Sundance: Doc. draws pro-gun fire

 An acclaimed Sundance documentary has landed its celebrity maker, Katie Couric, into a $13 million lawsuit with a pro-gun group.

One of the most dramatic moments of Under the Gun, that premiered at Sundance in January showed members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League as gobstopped, (i.e. speechless) for nine seconds after Couric hits them with a pivotal question:“If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

Wow, that’s journalism.

Unfortunately, according to the pro-gun interviewees, Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb, IT NEVER HAPPENED.


They say they gave Couric an answer, but it was edited out of the footage to make them look stupid:

“The manipulated footage falsely informed viewers that the VCDL members had been stumped and had no basis for their position on background checks,” according to the complaint filed in Virginia federal court.

The VCDL asserts the film’s director Stephanie Soechtig had an “agenda” and manipulated the footage. What’s fascinating about the case is that the plaintiffs aren’t suing for misreporting what they said—but for falsely reporting what they didn’t say.

Couric, apparently, has thrown Soechtig under the bus (and made their lawyers tear their hair out).

“I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously,” Couric writes on the film’s website. “I hope we can continue to have an important conversation about reducing gun deaths in America, a goal I believe we can all agree on.”




Glen Warchol
Glen Warchol
The late, great Glen Warchol passed away in 2018. His last billet was on the editorial staff here at Salt Lake magazine but his storied career included stops at The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert News, The New Times and others. His stories haunt this website like ghosts in a machine and we're always happy to see them. RIP Papa Warchol.

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