The father of a Stoneman Douglas High School student is accusing CNN of specifically seeking out survivors of the shooting who wanted to talk about gun control, bolstering another survivor’s claims that the network tried to plant scripted questions at their Wednesday night town hall.
Andrew Klein, a Republican gun-owner and the father of Ariana Klein, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, said on Fox News Thursday that he received a call from a CNN producer the day after the shooting last week.
He said it was “not surprising” that the town hall was focused on strict gun control measures, as the producer he spoke to was looking for people who wanted to talk about “policy.”
“I actually spoke to a CNN producer on Thursday, the day after the shooting, and the producer insinuated to me that they were looking for people who were willing to espouse a certain narrative, which was taking the tragedy and turning it into a policy debate,” Klein claimed. “And I read that as being a gun control debate.”
Fox host Laura Ingraham asked Klein to share specifically what the producer told him, and he recalled that the producer said, “we are looking for people who want to talk about the policy implications about what happened.”
“She didn’t mention guns, but, you know, in terms of the policy implications for preventing future mass shootings, and if you know folks who want to talk about that we would like to speak to those people,” Klein said, with his daughter nodding along.
Klein’s memory of the phone call could give weight to the claims of shooting survivor Colton Haab, a junior ROTC student, who accused CNN of trying to script a question for him to ask at the town hall. (RELATED: CNN Denies Student’s Claim The Network Planted ‘Scripted’ Questions At Gun Town Hall)
According to Haab, CNN asked him to submit a speech and questions, only for CNN to respond with their own “scripted” question they wanted him to ask. (RELATED: Parkland Shooting Survivor: CNN Planted ‘Scripted’ Question At Town Hall)
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab claimed, explaining that he decided not to go to the town hall after the incident. “I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions.”
CNN said there was “absolutely no truth” to Haab’s claims, arguing that Haab’s father pulled him from the appearance after CNN told him he would not be able to deliver a lengthy speech.
“After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” CNN’s Vice President of Communications and Digital Partnerships Matt Vornic told The Daily Caller. “Colton’s father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected. We welcome Colton to join us on CNN today to discuss his views on school safety.”
Dornic added that the network gave Haab the opportunity to expand on the idea of arming teachers rather than delivering a prepared speech, but Haab allegedly declined to reframe his remarks.
While CNN claimed participants were not invited to give lengthy remarks, several did so anyway without being stopped by moderator Jake Tapper. Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, spoke for four minutes while NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Broward Country Sheriff Scott Israel sat on stage.