On Tuesday night, the Brady Campaign awarded Katie Couric with the “Bear Award” – a prestigious award for gun control advocates who are committed to “gun violence prevention advocacy – for her controversial documentary, Under the Gun.
Earlier this year, Couric faced a $13 million defamation lawsuit by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). In the documentary, Couric asks members of the group, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”
Although VCDL members Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb provided an answer to her question, the interview that appeared in Under the Gun was edited to show a nine second pause by members, making it seem as though they had no response to her question.
According to a document filed in a Virginia federal court, the documentary provided false information:
The manipulated footage falsely informed viewers that the VCDL members had been stumped and had no basis for their position on background checks.
Director Stephanie Soechtig defended the added pause, saying it was necessary for viewers:
I would never misrepresent someone’s point of view and I don’t think I did by doing this. I don’t think I misrepresented gun owners or the people featured in the film…my intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.
At the time of this publication, no press releases or social media posts from the Brady Campaign, Katie Couric or Under the Gun have been published. The only media publications to cover the story are Breitbart and PEOPLE magazine.