The fallout from Wednesday’s CNN Town Hall has been a mixed bag from supporters and critics. While most are applauding the efforts of the students from Stoneman Douglas to change the conversation about gun control in the nation, the main push from opponents of gun control is undermining the reporting of the media, particularly CNN. The network has faced a pair of accusations revolving around alleged scripting of answers during the town hall, forcing CNN and its personalities to go on the defensive against the false accusations.
Jake Tapper addressed one controversy that directly involved him, with a critic accusing the host and network of plotting out questions to feed to the students in the audience. The moment in question involves a student who began with a question for Dana Loesch — not present at the time — while Senator Bill Nelson stood to address her. The moment was confusing during the telecast, but it was clear what had happened. For Tapper, the criticism the moment received was dishonest:
This was only a taste of things to come for the CNN Town Hall as another story was swept up by Fox News, eventually making its way to the president. It involves Stoneman Douglas student and member the JROTC Colton Haab and his claims that the network attempted to feed him scripted questions. This forced Haab to pull out of the televised event, taking his story to Fox News and other online publications.
And from the appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, President Trump noticed and made a comment. This added another moment to his rivalry with the network, but also led to their direct response to the accusations to both the president and Tucker Carlson:
As would be discovered via the emails between CNN’s producers and the Haab family, the version shared with Fox News and other outlets running with the “scripted questions” storyline had been doctored from the originals. A key passage indicating the words were Haab’s were omitted from the email, showing that someone had edited the original.
Haab’s family allegedly edited the emails from CNN’s producer to remove the passage in question, but even then, it is clear that nothing wrong happened on CNN’s end. One of the big indications here is that outspoke Conservative commentator Erick Erickson is speaking out in defense of CNN.
It would seem that those against more gun regulations are willing to focus and blame everything but the actual weapons that are the focus of the current protests. If anything, the fight seems to only be beginning.