Student Colton Haab stands by claim CNN rewrote his planned questions and told him to “stick to the script”
Names the CNN producer allegedly involved.
Colton Haab, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was planning to appear at the CNN event last night at which students and community members would question politicians and NRA representative Dana Loesch.
The event turned into a fiasco in which Loesch was called a murderer, threatened and jeered by a crowd of thousands. It was a low point, even for CNN, which set up the event for just such a scenario.
But Colton didn’t go to the event after, he said, CNN squelched his proposed statement and questions directed towards school safety, and scripted the questions:
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted,” junior Colton Haab said Wednesday night.
Haab wrote questions about school safety and suggested using veterans as security guards, but he claims CNN wanted him to ask scripted questions instead.
So, Haab said, he declined to participate.
“I don’t think that it’s going to get anything accomplished,” Haab said. “It’s not going to ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”
CNN reacted furiously, denying it did any such thing:
CNN response to the claim of a "scripted question" for last night's town hall: pic.twitter.com/Mz1hMqqfkw
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 22, 2018
Colton, however, is not backing down.
He appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight tonight, stood by his story, and named the CNN producer who allegedly rewrote his questions and told him to “stick to script”:
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday, Haab said he was contacted several days ago by a CNN producer who asked him to write a speech to deliver at the event, in addition to questions to ask.
He said after some back and forth, he was eventually provided with a question that was not his own words.
“They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about, and they actually wrote the question for me,” Haab said, agreeing with Carlson that it seemed “dishonest.”
He said that’s why he decided not to attend the town hall.
“Originally, I had thought that it was going to be more of my own question and my own say. And then it turned out to be more of just a script,” Haab said. “And [the producer] had actually said that over the phone, that I needed to stick to the script.”
When Carlson asked if he believes other students’ town hall questions were reworded, Haab said “absolutely.”
“Honestly, it was very shocking to me, because we just went through such a horrific tragedy,” Haab said. “For them to take that and make such a big newscast over what they want to hear, it was very upsetting to me.”
Someone was watching:
(Added) CNN continues to deny the claim:
There is absolutely no truth to this story — and we can prove that. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever. Those are the facts. #FactsFirst ?
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 23, 2018
UPDATE 2-28-2018: CNN produced email evidence that several words were omitted from an email produced by Haab’s father to the media to support Colton’s statements. I’m not sure the father’s apparent editing of one email changes Colton’s statements with regard to conversations he had with the producer in which she prevented him from giving the statement he wanted, but it has given CNN the ability to claim it never “scripted” the questions. Jazz Shaw has the story at Hot Air, The “Scripted Town Hall” Story Comes To An End.DONATE
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