Florida Shooting Survivor Says CNN Town Hall 'All Scripted,' Network Denies


Colton Haab, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, told local reporters that he opted out of attending CNN's town hall because his own proposed questions were rebuffed and set to be replaced by "scripted" questions.

17-year-old Colton Haab was invited by the network to ask a question during Wednesday night's event in Sunrise, Florida. Colton Haab, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, told WPLG-10 that he was invited to speak at the town hall, but ultimately refused, calling it an entirely scripted event. "CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever", the company said in a statement to TheWrap.

The NRA Twitter account took Haab's side Thursday, accusing CNN of scripting town hall events in the past. Gonzalez was seen clutching a piece of paper as she asked a question of National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch.

The statement also said Haab would be welcome on CNN to discuss his views.

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CNN denied the allegation, claiming Haab's father pulled the student out of the town hall.

Haab planned to focus his comments on school safety and had questions about potentially using veterans as armed security guards at schools. "I don't think that it's going get anything accomplished". Feeling like he wouldn't be allowed to ask questions from his own point of view, Haab chose to not go to the town hall event, stating, "It's not going to add to the true questions that all the students, and teachers, and parents have". He guided dozens of students into a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) classroom and shielded them with Kevlar sheets. High school senior Emma Gonzalez, who has spoken out against guns at rallies since the shooting, pressed Loesch on weapons bans, reading her question from a printed slip of paper she held.

But CNN claims Haab isn't telling the truth.

Much of the media attention in the aftermath of the town hall revolved around senator Marco Rubio, whose responses to questions about gun control were met with hostility from the crowd.