CNN releases emails to push back on claim about ‘scripted’ town hall question
CNN released emails from a network producer on Friday that contradict a Florida high school student’s claim that the network scripted a question that he was supposed to ask at a televised town hall event this week.
Colton Haab, a survivor of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., said Thursday on Fox News that CNN had initially asked him to “write a speech and ask questions” for the event but that a producer ultimately scripted a question for him. CNN has denied that claim.
According to Business Insider, CNN and Haab agreed on the question that he would ask at the town hall. His father, Glenn Haab, pulled his son out of the event after the network refused to let the student read a lengthy speech.
The Haabs also appeared to provide doctored emails to media outlets to back up the claim that CNN scripted the questions, Business Insider reported. CNN’s version of the email showed that the producer wrote she wanted the student to stick to a question “that he submitted,” but that phrase was omitted in the version released by the family.
The family of a Parkland shooting survivor appears to have provided doctored emails to Fox and HuffPost in an attempt to support their claim that CNN “scripted” its Wednesday town hall. https://t.co/AdiXw2lmRz pic.twitter.com/3O5EneClcK
— Eliza Relman (@eliza_relman) February 24, 2018
“It is unfortunate that an effort to discredit CNN and the town hall with doctored emails has taken any attention away from the purpose of the event,” a CNN spokesman said, according to Business Insider.
“However, when presented with doctored email exchanges, we felt the need to set the record straight.”
President Trump on Thursday night seized on the claim that CNN rewrote Haab’s question, calling the network “Fake News.”
“Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse,” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018