Couric hit with $12M lawsuit over anti-gun film
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Katie Couric has been hit with a $12 million defamation lawsuit for her role in an anti-gun documentary criticized for having misleading edits.

The Virginians Citizens Defense League is suing the famed broadcaster and her director, Stephanie Soechtig, for what they say were misleading edits made in interviews with members of the organization. They are seeking punitive and compensatory damages.

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The edits, which included a long pause to a question posed by Couric, portrayed the members as dumbfounded by Couric's gun control questions. 

Yet the pause didn’t exist. Soechtig later acknowledged the 9-second pause was added to let the viewer consider Couric’s question, and raw footage of the interviews secretly taped by one of the group’s members shows they answered her questions immediately.

“We were horrified to see how Couric and her team manipulated us and the video footage to make us look like fools who didn’t stand up for the Second Amendment,” said Mr. Philip Van Cleave, the group’s president.

“We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’s views just because you disagree with them.”

In its filing, the group alleges that the filmmakers "knowingly and maliciously manufactured the fictional exchange" by slicing in footage taken surreptitiously after telling the interviewees to remain silent for 10 seconds so that recording equipment could be calibrated. 

The suit also claims that the filmmakers manipulated the lighting to cast shadows on the group's members to make them "appear sinister and untrustworthy."

The clip in question shows 9 seconds of silence after Couric asks, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

Members either are portrayed looking into space or hanging their heads in shame.

But audio released to the Washington Free Beacon in May illustrates members immediately answering the question with no delay.

Soechtig told The Washington Post that the 9-second pause was added “so viewers could consider the question.”

Couric, a former "Today" co-host and "60 Minutes" correspondent, initially said she supported the film and was even "very proud" of it before expressing regrets after backlash in the media. 

“VCDL members have a right for their answers to be shared and so we have posted a transcript of their responses here. I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously,” she said in a statement in May.

Representatives for Couric said they have no comment on the lawsuit.