17-year-old Colton Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC who protected his fellow classmates during last week’s shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, said that he turned down an invitation to speak at CNN’s town hall after they reportedly tried to give him a scripted question.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted,” he told Florida’s Local 10 News. “I don’t think that it’s going to get anything accomplished. It’s not going to ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”
Last night’s town hall (Feb. 21) featured surviving students of the massacre, their parents and teachers asking questions to individuals such as Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, Rep. Ted Deutch, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
Haab said that his original query involved school safety; he had a suggestion about using veterans as school guards. However, he claimed that news channel wanted him to use their pre-written, scripted questions instead. Because of this, he declined the invite to speak and attend the meeting.
CNN released a statement regarding Haan’s claims Thursday (Feb. 22), stating that they have not and will never provide scripted questions during town hall meetings. “There is absolutely no truth to this,” they wrote on their communications Twitter page.
CNN response to the claim of a “scripted question” for last night’s town hall: pic.twitter.com/Mz1hMqqfkw
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 22, 2018