CNN is newly accused of stacking its Wednesday school shooting town hall in favor of a pro-gun control agenda.
The father of a survivor from last week’s mass shooting at Marjorty Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. made comments on Fox News Thursday night that appeared to confirm the account of another student who said CNN wanted him to read from a script at the town hall.
High school junior and JROTC Colton Haab, who protected his classmates with a makeshift kevlar shield during the shooting, claimed CNN rejected his speech and question and instead wanted him to read a scripted question.
According to Haab, who said he skipped out on the town hall after the incident, his original remarks involved the idea of employing veterans as armed guards at schools.
Ariana Klein, also a junior at Stoneman Douglas, said of Haab’s accusations:
“I think the whole point of the town hall meeting was to hear the kids and to hear what we had to say, and for that to happen is inexcusable. Our voices need to be heard and he should have been able to ask any question he had to ask. But instead, we have these networks that don’t want us to give our real opinions, and they want us to further their own agendas.”
Her father, Andrew, told Laura Ingraham it was “not surprising” that the town hall was focused on gun control.
Klein, a Republican gun owner, claimed that the CNN representative who contacted him said the network wanted students to discuss “policy,” which he interpreted as meaning gun control.
“I actually spoke to a CNN producer on Thursday, the day after the shooting, and the producer insinuated to me that they were looking for people who were willing to espouse a certain narrative, which was taking the tragedy and turning it into a policy debate,” said Klein. “And I read that as being a gun control debate.”
The father continued:
“She didn’t mention guns, but, you know, in terms of the policy implications for preventing future mass shootings, and if you know folks who want to talk about that we would like to speak to those people.”
CNN has denied Haab’s claims, saying “there is absolutely no truth to this story.”
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
On Thursday evening, President Trump reproved the network for the alleged incident.