Sunrise, FL – A member of the Junior ROTC at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School said he refused to participate in CNN’s Town Hall filmed in Sunrise on Wednesday night because CNN gave him a scripted question to ask, and now CNN is calling him a liar.
Seventeen-year-old Colton Haab became a hero when he used Kevlar sheets to shield classmates from gunfire during the Feb. 14 massacre at the Parkland high school that left 17 students dead, and another 16 students wounded, WPLG reported.
Haab said that initially he was excited to be part of CNN’s Town Hall, but then declined to participate after he found out that the network didn’t actually want the questions he’d prepared.
"CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted," Haab told WPLG.
Haab said he’d come up with questions about school safety and recommendations that involved using veterans as security guards, but told WPLG that CNN wanted him to ask scripted questions instead.
CNN posted a statement on Twitter Thursday morning refuting the teenage hero’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,” they posted.
However, Haab was certainly not the first to have accused CNN of scripting questions for important public events.
During the 2016 campaign, former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile was exposed by WikiLeaks for having given questions to Hillary Clinton ahead of March 12, 2016 CNN Town Hall, and for prepping Clinton with background information about the people who would be asking scripted questions during the CNN Presidential Debate in Flint, Michigan on March 6, 2016, according to The Washington Post.
It goes back at least as far as the Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas in 2007, when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer introduced questioners as “ordinary people, undecided voters.”
Those ordinary undecided voters turned out to be a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, the president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, and a far-left anti-war activist, the New York Post reported.
The New York Post said CNN did the same thing again two weeks after that, when they stacked the deck at the CNN/YouTube Republican debate.
At that event, CNN’s definition of everyday, undecided voters consisted of a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Americans For Hillary Clinton Steering Committee, an outspoken John Edwards supporter, an alleged “Log Cabin Republican” who had supported Obama, a prominent Pittsburgh union activist for the United Steelworkers, an “undecided” voter who had already publicly declared his support for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s Democratic presidential bid, two Democratic Congressional staffers, and a former intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
You can see the video of Colton Haab explaining his side of the story below: