A survivor of the Florida high school massacre said in an interview that CNN rejected his proposal to discuss armed guards in schools and instead handed him a “scripted” question to ask during Wednesday night’s town hall on gun rights.
Colton Haab, 17, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and an ROTC member, reportedly used Kevlar vests to shield students during the massacre. He said he decided not to attend the town hall after CNN presented him with the prepared question.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab told Miami’s WPLG-TV. “I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished. It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.
“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” he added.
The left-leaning cable news network denied the charge in a statement, saying, “There is absolutely no truth to this. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”
The town hall, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, included shooting survivors confronting several officials on gun rights, including U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, both of Florida, as well as National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
The atmosphere at the event was, at times, awkward and even hostile for the Republicans, who were interrupted several times by the jeering crowd.
At one point, the audience cheered loudly when a student asked Rubio if he would pledge to cease taking donations from the NRA.
Tapper stepped in to plead with the audience to allow Rubio to answer the question.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After student Colton Haab said a CNN producer insisted he use a question that the network scripted for him, the student’s father, Glenn, forwarded an email to media outlets including Fox News, claiming it served as proof. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Glenn Haab acknowledged he omitted words in that email, but added, “There was nothing malicious behind it.”