Katie Couric is finding out the hard way that although she may exercise her right to freedom of speech in the form of a documentary, other people also have the right to sue her for defamation for what she says in the doc.
Virginia Citizens Defense League is taking Couric and Under the Gun director Stephanie Soechtig to court and suing them for $12 million for what the VCDL says are misleading edits in the 2016 documentary. Epix and Atlas films are also named in the defamation suit, according to Deadline.
“Katie Couric has publicly admitted that the film, which was presented to VCDL as a ‘documentary,’ was misleading and misrepresented VCDL,” Phillip Van Cleave, president of the VCDL, told FOXNews.com. “However, Couric and the other filmmakers have refused to fix the film or to even stop promoting and distributing it. The only way to hold Couric accountable was to file a lawsuit.”
VCDL’s concern is over a scene in the film where Couric asks members of the organization, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” The documentary is edited to show over eight seconds of lag time between the answers given, making the gun advocates appear as if they don’t know how to answer her.
Here’s the scene in question.
Audio of the scene (which you can listen to here) proving the exchange was craftily edited surfaced back in May, and Couric posted a message on the Under the Gun website saying she wished she had been more vigilant when initially screening the film.
“When I screened an early version of the film with the director, Stephanie Soechtig, I questioned her and the editor about the pause and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she described it, dramatic effect,’ to give the audience a moment to consider the question,” Couric wrote. “When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response… VCDL members have a right for their answers to be shared and so we have posted a transcript of their responses here. I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously.”
What do you think? Is the VCDL right to sue Couric for defamation?
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