By Matthew Balan ~
Bob Owens of BearingArms.com revealed in a Tuesday item that “the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), along with two of its members, today filed a $12 million defamation lawsuit against Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films, and Studio 3 Partners LLC d/b/a Epix for false and defamatory footage featured in the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun.” Couric and her collaborators came under fire when the documentary released, after many pointed out that they deceptively edited footage of gun rights supporters appearing to be stumped by a question asked by Couric, (pictured)
Owens included excerpts from an announcement about the litigation, which disclosed that “in the filing, the VCDL, Daniel L. Hawes, Esq., and Patricia Webb allege that the filmmakers knowingly and maliciously manufactured the fictional exchange by splicing in footage that the filmmakers took surreptitiously after telling the interviewees to be silent for ten seconds so that recording equipment could be calibrated.” The document also disclosed that “the lawsuit, filed in federal court (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia– Richmond Division), seeks $12 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages. ”
Back in May 2016, Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski [a MRC alumnus] offered the “raw audio of the exchange [that] showed that gun rights activists immediately offered answers to Couric’s questions.” On Tuesday, Gutowski reported on the new lawsuit and included a quote from VCDL President Philip Van Cleave: “We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’s views just because you disagree with them.”
Van Cleave also stated that “he was upset that the gun documentary was still available with the misleading edit included. ‘Katie Couric has publicly admitted that Under the Gun was misleading and misrepresented VCDL, but has done nothing to fix it or stop promoting and distributing it,’ Van Cleave said.”
The MRC’s Geoffrey Dickens detailed Couric’s long record of gun control advocacy in a May 2016 item for NewsBusters. During a 1998 interview with Charlton Heston, the journalist pushed for “greater restrictions” on firearms. She pointed out to House Speaker Paul Ryan that President Obama cried as he issued new gun control by executive order in January 2016 and wondered, “But constitutional issues aside, Mr. Speaker, do you still believe closing the gun show loophole is reasonable?”
Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007, and he contributes posts at the NewsBusters site.