Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL members

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Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL members

Postby D-FIN » Mon 23 May 2016 1:45 pm

Posting this from another forum: http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/sec ... mbers.html


I just got this email from the VCDL re a new anti gun hit piece. The latest in driveby's
__________________________________________________ ___

“Creative” editing by Katie Couric, who must have graduated from the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism, has intentionally and significantly changed the response of VCDL members in a new video called “Under the Gun” - and I have PROOF.


VCDL APPROACHED TO BE PART OF A “DOCUMENTARY”

I received an email in March of 2015 from Kristin Lazure, a producer for Atlas Films, asking if VCDL would be part of "a documentary about the gun violence prevention movement in America.”

In the email, Kristin said, "Some of the storylines we're exploring include the legislative process on the federal and state level, how the Second Amendment has been interpreted in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller ruling, and what impact mass shootings like Aurora and Sandy Hook have on gun reform legislation.” She continued, "In order to fully understand the complexities of this hot button topic and speak to an audience with varied viewpoints, Ms. Couric is very eager to include all perspectives in this discussion."

As is VCDL’s general policy with the media, we do our best to accommodate their requests, as it gives us a chance to get our message out to the public. It is a policy that has worked well for as long as VCDL has been around, with the exception of four times, and this was to be one of those exceptions.

Katie’s team was set up to film in Washington, DC, and Kristin wanted to know if I could come there for the interview. I said that I would not come to DC, so they rented a conference room in a hotel in Northern Virginia and brought down their crew for what ended up being a two hour interview with Katie on April 13, 2015. (The audio of the raw interview is below).

Later, Dennis O’Connor and I took Katie and her crew to Blue Ridge Arsenal to film Katie learning how to shoot on May 11, 2015. While there, she also interviewed Dennis.


GROUP INTERVIEW

Later, Kristin contacted me about arranging an interview of a group of VCDL members.

The group interview was held in the room where VCDL meetings are held and ended just as VCDL members were coming in for the regularly scheduled Annandale membership meeting on June 18, 2015.

Participating in the group session were Ed Levine, Patricia Webb, Terrell Prude’, Dan Hawes, Leonard Harris, John Wilburn, Rubiner Toor, Barak Ulrich James, and Judy Rudek.


THE “DOCUMENTARY” TURNS OUT TO BE AN “INFOMERCIAL” FOR GUN CONTROL

While the movie claims to be a documentary, it's clear after watching it that it was never intended to be a balanced presentation of the issues.

People from other gun groups were also interviewed, but in the end the video dedicated a mere fifteen minutes or so to the pro-self-defense side (of which VCDL had only about four minutes), while giving an hour and a half to the antis.


CREATIVE EDITING BY KATIE COURIC CHANGES THE VCDL GROUP’S ANSWER TO A KEY QUESTION

Katie apparently wasn’t getting anything from either the group or me that she could use to further her pro-gun-control arguments. In fact my entire two-hour interview was left on the cutting room floor, but some of the group interview made it into the final film. However, one of the question/answer responses was altered - and therein lies the problem.

Watching the video, you hear Katie ask, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorist from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The camera then shows the group members TOTALLY SILENT FOR EIGHT SECONDS. The camera zooms in on one member, who looks down.

The clear implication is that none of the group had an answer for that question and was being evasive and avoiding eye contact.

The truth is, and as you will hear in the audio, below, that the group responded to Katie immediately, with answers to her question! Yet the video shows no one responding. Clearly, when Katie didn't get the answer(s) she wanted, she changed the group’s answers by replacing them with other video of the group sitting around quietly between questions.

Unbelievable. And extremely unprofessional. In essence Katie lied about the VCDL members' answers. If she so cavalierly lied in this instance, what other things did she alter in this movie or any of her previous reporting to advance her own personal agendas?

While I am used to our side being given less time in the press than the antis are given, I’m not used to having our words changed. That is a big journalistic “no no.”

Back in 1993, Dateline faked an accidental explosion of a truck to show that model truck was dangerous if involved in a collision. Dateline couldn’t actually create an explosion by crashing vehicles into the truck, so they ultimately, and shamefully, planted incendiary devices on the truck to force it to blow up.

What Katie did is similar.

Speaking of cheerleading for gun control, at the end of the infomercial the names of eight anti-self-defense groups that participated in the project are prominently listed under the title of "Join Those Already Making a Difference," with viewers encouraged to contact them for more information. Not one single pro-self-defense group, including VCDL, is listed as a source of information.



The audio of the full group interview is here, skip to the 36 minute and 43 second mark to hear the question on felons and the answers the group provided. There is no silence, but Katie needed something to show gun owners are unreasonable in their opposition to universal background checks, so she provided eight seconds of silence for us:

http://vcdl.org:80/resources/Media/k...ew06182015.mp3

Feel free to listen to the entire interview. I think the group did a phenomenal job defending our gun rights and that’s why the group doesn’t appear in the infomercial but for a few minutes, with a key part edited to serve a gun-control agenda.

You can watch Katie Curic's gun control infomercial for free at: EPIX - Under the Gun

(The Epix web site for the movie says "with a narration from renowned journalist Katie Couric". Renowned for what? Lying?)

-

As an FYI, my full interview (raw) can be heard here:

http://vcdl.org:80/resources/Media/PVCInterview_1.mp3

-

POST THIS FAR AND WIDE TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT KATIE’S PHONY “DOCUMENTARY” CALLED “UNDER THE GUN”
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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby quychang » Mon 23 May 2016 6:06 pm

The only thing I have to say is that Couric isn't alone. You see "creative" journalism every day if you watch political coverage or commentary. The big media outlets are all pretty much owned and operated by either individuals, or companies owned by one or two individuals. None of them do anything remotely close to investigative journalism. Anyone that takes anything they say at face value without doing some research on their own, or looking at a few other sources, is doing exactly what they want you to do. Eating the spoon fed pablum that the establishment, meaning the ultra rich and or the big advertisers, wants you to believe. I'm sorry that I'm old enough to remember Walter Cronkite and his peers. I''m sure they are all spinning like tops in their graves. Heck, the heat generated by that alone might be contributing to global warming. Jack Anderson would probably be laughed out of the offices of all the big newspapers, and for exactly the same reason. He researched and reported the truth. I'm not saying he was never affected by editors who were working at the behest of advertisers, but I doubt very much was changed. He was a voice of reason, people trusted him, and if he didn't work for your paper, someone else would have snapped him up in minutes. I'm really sad for the state of American so called journalism.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby DaKnife » Tue 24 May 2016 3:34 am

Not to mention the four hours of interviews John Lott provided. Of which a grand total of zero seconds made it into the film. All four hours of in depth expert information ended up on the cutting room floor.
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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby quychang » Tue 24 May 2016 5:47 am

DaKnife wrote:Not to mention the four hours of interviews John Lott provided. Of which a grand total of zero seconds made it into the film. All four hours of in depth expert information ended up on the cutting room floor.


That's a big part of it in a nutshell. Even in cases where they don't actively lie, they cherry pick what they do report. Half truths and lies of omission are still lies.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby D-FIN » Tue 24 May 2016 10:05 am

The Lott discrepancy was obvious but I found this info even more telling that the entire piece was manipulated to tell only what they wanted.
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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby bagpiper » Tue 24 May 2016 11:12 am

I've realized that even the old days of Walter Cronkite were pretty slanted. It was just harder to determine what the slant was.

The media was an active participant in concealing FDR's physical limitations. And without talk radio, Internet, or other alternate sources how would an honest, investigative journalist get his story out?

The media was at least willfully blind if not actively complicit in concealing JFK's and LBJ's affairs.

Go back to the 19th century and media was honest about their biases, with multiple papers competing. From the LDS Church owned "Deseret News" and the (anti-) "Mormon Tribune" (now "Salt Lake Tribune"), to the "Tallahassee Democrat" and Cherryvale, Kanas "Weekly Republican" it was once common for media outlets (ie newspapers and magazines) to be very overt in their biases. Readers knew what the were getting.

The myth of the independent, impartial, or unbiased media seems to be an invention of the 20th century and I'm guessing a response to concerns about monopolization of the public airwaves by only 2 or 3 networks.

Consider on Walter Cronkite's old closing line of "...and that's the news."

Well, no. It isn't. That is the what the reporter/anchor/editor/producer/owner decided was newsworthy. And even in the absence of overt biases, there are judgment calls to be made. "If it bleeds, it leads" is one such judgment based on financial concerns. Yet it leads to promoting a certain world view. Murders and other criminal misuse of guns get more headlines than do the vast majority of self-defense cases since most self-defense cases result in the bad guy breaking off his attack and fleeing without any shots being fired. It also results in many people believing that violent crime and misuse of guns are far bigger problems than they actually are.

Press conferences held by high ranking politicians are newsworthy. Campaign speeches by challengers are often less newsworthy.

And yet still, sometimes the liberal mainstream media just has to cross the line from selection bias into outright lies. We all recall the "exploding" side-saddle gas tanks. There was the photoshopped image of OJ Simpson on the cover of Time Magazine. There was the creative and selective editing of the 911 call to make George Zimmerman look like a racist. And now there is the Couric hit piece on gun owners and RKBA.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby quychang » Tue 24 May 2016 4:02 pm

No doubt there's always been some slant to the news. One difference is that there were different slants. These days, unless you find some of the alternate news sources, they all have the same slant. Back in the day, sure there were slants. No doubt the Desert News had, and some would say still does, have a pro Mormon slant. And the same may be true of the Tribune being anti. The difference there, is that there are some definitely polarizing issues in the state and people do care and want to see it from a different angle. Locally. Mainstream media these days are basically a bunch of talking heads, looking at each other in the mirror. At least when there were investigative reporters you had a chance of getting differing points of view, or more information. Yes, there are some differences in slant now...Fox undoubtedly leans far to the right. In contrast, MSNBC or CNN are slightly left leaning. But the stories they do still mirror each other.

There are far more lies told to us by omission than by releasing bad information that can be researched an debunked. Essentially if it isn't reported at all, 95% of people will never even suspect that it happened. When they do issue stories that are completely and verifiable to be false, if they don't issue a retraction or wait long enough before they do, people will still believe the false report. Often they don't even bother with the retraction.

The whole thing saddens me. It makes me lose hope for the future of our country and our democracy. In my humble opinion we're reaching a tipping point. Something is either going to have to bend and change, or it's going to break like a rotted tree stump. Perhaps we deserve that.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby bagpiper » Tue 24 May 2016 5:01 pm

Mel,

I used to like to say that I'd read the SL Trib to get my anti-Mormon liberal view of the news and then read the DesNews to get my pro-Mormon liberal view of the news. Really, other than a few morality or church related issues like alcohol, gambling, and definition of marriage, it is hard to find where the Deseret News isn't about as liberal as any other mainstream media outlet. They don't much like personal ownership or public possession of firearms (they'd object to this characterization, just like every other mainstream media does, but try to find an editorial or hard news report that isn't at least a little hostile to RKBA). They never met a tax increase that wasn't justified and needed; never saw a social program that wasn't a great idea. KSL was very similar and their old editorial director, Duane Cardall was solidly left of center, which became even more obvious in a few pieces he did after leaving KSL.

It is interesting to see how you characterize Fox and MSNBC. I'd say MSNBC leans very hard left while Fox leans moderately right on some issues. But Fox also peddles a lot of salacious sexual material that isn't exactly what traditional (much less religious) conservatives would typically associate with. NBC, CBS, and ABC lean solidly left in my opinion in both hard news, editorial content, as well as the content and story line of their entertainment programing.

In any event, you are correct that the biggest lies from the media are usually lies of omission. What doesn't get reported on and so--for most people--doesn't exist.

I actually don't have a problem with bias in media so long as media is up front and honest. Tell me you are a mouthpiece for the Democratic party, or for Conservative values and I'm good with that. It isn't like the Christian Science Monitor isn't a respected media source. Of course, ideally, we then have several different viewpoints represented. The LDS Church is prudent to own a media outlet or two. And yet the community benefits from having another voice available even if it were not anti-Mormon. Indeed, were it not hostile to Mormons and Mormonism, the SL Tribune would be a far better paper. If we could just get a conservative or even libertarian viewpoint that would be great.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby quychang » Tue 24 May 2016 6:11 pm

bagpiper wrote:Mel,

I actually don't have a problem with bias in media so long as media is up front and honest. Tell me you are a mouthpiece for the Democratic party, or for Conservative values and I'm good with that. It isn't like the Christian Science Monitor isn't a respected media source. Of course, ideally, we then have several different viewpoints represented. The LDS Church is prudent to own a media outlet or two. And yet the community benefits from having another voice available even if it were not anti-Mormon. Indeed, were it not hostile to Mormons and Mormonism, the SL Tribune would be a far better paper. If we could just get a conservative or even libertarian viewpoint that would be great.

Charles


I would have much less problem with bias if they were honest about. The problem is, they aren't. Every one of them tries to present their propaganda as fair and balanced reporting of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God.

If they were clearly biased, but presented both sides of the issue. If they said, this is what happened from the democrats perspective, here's the republican and libertarian responses to that situation. And here's what we believe. More power to them. I wouldn't like, nor likely watch, if they approached the news from a Neo Natzi viewpoint, but if they were up front about it, I'd have a ton more respect for them. I "might" even watch occasionally with the idea of seeing the warped viewpoint, just for my information. The Christian Science Monitor is actually a pretty good example, everyone knows their bias. You understand if you choose to read an article, on for instance Planned Parenthood, that they are absolutely against it, and you can tell by word and phrasing choices where they are coming from.

By saying that the mainstream media is conservative, I mean that from my viewpoint they are owned and operated by the establishment. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. And they are answerable to their advertisers, who's vested interest is to increase sales. We don't allow tobacco advertising anymore for that very reason, but it was something of a struggle against a strong tobacco lobby to get that passed. The same thing is happening now with the sugar lobby and manufacturers fighting against the FDA for attempting to simplify food labeling to be more understandable by the common citizen. They really don't want you to know that sucrose, fructose, maltodextroin, ad infinitum should count against the sugar content on a label. There are a number of other changes that they are unhappy about as well. There's even talk about suing the FDA in an effort to stop it. If you've seen it reported, it's been a 6 second sound bite without any depth to it at all.

Utah is pretty conservative in general. No accusations at all, just observation. From a general Utah population, Fox might be left of us. I look at anchors like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannitty, or Glen Beck, and I personally see a very strong liberal bias. There are lots of other examples but those stand out strongly to me. I think that they might not be seen in quite the same light by the average Utahn.

I don't have a solution. I just wish that more people would recognize there there is an issue. The problem is, it's so much more comfortable to not think about it and just accept what's offered. Honestly, I don't care if you are a total right wing nut job, or the worst left win libtard, as long as I know it and can filter my thinking through what I hope is a reasonably centerist position. No one, is really center. They are left thinking on some issues, right thinking on others, and it averages out to whatever it averages out as. I've taken a number of surveys from different sources. And that's pretty much exactly where they put me. One will have me left of center, one will have me very near center, another will have me right of center. I don't think my opinion is changing that much over time, I think it's choice of questions on the poll, and the bias it of the people that created it.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby bagpiper » Wed 25 May 2016 1:45 pm

quychang wrote:I would have much less problem with bias if they were honest about. The problem is, they aren't. Every one of them tries to present their propaganda as fair and balanced reporting of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God.


Agreed.


quychang wrote:If they were clearly biased, but presented both sides of the issue. If they said, this is what happened from the democrats perspective, here's the republican and libertarian responses to that situation. And here's what we believe. More power to them.


I don't even care if they present both sides. In fact, I'd almost prefer they not try to present the other side as they probably can't do it justice. If they would just be honest about their biases that would be great.

quychang wrote:By saying that the mainstream media is conservative, I mean that from my viewpoint they are owned and operated by the establishment. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.


That makes sense. Not necessarily socially or fiscally right wing, but simply maintain the status quo to their own benefit.

quychang wrote:Utah is pretty conservative in general. No accusations at all, just observation.


Actually, Utah has some rather strong liberal/socialist/communitarianism traits. Remember the community efforts of the fairly homogenous group that settled this area. The United Order may have failed, but I think many traits remain. Consider how rare it is for Utahns to reject proposed tax increases, especially for things seen as solidly community goods like parks, schools, and emergency services.

Morally/sexually we are very conservative/uptight by national standards.

But compared to the Evangelical South, we are far more reserved about public displays of religion. Sure, we have a prayer to start certain public meetings, but a lot of local meetings have transitioned away from a prayer to merely a thought. It is rare to see an individual or family saying grace over a meal in a restaurant, and when it is said, it is usually done very quietly and discretely.

We are one of only two States with no form of legalized gambling (liberal Hawaii being the other).

But our alcohol laws, annoying as they are, are not nearly as restrictive as seen in many areas of the Deep South or even New England. Our alcohol laws seem more restrictive because they are uniform Statewide so that our liberal urban areas have the same laws as our rural areas. But we don't have any areas that are dry.

We are very solidly GOP, simply because the Democrats went so far left in the 60s and 70s with attacking Vietnam veterans, burning the flag, doing drugs, encouraging promiscuity, and supporting elective abortion. Today the Democrats have gone all in on attacking RKBA and promoting homosexual conduct.

So Utahns are an interesting mix socially and politically: very conservative morally/sexually, solidly pro-RKBA, but quite willing to tax themselves to pay for community needs, supportive of a social safety net (funded by government, church, and individual), anti-alcohol/gambling/abortion.

Utah Democrats are much more liberal than their national counterparts simply because we have so few blue-collar union democrats here. Almost all of our Democrats are either inner-city welfare types or urban/academic elites. When the Utah Legislative Democratic Caucus was electing opening homosexual members to legislative leadership, Massachusetts Democrats were not doing that and the population there was electing moderate republicans (Weld, Romney) as governors.

quychang wrote:I don't have a solution. I just wish that more people would recognize there there is an issue.


Agreed.

And then if we could figure out how to live together peacefully.

The best I've come up with for that is federalism, diversity among the States, and voting with our feet. But too many want every State/community to be very liberal/libertarian on the presumption that everyone can then live where he wants and we can all do whatever we like. But this requires that we all tolerate everything, right in our own proverbial backyard. That is a lot harder to achieve, I think, than recognizing that good fences make good neighbors. Or in other words, a little distance makes it a lot easier to tolerate what might otherwise be very offensive.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby D-FIN » Thu 26 May 2016 4:31 pm

Part of the problem is so many of the articles are published specifically as OPINION pieces rather news reporting. I many cases I think it is so they don't feel they have know all the facts because its just an OPINION.
Last edited by D-FIN on Wed 01 Jun 2016 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby quychang » Thu 26 May 2016 8:22 pm

D-FIN wrote:Pat of the problem is so many of the articles are published specifically as OPINION pieces rather news reporting. I many cases I think it is so they don't feel they have know all the facts because its just an OPINION.


D-Fin that's great..well, it's not, because if you don't tune in to the six seconds when they admit that it's opinion, or turn it off before any kind of disclaimer at the end, you're going to convince a lot of people that it really is news. I'm absolutely fine with a media source sharing their opinion, as long as they aren't ambiguous about it.

Charles, as appears to be happening more and more often, we haven't really come to as an impasse, so much as basic agreement. You definitely caused me to rethink my convictions on the amount of diversity in Utah. That said, I would point out that while that diversity no doubt exists, it would be very interesting to see percentages quantifying those diverse opinions. I'm going to reserve judgement, because I think some of the groups you mentioned probably are more prevalent than I think they might be, while others may indeed be represented, without being particularly prevalent. I'm not curious enough to do the research myself, especially since I'm in a hotel suffering from internet access issues, so I'm using my phone as a hot spot.

I think I also explained some of my reasoning in such away as we really have no major disagreements. Once again, I'm happy to discuss things with you, I have grown somewhat in my thinking on some issues, and I hope you feel like you've received some benefit as well, as a result of our terribly verbose conversations. They entertain me, and I am guessing by the number of views that our discussions seem to garner that we are entertaining at least a few others. Thanks my friend.

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby AlanM » Tue 31 May 2016 3:17 am

The outrage is spreading outside the pro-gun community.
Here's an example, on a conservative web site (naturally):

Gungate: Katie Couric and a question of ethics

When news anchor Katie Couric debuted her documentary Under the Gun earlier this month, she billed it as a balanced look at the gun control debate.

There was a “ huge silent majority ” of gun owners, she said, who supported moderate gun control measures, and that many National Rifle Association members did not agree with the group’s political positions.

Just two weeks later, Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig are under pressure over what many observers are calling deceptive editing of a key moment in their film. The leader of a gun rights group featured in the documentary says the film edited out gun owners’ responses to one of Couric’s questions – and instead has them sitting in silence, looking “stupid”.

In the press, criticism has been fierce. National Public Radio’s David Folkenflik said the “manipulation – and that’s what it was – would not pass muster at NPR under its principles for fairness”. At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple called Soechtig’s initial response to the criticism “ weaselly ” and wrote: “An apology, retraction, re-editing, whatever it is that film-makers do to make amends – all of it needs to happen here.”
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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby bagpiper » Tue 31 May 2016 2:00 pm

The story is now hitting the mainstream press as well.
Two stories linked from Drudge this morning.

First on the AP's big story site is this story about Couric now accepting blame for the deceptive edit. This is the usual non-apology, apology from the left. But the story of the deceit is now on mainstream media and Couric is having to explain.

Next, is this story on the Washington Examiner ostensible about Epix not pulling the film but again providing some additional circulation to the story about the deceitful editing in the film.

And we see why the liberal elites so very much hate talk radio and the internet. The liberal elites no longer control the flow of information like they once did. (As an aside, I'm convinced they hate gun shows for the same reason. Not nearly so much because a few guns change hands, but mostly because they are networking events that persuade gun owners they are not odd man out.)

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Re: Unethical journalism: Couric alters words of VCDL member

Postby Luv10mm » Thu 02 Jun 2016 10:04 am

I highly recommend listening to the audio of those VCDL folks' interviews. They answered Katie's questions very well and had good discussions. I will give a slight nod to the group interview being more interesting to me personally though.

I don't know a lot about Katie Couric in general, but if this "documentary" is any indication of her journalistic integrity, I'm not impressed.

Also, John Lott's CPRC website has some links and discussion regarding Ms. Couric's film:

http://crimeresearch.org/
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