Yahoo, Facebook Exposed: Propaganda More Difficult in Era of Internet
By Daily Bell Staff - May 27, 2016

Katie Couric Regrets ‘Poor Decision’ to Insert Pause in Gun Documentary Interview  … Katie Couric is upset that an eight-second pause inserted into an interview she did with gun rights activists in the documentary “Under the Gun” has drawn criticism. – TheWrap

Yahoo’s Katie Couric has just released an anti-gun documentary with a manufactured pause that mocks pro-gun interviewees. This is one of those stories that the mainstream media cannot ignore.

It provides us with further evidence that those who wish to propagandize audiences need to be careful about how they do it. If biases are not revealed, the Internet may expose them.

The perspective of the documentary is not surprising, but its clumsiness has likely undermined its effectiveness.

The Couric expose comes not long after Facebook received a good deal of negative publicity for reducing its audience’s exposure to conservative and libertarian viewpoints.

The Facebook news algorithm may have been written to promote this reduction. But Facebook also seems to have hired individuals who took it upon themselves to minimize conservative content.

After a former employee of Facebook exposed the practice, founder Mark Zuckerberg held a “summit” with certain conservative media leaders including individuals like Glen Beck.

Zuckerberg wanted to assure the conservative community that Facebook was not inherently biased. Now it is Katie Couric’s turn to do damage control.

The initial manipulation is fairly blatant. Members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League attended a “roundtable” and seem to fall silent after Couric asks, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

This didn’t actually happen.

According to  VCDL president Philip Van Cleave, “[Couric] intentionally removed … answers and spliced in nine seconds of some prior video of our members sitting quietly and not responding. Viewers are left with the misunderstanding that the members had no answer to her question.”


Director Stephanie Soechtig inserted the pause, which critics are calling an example of “deceptive” and “appalling journalism.”  Soechtig … spoke to TheWrap and stood by the editing choice … “My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question …

This answer is ridiculous.

She made pro-gun responders look silly because she wanted viewers to reflect on Couric’s question?

Yahoo must be comfortable with the way Couric and Soechtig feel about guns to put up with such after-the-fact justifications. In another profile about the documentary, TheWrap quotes Couric as saying,

What we’re trying to do is set the table for an informed discussion. We embedded with a number of families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence: a couple from Chicago; the Bardens from Sandy Hook; Richard Martinez, who lost his son Christopher in Isla Vista …

Couric mentions Sandy Hook in her statement above. The anomalies between the government story and what has been established by private investigators regarding Sandy Hook and other shootings are enormous.

But obviously Couric has not looked into them in any great depth. What she does at this point is not journalism. When her perspectives are examined in totality, it is obvious that she has preconceived notions.

But it takes a lapse like this one to bring her views into focus within the larger context of Yahoo and similar media vendors.

Conclusion: As with so many other important developments, there are positives and negatives to the Internet’s expansion. But when it comes to communication, the size and intimacy of the ‘Net is making it more difficult to create and sustain overt propaganda. Zuckerberg and Couric are finding this out now.