Katie Couric Decries Fake News, Still Faces $12 Million Defamation Lawsuit

Neither Couric nor the New York Daily News acknowledge Couric's own transgressions in interview

Katie Couric

Katie Couric / Getty Images

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Katie Couric, who still faces a $12 million defamation lawsuit stemming from a deceptive edit in a film she produced, decried the effect of fake news on America during an interview on Thursday.

Couric told the New York Daily News she believes fake news is "tearing [America] apart at the seams" while discussing her latest effort cohosting a music and politics event in New York City. "I remember I got sent a lot of stories from friends who were quite educated and were like, ‘Did you see this?'" Couric said. "And I would say, ‘Come on, you're kidding, right? This is BS.'"

She did not mention the controversy surrounding a deceptive edit included in her 2016 film Under the Gun. During one scene in the movie Couric is shown asking a group of gun rights activists from the Virginia Citizens Defense League a question about background checks. The group is then shown sitting in silence for nine seconds with nobody offering a response to the question.

However, raw audio of the interview obtained by the Washington Free Beacon last May shows several of the gun rights activists immediately responded to Couric's question and the silence did not exist. The filmmakers later admitted the answers had been cut from the film and the silence had been added in editing. The Free Beacon later reported that Couric's previous film Fed Up also faced allegations of deceptive editing.

Couric and Under the Gun director Stephanie Soechtig have since apologized if anyone felt the deceptive edit in the film made them look bad, but they have not altered the movie to remove the edit.

Couric has also avoided speaking about the deceptive edit in public even in situations where it may be relevant. In fact, in the Daily News interview, Couric recycled an anecdote she used late last month while hosting an Aspen Ideas panel on why people have lost trust in the media. In the anecdote, Couric says a friend had remarked to her that people don't want "just the facts" anymore and are now "looking for affirmation and not information" from their news.

A number of Couric's media colleagues have avoided bringing up her transgression when discussing fake news or the lack of media trust with her. The Daily News did not question Couric on her deceptive edit nor did it mention it at all in their piece. Similarly, editors from CNBC, USA Today, Time, the Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal were all silent during their panel with Couric last month.

The $12 million defamation lawsuit filed against Couric faced a setback early last month when a district court judge dismissed the case. The Virginia Citizens Defense League announced shortly after the ruling that they would appeal the decision. As of press time, the group told the Free Beacon the appeal is still in the works.

Stephen Gutowski   Email Stephen | Full Bio | RSS
Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is Gutowski@FreeBeacon.com. His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.

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