YouTube Reinstates Free Beacon Couric Videos

Weinstein Company attempt to remove interviews at center of deceptive editing accusations fails


YouTube has reinstated a pair of video clips at the center of a Washington Free Beacon story on accusations of deceptive editing in a Katie Couric documentary.

The move by YouTube comes after the Free Beacon published accusations that 2009's Fed Up, narrated and produced by Couric, used misleading editing techniques to embarrass interviewees featured in the film. Hours after the piece was published the film's distributor, The Weinstein Company, manually filed a takedown request with the video site. The Free Beacon immediately filed a counter-notification with YouTube asking that the videos be reinstated on fair use grounds.

After a lengthy review YouTube restored the videos to their platform.

While YouTube reviewed the claims, the Free Beacon uploaded the two interview excerpts to Vimeo and reinserted them into the original story. However, The Weinstein Company also filed takedown requests on both Vimeo videos, which the Free Beacon is currently disputing, on June 10. The story was absent of the videos at the center of the controversy for nearly three weeks due to The Weinstein Company's actions.

The two videos feature interviews from Fed Up that filmmakers are accused of deceptively editing. One features Dr. David Allison stumbling over an answer and requesting a pause to collect his thoughts, the video then cuts to another interviewee and Dr. Allison is never shown answering the original question. Dr. Allison contends that he did answer the question and that he was told by Couric he could pause or rework answers if he felt he needed to.

"What she did to me is antithetical to not only just human decency and civility but it is antithetical to the spirit of science and democratic dialogue," Dr. Allison said of his portrayal in the documentary.

The second video features an interview with Lisa Gable, a former Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation spokesperson. Industry sources told the Free Beacon that interview included an audio clip that was edited into a moment it did not occur in order to make Gable look bad. "That response from the producer didn’t actually follow that particular exchange and was edited to make it look like that was how their conversation actually went," one source said.

The Weinstein Company has not responded to request for comment about why it issued takedown requests of the videos.