Katie Couric Offers ‘Regret,’ Admits ‘Misleading’ Change to Gun Documentary

After searing criticism, the journalist offers an explanation and takes responsibility

katie couric
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Under fire for adding a long pause to the remarks of a gun enthusiast in her documentary “Under the Gun,” Katie Couric expressed “regret” on Monday for what she admitted was a “misleading” change to an interview that changed its meaning.

In a blog posted on the movie’s website Couric wrote:

“As Executive Producer of ‘Under the Gun,’ a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless.”

She continued: “When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response.”

Couric did not edit the interview herself, and said that she questioned director Stephanie Soechtig and an editor about the pause when she screened the film, “and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she [Soechtig] described it, ‘dramatic effect.’”

Couric went on: “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.”

Soechtig has told TheWrap that she stands by the film and the editing decision, so Couric’s statement on Monday puts the two of them at odds.

An individual close to Couric last week told TheWrap that the journalist thought the eight second pause was a “poor decision,” but Monday was the first time Couric herself spoke on the record about the matter.

Gun-rights groups and right-leaning media were livid at the change to the interview, which came to light when an audio transcript of the exchange was leaked.

A columnist for the National Review and The New York Post went so far as to call on Yahoo to fire Couric. “Under the Gun” is currently airing on Epix.

Here is TheWrap’s interview with Couric and Soechtig at Sundance: