Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon had a great story Wednesday. You can read it here. He obtained audio that proves the filmmaker of Katie Couric’s latest politicized documentary, Under the Gun, deceptively edited an interview with gun-rights activists to make them look ignorant and ashamed. The evidence he found is clear, it is direct, it is stunning, and it is embarrassing. But it is not nearly as embarrassing as the way in which the filmmaker, Couric, and the New York Times reacted to the Free Beacon’s reporting. They all need to spend some time alone in the corner and think about what they’ve done.
At one point in the film, Couric visits with the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which advocates for the Second Amendment and is the official militia of the Free Beacon. She asks, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”
Seems like proof to me! But be aware: This is what a conservative is saying.
Odder still, Rogers indirectly quotes Gutowski, as though he were part of some plot to portray Katie Couric as a liberal propagandist (she needs no help from us). “In a phone interview, Stephen Gutowski, the reporter for the Free Beacon who posted the audio, said that he had received the clip from The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights organization whose members were interviewed in Under the Gun.”
#related#Why, yes — and this sourcing, I might add, is fairly obvious even from a superficial reading of Gutowski’s article. But why is Gutowski mentioned to begin with? All he did was fulfill his basic responsibilities of keeping up with his sources and breaking news. How would Katie Rogers like it if I had Brent Scher call her and ask how she learned “‘House of Cards’ Actress shrewdly wins equal pay”? Did you have a prior relationship with the source that pointed out “Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ Lyrics Entangle Two Rachels,” or did you come up with that one on your own? When the site you work for claims “Erin Andrews Says Hotel Could Have Prevented Stalker From Filming Her,” can it really be believed? Especially considering its record of error?
I know, I know: conservative websites are held to a higher standard, stories should be vetted before they are aggregated and repackaged, it’s better to be talked about than not thought of at all. But it never fails to amuse, how the mainstream media treats the Free Beacon as though it were a swamp creature that periodically emerges from the bog, the carcass of a poor defenseless woodland animal clutched between our fanged and bloody jaws, when actually we spend our days researching stories, communicating with sources, verifying facts, requesting fair comment, and writing as flatly and as fairly as we can. It’s called journalism. Katie Couric might try it sometime.
— Matthew Continetti is the editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, where this column first appeared. © 2016 All rights reserved