A teen survivor of the tragic Parkland, Florida, school shooting claims he turned down an invitation to participate in a CNN town hall Wednesday evening because the network gave him a list of “scripted questions” to ask.
“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinions on my questions,” Colton Haab, a Junior ROTC student, told WPLG-TV. “CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted.”
Initially, Haab said, CNN asked him to write a speech and come up with his own questions.
He had been prepared to ask about school safety and proposals that schools allow veterans to act as armed guards for students, a suggestion offered by action star Chuck Norris this week in his exclusive WND column.
Haab said CNN rejected his questions, so he decided not to go to the townhall.
“I don’t think it’s going to get anything accomplished,” he said. “It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”
But CNN claims Haab isn’t telling the truth.
“There is absolutely no truth to this,” CNN Communications tweeted Thursday morning. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”
CNN claims Haab’s father determined that his son wouldn’t be participating in the event before it began.
Meanwhile, participants at the Wednesday evening town hall reportedly booed when told of a rape survivor who supports Second Amendment rights. At a previous CNN town hall, survivor Kimberly Corban said she was sexually assaulted when she was under the age of 21 and she wishes she had a gun to defend herself from the attacker.
National Rifle Associations spokeswoman Dana Loesch cited Corban’s case Wednesday evening.
“But I also think of young women, and you’ve had a previous town hall where you spoke with a young woman named Kim Corban, who was a college student who was brutally raped in her dorm and she was under the age of 21,” Loesch said.
“And one of the things that she speaks out about loudly now is how she wished she would have had the ability to have some sort — a shotgun, whatever it was, to be able to defend herself,” Loesch continued, but the crowd interrupted her with boos and loud jeers.
Loesch claimed Thursday that she feared for her life after the townhall because people rushed the stage and screamed, “burn her.”
“You heard that town hall last night, they cheered the confiscation of firearms,” Loesch said at CPAC. “And it was over 5K people. I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn’t have been able to exit that if I did not have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming burn her. And I came there to talk solutions.”
At CPAC, Loesch told members of the mainstream media that they consider mass shootings “ratings gold,” particularly when they fit their specific narrative.
“Many in legacy media love mass shootings,” she said, looking directly at reporters covering the event. “You guys love it.”
She continued: “Now, I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying, white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back. And notice I said crying, white mothers, because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don’t see town halls for them, do you? Where’s the CNN town hall for Chicago?… If it bleeds, it leads. Doesn’t it? … If it bleeds, it leads. But it has to be the right people from the right communities at the right time.”
You can watch CNN’s Feb. 21 town hall here:
It wouldn’t be the first time CNN has been accused of featuring political plants at its town hall forums. In 2007, the network hosted a Democratic Party debate in Las Vegas. Moderator Wolf Blitzer called participants who asked questions “ordinary people, undecided voters.” But, as it turned out, they were a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, a president of the Islamic Society of Nevada and a leftist anti-war activist who had prominently blasted Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., over the Iraq War, the New York Post reported.
And when Democrats were pushing to pass Obamacare into law, plants popped up everywhere at townhall events. Not-so-random questioners were chosen by the White House at its “citizen town halls” in 2009.