The Florida school shooting survivor who outed CNN for scripting questions at a town hall said he “didn’t feel the need to fully watch” the program after how he was treated.
Colton Haab, the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps member who shielded his classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in last week’s mass shooting that left 17 people dead. revealed to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson the extent of CNN’s manipulation of their town hall meeting on Wednesday.
Haab reiterated to Carlson that he had opted out of participating in the CNN organized event after it became clear that he would not be allowed to speak his own words and ask his own questions.
“I just want to make sure I have this straight,” Carlson asked the young hero on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday. “So you sent them a long, in effect, essay on what you thought, but they put their own words in the question and they weren’t the same as the words you had sent in? They were the producer’s words?”
“Absolutely,” Haab confirmed. “They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about and they actually wrote the question for me.”
“But not with your words, I mean they put their own words into your question, even after they asked to you send questions in. But that seems dishonest,” Carlson clarified.
“It definitely did. That’s kind of why I didn’t go last night. 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. And she had actually said that over the phone I needed to stick to the script,” Haab said.
“That’s remarkable,” Carlson said, asking the student if he ended up at least watching the town hall.
“I watched a little bit of it,” he replied. “I kind of felt like I didn’t really need to because I knew as soon as what had happened with me that it was going to be more scripted and wasn’t actually going to be actual questions. Then I didn’t feel the need to fully watch it.”
Haab, along with a fellow Junior ROTC member at the high school, were hailed as heroes after the massacre for protecting classmates from the gunfire, using a kevlar curtain in a classroom as a shield. He would have shared his story at the town hall if CNN had let him.
The network issued a statement Thursday essentially calling out Haab as a liar, stating that there was “absolutely no truth” to the student’s claim of scripted questions for the event which, not surprisingly, was stacked heavily with anti-gun activists. The network invited Haab to appear on the air to “discuss his views on school safety,” or basically be in the hot seat of their gun control crossfire.
One high school senior at the town hall pressed National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch on weapons bans, reading her question from a printed slip of paper that she held at the meeting in Sunrise, Fl.
For some, like conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, CNN’s actions are no surprise. She broke down the network’s sordid track record of biased and clearly scripted town halls in a piece last month.
“In an age of micro-managed partisan stagecraft and left-wing media enablers, there is no such thing as a spontaneous question,” Malkin wrote.
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