Yahoo News Stands by Katie Couric Despite Deceptive Editing

Couric remains employed at the online news operation

Katie Couric
Katie Couric / AP
June 10, 2016

Yahoo News will continue to employ Katie Couric as its global anchor despite evidence that documentaries she executive produced and narrated were deceptively edited.

"Yahoo was not involved in the creation and production of the independent documentaries, Under the Gun and Fed Up," a Yahoo spokesperson who did not want to be identified told the Washington Free Beacon. "We're confident in the work of the Yahoo News team, which adheres to the highest standards of journalism."

When asked if that meant Couric was still with the company the spokesperson said "yes, I can confirm Katie Couric is still with Yahoo News."

The statement comes as Couric faces scrutiny over edits made in the two documentaries she was involved with since joining Yahoo News in 2013 for a reported $10 million a year.

In the 2016 documentary Under the Gun, Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig edited out gun rights activists’ answers to a question about background checks, replacing them with several seconds of silence. A number of commentators called on Yahoo News to fire Couric after a Free Beacon report produced raw audio of the interview.

The Free Beacon broke news of further accusations of deceptive editing in the 2014 documentary film Fed Up, which was also executive produced by Couric and directed by Soechtig.

Dr. David Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, said his portrayal in that film was "antithetical to the spirit of science and democratic dialogue." Industry sources told the Free Beacon that the documentary inserted audio at a moment it did not occur during a separate interview with Lisa Gable, a spokesperson for the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.

The Weinstein Company, which distributes Fed Up, manually requested the removal of YouTube videos from Fed Up at the center of the Free Beacon report hours after publication.

Soechtig, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the Free Beacon, did not dispute accusations of deceptive editing but did stand by the film in a statement to Variety.

"‘Fed Up,’ which premiered at Sundance two and a half years ago, has had a profound impact on how Americans eat," Soechtig said. "I have received countless testimonials from people whose lives, bodies and health have been transformed because of ‘Fed Up.’ Recently the FDA announced it would start labeling added sugar on nutrition labels—a solution specifically highlighted in this film."

"I am hopeful that any additional conversation around a problem that is crippling millions of Americans can only lead to positive change and that people will see this for what it is—special interest groups and their allies are worried about the substantive conversations these films have inspired about the issues. I stand behind ‘Under the Gun,’ and ‘Fed Up’ and all the decisions I made as the director."

A spokesperson for Couric did not issue a statement to Variety but directed the publication to Soechtig's statement.

Published under: Guns , Media