Friday, May 27, 2016

"Dear Yahoo, Fire Katie Couric"

Katie Couric has lost her credibility. Any news organization that continues to employ her loses its credibility as well, according to David Franch at the National Review.

Couric served as executive producer and narrator of a documentary called “Under the Gun,” a film written, produced and directed by an anti-gun activist named Stephanie Soechtig. At one point, Couric asks a collection of Virginia gun owners, members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

Katie Couric
This simple question seems to shock the gun owners into silence. They seem to have no answer.

Well, writes Franch. it turns out that Couric and Soechtig got “creative.” The VCDL was wisely recording Couric’s interview and released its own tape.

And rather than greeting Couric’s question as some sort of mic-dropping moment, the gun-rights activists had multiple responses.

One man argues that men and women who’ve served time and paid their debt to society shouldn’t lose their Second Amendment rights. Another argues that laws on the books clearly prohibit gun possession by certain classes of people. Say what you want about their answers, but they were answers.

At this point, a responsible documentarian either immediately apologizes, promises to investigate exactly how the deception occurred and pledges to re-edit the film — or they contest the VCDL’s evidence. Instead, Soechtig issued this statement:
“There are a wide range of views expressed in the film. My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple’s response was exactly right, saying that he’s “scarcely seen a thinner, more weaselly excuse.” But, as he notes, it’s not just an excuse, it reads as an admission. She’s not contesting the VCDL’s claims.

This is exactly the point where a former network anchor — a person who still enjoys respect in the news business — should step in and impose adult supervision. But in her own comment on the controversy, Couric not only said that she was “proud of the film,” she also supported Soechtig’s statement.

Dear Yahoo, let me put this in plain English for you. Your premier news personality is “proud” of lying. She “supports” a statement that purports to justify those lies as a form of creative “pause.” This would be a firing offense at any decent opinion journal, much less an organization that purports to objectively report the news, according to French.

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