Dr. David Allison Comments on Deceptive Editing by Katie Couric

• June 9, 2016 10:01 am


David Allison, the director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and associate dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, called out Katie Couric for deceptively editing an interview he had done with Couric for her 2014 documentary on obesity, Fed Up.

Dr. Allison first spoke out about the editing to the Washington Free Beacon.

This comes soon after the Free Beacon broke the story that Couric had deceptively edited her recent documentary, Under the Gun.

"So this 2014 documentary that Katie Couric was behind called "Fed Up," apparently it focused on obesity and the food industry and you sat down," Fox News' Steve Doocy said. "They asked you to be interviewed for it. Why were they interested in your point of view?"

"They had reached out to me before as they were planning the movie and indicated to me that they were particularly interested in having a diversity of viewpoints, that they heard that I had some views and some evidence that was not the same as some of the other people they had interviewed, and that they felt that some of the other people they had interviewed were pushing very hard on a particular point of view," Allison said. "Maybe stretching beyond the evidence and they wanted me to come in and talk about and give my point of view around the issues of the scientific evidence."

After Doocy played the clip that made it into Fed Up where Allison pauses and says he needs to get his thoughts together, Allison explained what had happened prior to the interview and what he was thinking at the time.

"Was she just out to make you look like an idiot?" Doocy asked.

"Well, what her motivations were, you can speculate as well as I. My best recollection is it was about a 90-minute interview. I wasn't as clever as the people in the other movie to have actually taped it myself," Allison said. "At the beginning of the interview, Ms. Couric made it clear to me, as is very common practice, the standard in taped interviews, if at any point something didn't come out quite right, I needed to go back over something to make it clear, stumble on my words, just go back and we'll redo that and that's fine, just let us know and so that's what I was doing."

"She had also made clear to me that I should try to speak in terms that people who are not trained scientists would understand and so when I got to that moment and she was interrupting me and asking me to convey the scientific evidence and what that would be, I wanted to carefully choose my words to be able to convey what a randomized control trial was and why it was valued and I waited," Allison said. "I gave a very clear answer after that pause and she denied the American public the opportunity to really hear the evidence and the ideas and showed only the pause."

Published under: Obesity