CNN Destroys Right Wing Lie About School Shooting Town Hall – Which Raises A Disturbing Question
A lot of conspiracy theories have been thrown against the Parkland shooting and its survivors, either claiming that the whole thing was a hoax created by leftist activists, or that the victims are paid actors. As nonsensical as most of these are, one has gained particular momentum in right-wing circles. And that is the allegation that, for the then-upcoming CNN town hall about gun control, the network prevented one of the survivors from reading a statement that he originally intended to read, instead forcing him to go with a scripted question.
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The reason this idiocy has weight to it, to the point where President Trump feels comfortable tweeting about it, is because it has been championed by the student himself, Colton Haab. Haab, a cadet in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, claimed on Fox News that CNN refused to let him make a proposal involving the hiring of veterans as armed guards at schools, amongst other inquiries. His advocacy for this pseudo-patriotic idea, combined with his status in the military JROTC program, means he is the perfect person for the Republicans to use in their counter-argument in the renewed gun debate.
Haab’s father Glenn pulled him from the debate and released a copy of an email between himself and the network, which he claimed contained the demand. This set the elder Haab and his son up for instant popularity among conservative advocates. Only, it turns out that that email they submitted was doctored in a small, yet profound way.
So, of course CNN made the wise and obvious decision to also release their copy of the online correspondence. Readers can view the two messages below courtesy of Business Insider reporter Eliza Relman:
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
As I pointed out before, the difference is small yet significant because it indicates that Haab himself wanted to ask the “scripted question,” but changed his mind as the event date neared. As The Hill’s Max Greenwood put it:
“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.”
Whether Haab, who heroically worked to protect his fellow classmates from harm, is being manipulated by his father into lying remains to be seen, but a look at Mr. Haab’s Facebook page reveals that he follows right-wing political figure Allen B. West, and Florida Governor Rick Scott. And the question of whether Haab or his father turned his heroism into a disgraceful effort to protect the gun lobby is a disturbing one. And it raises questions about why…
Regardless, it is sad to see this tragedy being turned into a poor attempt at propagating fake news. The country should be better than this.
Image a screen capture from Fox News’s YouTube Channel
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