Virginia Citizens Defense League et al.
Katie Couric et al.
On September 13, 2016, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (“VCDL”) and two of its members filed a defamation lawsuit against Katie Couric and other makers of the anti-gun advocacy film Under the Gun. Filed in the Richmond Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the lawsuit seeks $12 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages. The film contains false footage purporting to show members of the VCDL sitting silently and avoiding eye contact for approximately nine seconds after a question about background checks. An unedited audio recording of the exchange reveals that, in reality, the interviewees had immediately begun answering Couric’s question and had explained the bases for their opposition to background checks for nearly six minutes. To manufacture the false and defamatory exchange, the filmmakers deleted all of the VCDL’s responses and spliced in silent footage from another part of the interview to make it appear as though the VCDL members had been stumped and have no basis for their position on background checks.
COMPARE THE MANIPULATED FOOTAGE IN “UNDER THE GUN” TO THE UNEDITED AUDIO RECORDING:
See What Journalists Are Saying About “Under The Gun”
- Audiotape: Katie Couric documentary falsely depicts gun supporters as “idiots”, Washington Post (May 25, 2016)
- Manipulative Editing Reflects Poorly On Katie Couric, Gun Documentary, NPR (May 26, 2016)
- Here’s a Pro Tip For Katie Couric Before She Does Another Documentary: Don’t delete arguments you solicit, The Huffington Post (May 26, 2016)
- Audio shows Katie Couric documentary deceptively edited interview with pro-gun activists, Fox News (May 26, 2016)
- Katie Couric Admits That The Film Was “Misleading” (May 30, 2016)
- Katie Couric feels the pressure, apologizes for bogus gun-documentary edit, Washington Post (May 31, 2016)
- Virginia Citizens Defense League fires back after Katie Couric’s apology, WTVR (May 31, 2016)
- Katie Couric’s Guns Doc Vanishes After She Apologizes for ‘Misleading’ Editing, Fortune (May 31, 2016)
- Gun-documentary director shows no remorse for deceptive, demeaning edit, Washington Post (June 2, 2016)
- Director of Katie Couric Documentaries “Fed Up” and “Under the Gun” Calls Out NRA, Says She “Did Nothing Wrong,” IndieWire (June 13, 2016)
- Gun rights advocates file defamation suit against Katie Couric, ‘Under the Gun’ documentary makers, Washington Post (September 13, 2016)
- Gun rights group suing Katie Couric, others involved with ‘Under the Gun’ documentary, CNN Money (September 13, 2016)