Today Katie Couric made all of her defenders look just as bad as I said they were.
“I can understand the objection of people who did have an issue about it,” Couric said at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in New York this morning, when asked to address the intentionally deceptive editing in “Under the Gun,‘ the anti-gun documentary she produced. “Having said that, I think we have to focus on the big issue of gun violence. It was my hope that, when I approached this topic, that this would be a conversation starter.”
She then said that the documentary will not be re-edited to fix the lie it contains.
This is signature significance: all by itself, it proves beyond a shadow if a doubt that Katie Couric is a dishonest journalist. No more evidence is needed, for an honest journalist would never make this choice. Not once, not ever.
“The objection of people who did have an issue about it” clearly states that Couric herself had no “issue with it,” meaning that, as I wrote, she only regrets the controversy, not the lie.But, oh, she does understand those who believe that documentaries and journalists shouldn’t ask questions and then edit the response so the real answer is eliminated, distorted or obscured. That’s nice, don’t you think? A journalist who understands those old fogies, traditionalists, ethicists and others who think she and her colleagues should tell the truth.
She wants to focus, though, on the big issue. Never mind those little lies: what are they when compared to all the gun violence? This is just a distraction, nit-picking by critics when the big issue is what matters.
If a producer of a documentary acknowledges that what appears in it is both unfair to those who were interviewed and misleading to the audience, then the only alternative is to re-edit the documentary. If the misleading sequence is not removed, then it will continue to mislead. The decision to allow a misleading segment to continue to mislead even after the misleading edit has been identified, means, and can mean nothing else, that the producer, as well as the director, want it to continue to mislead, don’t care if future audiences are misled, and believe dishonesty is an appropriate tool of advocacy.
This is what Katie Couric told us today about her values, her trustworthiness, and those of anyone who hires her or supports her.