Couric sued for defamation over anti-gun documentary
Second Amendment rights advocacy organization 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. The film portrays a fictional exchange in which members of the VCDL appear silent, stumped, and avoiding eye contact for nearly nine seconds after Katie Couric asks a question about background checks. An unedited audio recording of the interview reveals that—contrary to the portrayal in the film—the VCDL members had immediately begun responding to Couric’s question.
The suit seeks $12 million in punitive damages.
The VCDL had its own cameras rolling during the interviews, and that footage clearly shows VCDL members didn't skip a beat when it came time to respond to Couric's questions.
Whether a court will actually find selective editing -- a staple of "gotcha" journalism for deacdes -- is defamatory is an open question (though should the court say it is, then expect the press to howl in anger).
But we are reminded to do as the VCDL did in this matter: when heading into an interview with a reporter you know has a agenda, bring your own recording devices.