By David Codrea
The Katie Couric ‘Under the Gun' editing scandal continues to grow with many twists & turns. This useful time line will help us all keep track as she tries to weasel out of this mess of lies. Please leave us tips with urls in the comments and we will update this page as the story grows.
“Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig (‘Fed Up’) examine why, despite the increase in deaths at the hands of guns and the outpouring of shock and outrage that comes with it, our nation has failed to respond with meaningful action.
What is keeping the two sides of this debate — those favoring stricter gun control laws and Second Amendment purists like the NRA — from finding common ground?”
It’s hard to find common ground when you’re being attacked by someone with an agenda who also happens to be demonstrably ignorant about her subject matter. In early February of 2016 AmmoLand News had already pointed out the erroneous assumptions and biases Editor Stephanie Soechtig was incorporating into what was obviously agenda-driven agitprop, beating the Variety piece by 10 days.
With this as backdrop, gun owners could have anticipated further problems would emerge, and knowing the film was the product of “progressive” anti-gunners, emerging ethical problems should not have been surprising. That those problems have not only surfaced but appear to be compounding, it might be helpful to have a timeline of sorts to track the twists and turns this ongoing and developing story continues to take. We’ll make an attempt at that here, noting this can be a collaborative effort, with reader comments to point out any gaps that need to be filled, and adding to the list as new information gets uncovered:
Katie Couric ‘Under the Gun' GunGate Time Line
May 15 2016:
- “Under the Gun” premieres on Epix (that’s a pretty ironic banner photo on the top of that page).
- John Lott tweets “I was interviewed for ~4hrs for her movie, but I bet she used just select few min.”
- Dana Loesch interviews Lott and it is revealed the entire interview was cut.
AmmoLand News breaks the story of the Virginia Citizens Defense League charging Couric with unethical journalism, including the live audio of the original interview.
Per VCDL President Philip Van Cleave:
Katie apparently wasn’t getting anything from either the group or me that she could use to further her pro-gun-control arguments. In fact my entire two-hour interview was left on the cutting room floor, but some of the group interview made it into the final film. However, one of the question/answer responses was altered – and therein lies the problem.
Watching the video, you hear Katie ask, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorist from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The camera then shows the group members TOTALLY SILENT FOR EIGHT SECONDS. The camera zooms in on one member, who looks down.
The clear implication is that none of the group had an answer for that question and was being evasive and avoiding eye contact.
- Video posted by The Washington Free Beacon backs up VCDL’s charge. That post also includes selected tweets from the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple (see his May 25 report here) passing along director Soechtig’s claim that she added the pause for viewers to “have a moment to consider the important question,” and a statement by Couric that “I support Stephanie's statement and am very proud of the film.”
- The New York Post and The National Review call on Yahoo to fire Couric.
- Couric issues a statement on the film’s website admitting the pause was misleading, admitting responsibility for failure to “raise my initial concerns more vigorously,” and expressing her “regret.”
- The Washington Examiner characterizes that as “Couric backtracks, throws director under bus.” Callum Borchers of The Washington Post calls the pause “Couric's deceptive edit…”
- Yahoo News posts a Fortune column: “Here’s Why Katie Couric’s Eight Second Editing Mistake Is Such a Big Deal.”
AmmoLand News break news again. Reports on how, per Editor Stephanie Soechtig's interview with TheLipTV, she claims actions that violated federal gun law by having a producer who is a Colorado resident buy guns via private sales in Arizona.
That article highlighted the portion of the video where the admission was made, and then notes “The video has been removed from YouTube because Couric and TheLipTV do not want you to see them admit to a crime.” In the video Stephanie Soechtig claims they sent a producer out and he was from Colorado. He went to Arizona, and he was able to buy a (1) Bushmaster and then (3) three other pistols without a background check in a matter of four hours.
- The National Shooting Sports Foundation issues a statement that “The NSSF calls upon the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to open a criminal investigation into this important matter.”
- The Washington Free Beacon reports “an ATF spokesperson said the bureau was aware of the incident but had not decided whether to investigate it.”
- NRA calls on members to “Spread the Word: Fire Katie Couric.”
- Page Six reports “Yahoo caught off guard by Katie Couric documentary scandal.”
- The Federalist reports “Katie Couric’s Producer Confirms Her Team Skirted Federal Gun Laws.” It then goes on to note Soechtig changing her story.
- Stephanie Soechtig post different version of illegal gun buying events to FB. Claims “the (1) handgun ( now only 1 hand gun) was purchased by an Arizona resident”.and (1) Smith and Wesson M&P 15 ( no longer a Bushmaster) and that “These guns were then turned over to law enforcement and destroyed. They never left the state of Arizona.”
- AmmoLand News receives a copyright takedown notice from YouTube demanded by Lip Services LLC to remove their clip of the incriminating video. That’s pretty rich in light of TheLipTV’s promotional boast about championing “uncensored conversation.”
- MSNBC’s “The Morning Joe” rips Couric’s piece as ‘a complete hit job.”
- Alan Korwin asks “Were Katie Couric’s Shady Guns Actually Destroyed By Police?”
- Yahoo may be having second thoughts about Katie Couric after #GunGate – “this story is apparently far from over at Yahoo News, where the NY Post reports that the management was caught off guard by the backlash against Couric and is fretting over what their next move should be.”
- The Second Amendment Foundation Calls For DOJ Probe Of Illegal Gun Buying By Katie Couric’s ‘Under The Gun’
- “Couric said the documentary will not be re-done to fix the edit,” The Wrap reports. “I think we have to focus on the big issue of gun violence.” Yeah, just ignore the ethical disconnects and stick with the agenda and the talking points.
- AmmoLand news file a challenge to the Lip Service LLC Take Down Notice on the grounds of Fair Use asking for YouTube to republish the Video.
- Katie Couric Now Accused Of Deceptive Editing For 2014's ‘Fed Up'
- In a tangentially-related story, The Washington Free Beacon reports “The Weinstein Company, which owns the distribution rights for 2014’s Fed Up, requested that two interviews at the center of accusations that the Katie Couric-produced and narrated documentary also used deceptive editing be removed from YouTube.”
Harvey Weinstein threatened in 2014 to make NRA “wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them” by making an anti-gun movie with Meryl Streep that still hasn’t seen any reported progress toward production two-and-a-half years later. He also broke his pledge to tone down on movie violence, so his financial juggernaut of a company putting the screws to an independent reporting outlet to suppress the truth about their Couric production is consistent with what one would expect.
- Yahoo News Stands by Katie Couric Despite Deceptive Editing “Yahoo News will continue to employ Katie Couric as its global anchor despite evidence that documentaries she executive produced and narrated were deceptively edited.”
Did we miss any important developments? Feel free to let us know in comments, and feel free to add updates that will be published after this column is posted.
Also see: Katie Couric reporting by AmmoLand News.
David Codrea in his natural habitat.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.