization.”
On June 6, the VCDL announced that it would appeal Gibney’s decision. VCDL president Philip Van Cleave posted a statement to Facebook:
The VCDL Board of Directors, after careful consideration, has decided that the recent ruling dismissing the VCDL case against Katie Couric, et al, CANNOT STAND! The lawsuit has far reaching implications for all Americans. If the media can be allowed to change a person’s words to suit the media’s own needs or beliefs, then a grievous blow will have been struck against the very core of the freedom that the United States stands for!
NO! We are going to fight this because too much is at stake.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.