CNN wanted to ‘take a tragedy and turn it into a policy debate.’
Andrew Klein, father of Stoneman Douglas High School junior Ariana Klein, claims CNN producers were fishing for families to “espouse a certain narrative” at the network’s recent town hall on “gun policy.”
Klein told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham it seemed CNN officials exploited the victims of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida to press a decidedly anti-gun agenda, substantiating allegations by others the network staked its recent town hall with gun-control advocates and ignored other opinions.
“It seemed like most of the students had the same opinion on what to do, namely to ban certain weapons, to trash the NRA, to be really disrespectful to (U.S. Sen.) Marco Rubio, and nasty things being said to Dana Loesch, who was there. But they all seemed to be pretty much in agreement, as far as I could tell,” Ingraham said. “There was no diversity of opinion among either the students or anyone else I saw, even in the audience.”
“Laura, that’s not surprising at all,” Klein said. “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 a tragedy and turning it into a policy debate. And I read that as being a gun control debate.”
The Kleins didn’t participate, perhaps because Andrew Klein believes many folks discussing gun control are misguided.
“Unfortunately, I think a lot of people who are talking about gun control don’t understand what they’re talking about,” he said. “I’m a Republican. I’m a gun owner. I’m a responsible gun owner. And when we talk about gun control, it’s not about taking guns away from people like me. It’s about keeping them out of the hands of people who should not have them, who are irresponsible, who are a threat to society.
“Last night, when (U.S. Rep.) Ted Deutch kept repeating his mantra that he wants to eliminate any gun that can fire 150 rounds in six minutes – that’s almost every gun that’s out there.”
The controversy centers on a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead last week. Liberal leaders like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and liberal news outlets like CNN instantly leveraged the tragedy to call for increased regulations on gun owners.
Klein isn’t the first to accuse CNN producers of pushing a gun-control agenda at Wednesday night’s town hall, which many have criticized as a biased sham to promote gun control. Shooting survivor Colton Haab, a JROTC member who helped usher his classmates to safety during the attack, told Fox News that CNN producers invited him to participate in the event with a speech and question, but later nixed his comments because they did not align with the program’s narrative.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab told WPLG.
Haab told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that CNN producer Carrie Stevenson contacted him and asked him to contribute a speech, but later changed the request to a speech and questions, then just questions. After exchanging several emails, Haab contends Stevenson cut his participation to one scripted question.
“So what they had actually done was wrote out a question for me because in my interview with CNN, I had talked about arming the teachers, if they were willing to arm themselves in the school to carry on campus,” he said. “And they had – she had taken that of what I had briefed on and actually wrote that question out for me.”
Haab said he initially agreed to participate because he wanted to “speak my part” and “open eyes to a few things,” but eventually pulled out when Stevenson insisted he “stick to the script.”
“She had actually said that over the phone that I needed to stick to the script,” Haab said.
CNN claims the 17-year-old is a liar.
“There is absolutely no truth to this,” according to the official statement. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”