On May 26, National Public Radio (NPR) weighed in on Katie Couric’s “manipulation” of gun rights responses by labeling it “unfair and unwarranted.”
NPR was reacting to the almost nine-second pause in Couric’s gun control film, Under the Gun, inserted between her question about background checks and the response by gun rights supporters.
In reality, the gun rights supporters answered immediately — even refuting Couric’s intimations about the need for more background checks. So the pause was inserted during the editing process and makes the gun rights supporters appears stumped by Couric’s question.
NPR not only described Couric’s editorial approach as “unfair and unwarranted” but also intimated it never would have released a film with such “manipulation” because NPR has higher standards. NPR reported that the decision to insert pauses into interviews to make respondents appear stumped “would not pass muster at NPR under its principles for fairness in handling interviews.”
They suggested Couric was trapped by the fact that she was not interviewing people–in this case, members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League–to actually see what they believed, but she was interviewing them to get the answers she wanted to hear.