Gun doc creator not sorry about brazenly biased edit
It is a fact of life that liberals never have to say they're sorry. There's always some kind of spin they can use – even if, as in this case, it's ludicrous – to get themselves off the hook.
The Katie Couric-produced documentary on gun control contained an extraordinarily hateful edit that portrayed gun rights advocates as morons by adding eight seconds of silence following a question about registration. A recording of the interview showed that the advocates responded immediately and reasonably.
The director of this hit piece, Stephanie Soechtig, is completely unapologetic.
The pause was the manufactured work of director Stephanie Soechtig, who hasn’t apologized for the deception. “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,” said Soechtig in a statement last week.
Though many commentators, including this one, have deplored this overt failure to take ownership of this awfulness, Soechtig isn’t budging. In an interview with NBC4’s Mark Segraves on DCW50, Soechtig said this: “At that particular time, Katie is asking this group of people . . . ‘If you don’t have background checks, how do you people on the terror watch list from getting guns?’ And this is a real pivotal moment in the film, it’s one of our main storylines. And I thought it was really important to stop down at this moment. And she’s asking the question of the group, but as a filmmaker, I wanted to ask the question of the audience. And, you know, I think the idea that the focus has been on this is very typical of gun lobby tactics. They’re trying to intimidate us; we won’t be intimidated.”
No way, said Segraves, in effect — noting that the backlash has come from outside the gun lobby. What about the false impression that these folks didn’t have an answer? he asked.
“I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig. “I also think Katie is held to a journalistic standard, but this is a film, and I’m a filmmaker and it was my decision to do so.” Again Segraves pressed, wondering about the apparent contradiction between what’s packaged as an unbiased film vs. filmmaker’s prerogative. “I think that we’re focusing on eight seconds that’s not in the film rather than the facts that are in the film. The film is bulletproof. I challenge anyone to watch the film and have any issue with the facts that are in there.”
In the space of about two paragraphs, she changes her story three times. Is she an unbiased observer or a propagandist? Is she asking a question for the audience or deliberately making the VDL look like a bunch of ignorant hicks?
That she doesn't admit the propaganda value of making people she disagree with look bad is a sure sign of cold, calculated spin on her part. Is she so obtuse that she can't see that "focusing on eight seconds that's not in the film rather than the facts" is a nonsensical statement because the "facts" she presents are colored by the eight seconds not in the film?
Couric has never been much of a journalist. And the shocking admission that the director doesn't feel bound to tell the truth because she's a "filmmaker" can be compared to that other great "documentary" producer, Leni Riefenstahl, whose film Triumph of the Will made Hitler appear all warm and fuzzy. She, too, believed that propaganda is fine in the interest of a political agenda.
Soechtig is not being defended much on the left. Apparently, her overt bias proved to be too obvious. Better if she had been a subtle characater assassin rather than hit the audience over the head with a two-by-four to make her point.