I got an email from a reader and member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League updating on some of the stuff going on with the lawsuit and this section made me do a double take:
If you will recall, the documentary “showed” that gun advocates had no answer to a pointed question by Couric. They were staring at the floor and fidgeting for a full minute. Fortunately, VCDL had an audio recording showing this to be totally false, with several VCDL members immediately and cogently answering the question. What the director did, with Couric’s complicity, was splice in the ’embarrassed silence” footage.
What really happened was this (I am quoting a letter to members from the VCDL President):
“Where did she get the spliced footage? It was taken after the interview was over when everyone was told to remain seated and totally silent so the recording equipment could be calibrated. That’s why the VCDL members were sitting there quietly, averting their eyes, looking down and away. When you can’t talk to people around you, it’s just human nature not to stare at each other. And that normal behavior was maliciously used against us.”
In my opinion, the “sound calibration” was a deliberate ploy to get the “dumbfounded” footage. The director knew ahead of time, in my opinion, what she was going to do with that footage. Now she’s claiming First Amendment protection to defame VCDL members and misrepresent the truth.
I really hope they have that on tape/memory stick because that is called evidence. You see, there is nothing to calibrate after the recording is done. That is a load of bullshit, ask any audio guy and they will tell you that after they are done, they are more likely wishing everybody GTFO so they can pack the equipment and leave. Second, if there is any calibration to be made to modern digital recording equipment, it is done back at the studio to the person in charge of audio maintenance. Even if they were using old school analog equipment like a Nagra IV-S, any engineer worth his/her salt will do maintenance prior to go in the field.
About the only “calibration” the production can be referring is obtaining the proper sound levels & quality. It simply means that the microphones are properly located and that the amount of signal going into the recording devices is the best for the project while trying to minimize non-desirable sounds and noises. Again, this is done prior to the main recording and there might be some small adjustments done while the session is on. But what kind of sound levels are you looking for after all is done? Not even “ambience” sound because you may want to get some “air” with nobody around.
Let me put the “calibration after the fact” in visual terms: It is akin to asking everybody in front of a camera to leave the set and have the lights turned off in order to properly focus the lens on shots already made. Yes, that absurd.
Is this enough to prove Absence of Malice? I am not a lawyer so I can’t say. But as a former Recording Engineer, I can tell you the “calibration” line is a huge pile of steaming Media Dung in my opinion. I hope the lawyers subpoena the audio people and grill them to the max if anything so I can read what kind of lame “technical explanations” are they willing to give in order to keep their jobs.