Saturday, June 11, 2016

Update: Katie Couric vs. Conservatives: the Under the Gun controversy

Update: The controversy over the "Under the Gun" documentary centers on an inserted pause during a question about terrorists being easily able to access firearms.

In the face of the incident early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, that question could not be more timely.

Conservatives are not factual, and conservatives whine, claiming they are victims when they are not, in fact, victims at all.  And conservatives are massive hypocrites, holding others to a more rigorous standard than they hold themselves (or other conservatives).

I would argue that the hypocrisy alone would be sufficient to disqualify conservatives from criticizing others, but that the additional factual deficiency renders them the ones who merit harsh criticism.

The latest controversy over a gun violence documentary in which Katie Couric conducted an interview is simply the latest iteration.

Katie Couric was a news personality on ABC in 2008, when she exposed the lack of qualifications of Republican candidate Sarah Palin for the position of VP.  That still gripes the behinds of conservatives, who will look for pretty much any pretext to jump all over her, fair or foul.  That Couic continues to enjoy some measure of success, while Palin is at best a marginal figure, only adds to conservative irritation, especially by those less successful conservatives in the media (including the blogosphere).

What is she doing now?  From the Wrap:
Couric is the current Yahoo global news anchor and a legend in her field. The former “Today” show staple is an anti-cancer advocate, documentary film producer and New York Times best-selling author of “The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives.”
Let's start with the facts; Katie Couric did not insert the controversial 'dramatic pause' in the documentary in question, Under the Gun. and did not agree with the insertion, but was over-ruled.
Continuing from the Wrap:
Katie Couric said she “didn’t feel comfortable” with the controversial edit in her recent documentary on guns, but hopes it starts a broader conversation about the gun control in America. “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 on Thursday morning.

...Couric did not edit the interview herself, and said last week 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.'”
I would posit that the dramatic pause was not particularly significant, that the controversy is a tempest in the proverbial tea pot. But I would add to that criticism that the pause should not have been inserted in a documentary; dramatic license belongs in dramatic productions, not in non-fiction features.

But to return to the massive hypocrisy of the right, who are kvetching about a lack of factual content by Couric, and/or 'fake footage', let's recall here for a moment the appalling actions of convicted criminal James O'Keefe when HE inserted footage of himself as a pimp in undercover interviews with ACORN, while actually appearing in the real interviews as a normally dressed boy friend of a woman appearing to be an abuse victim.

Not a peep out of conservatives, about deceptive editing, or fake footage when it is 'one of theirs', not then, not in the past year, not ever.

Rather they defended O'Keefe, trying to justify false claims as 'B roll' and other flimsy excuses. Again, as another example out of many, the insertion of fake footage from other sources, representing it as from Planned Parenthood, was deliberately misleading and unethical. Like James O'Keefe,who was convicted of illegal activity in his filming, those faux documentarians are also now facing criminal indictment for fraud. Did anyone here much criticism of these far more egregious examples of bad faith documentary making? Heck NO! Far from it, the right tried to find pretexts and excuses to condone THAT conduct.

Unless they drop the double standard BS and their whining, I would argue that conservative critics should sit down and shut up.  If and when they are willing to do the right thing, not just the right wing thing, then and only then do they have a legitimate complaint about others; in the successful PROFESSIONAL and more ethical media.

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