Gun advocates in Virginia are holding up Katie Couric in a $12 million lawsuit for allegedly making them look stupid and sinister in her documentary "Under the Gun."
The complaint filed Sept. 13 bythe Virginia Citizens Defense League accuses Couric and the film’s director Stephanie Soechtig for false and defamatory footage.
The plaintiffs allege that 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.”
The group says that they have unedited audio recording of the interview proving that the VCDL members had “immediately begun responding to Couric’s question” in a detailed six minute response.
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They accuse Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix for “knowingly and maliciously manufactured the fictional exchange by splicing in footage” that were “taken surreptitiously after telling the interviewees to be silent for ten seconds so that recording equipment could be calibrated” the lawsuit states.
They also allege that the filmmakers manipulated the lighting to make them look sinister.
“We were horrified to see how Couric and her team manipulated us and thevideo footage to make us look like fools who didn’t stand up for the Second Amendment,” saidMr. Philip Van Cleave, president of the VCDL. “We want to set the record straight and holdthem accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’sviews just because you disagree with them,” quoted the pro-Second Amendment blog Bearing Arms.
Couric had responded to the VCDL’s initial protest, saying that she was “proud” of the product, but was subsequently more apologetic, reported The Washington Post.
“I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League,” Couric stated. “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. 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 and Bearing Arms also allege that Couric, Soechtig and the film’s producers committed felonies by illegally purchasing guns from a private seller in Arizona, in order to prove the ease of doing so.
The lawsuit seeks $12 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages per plaintiff.