The latest embarrassing blow to CNN’s (already tattered) credibility emerged last night when Colton Haab, the student who first exposed CNN for pushing him to ask a scripted question during Wednesday night’s town hall appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to offer even more shocking details about CNN’s conduct.
Yesterday, we noted that Haab, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and shooting survivor, had come forward to say he decided not to attend Wednesday night’s CNN town hall after CNN producers gave him a pre-scripted question for him to ask.
But Haab told Carlson that the producers didn’t just want him to ask one scripted question: They essentially rewrote a list of questions and political points that he wanted to make at the town hall, prompting him to back away from the town hall. Haab told Carlson he shared with CNN what he wanted to say, but a producer named Carrie Stevenson ultimately rejected it, and instead after several conversations “scripted” a question for him.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab said to a local news outlet Wednesday night, according to RealClearPolitics.
Haab told Carlson he wanted to go “speak [his] part” and “open eyes” to a few things he thought could make the situation better. Haab said the network was dishonest and that is why he decided not to attend. He also said he was directed to “stick to the script.”
“She had actually said that over the phone that I needed to stick to the script,” Haab said of the CNN producer.
he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night’s town hall, but declined after the network gave him a “scripted question” instead of allowing him to ask his own question.
More shockingly, Haab said he believed all the questions asked at the town hall were scripted. Haab explained in detail what happened between him and the cable news network and what he thought of the town hall.
“So what had happened was four days ago I had gotten contacted by a lady named [State of the Union executive producer] Carrie Stevenson from CNN. She had asked me originally to just write a speech. It was going to be at the town hall at the BB&T Center [in Sunrise, Florida]. So I agreed. I felt like it would be the right thing to do. Be able to go speak my part as well as open eyes to a few things that I thought that can make this situation a little better. From there, three days ago, so the next day after that I had gotten an email back from her and she asked for more of questions rather than a speech. Which I was totally fine with so I wrote a little less of a speech and more of questions that I wanted to ask at the town hall. The day after that it was more of just questions. She asked for just questions that I would like to ask.”
“So, I gave her my questions and then yesterday, at about 5:15, I made contact with her. And she had asked if I had just asked her one question. So what they had actually done was wrote out a question for me because in my interview with CNN, I had talked about arming the teachers, if they were willing to arm themselves in the school to carry on campus. And they had — she had taken that of what I had briefed on and actually wrote that question out for me. So I have that question here if you would like me to ask it for you.”
Haab said he turned off the town hall because he could tell that the questions being asked were scripted.
CNN, of course, has denied Haab’s claims.
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. After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Colton’s father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected. We welcome Colton to join us on CNN today to discuss his views on school safety.
But, of course, they can’t both be telling the truth.
So who’re you going to believe?
* * *