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Survivors Say CNN Blocked Unapproved Gun Views for Town Hall

Exclusive on 'The Ingraham Angle': Producers from CNN censored questions for televised 'discussion' of Florida school tragedy's 'policy implications'

Two victims of the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have now come forward to say CNN producers filtered out opinions contrary to the rabid demands for gun control and confiscation that dominated the network’s Wednesday night town hall.

“I actually spoke to a CNN producer … the day after the shooting,” Andrew Klein, father of Arianna Klein, a Douglas junior who survived the ordeal, told Fox News’ “The Ingrahan Angle” Thursday night. “The producer insinuated to me they were looking for people who were willing to espouse a certain narrative.”

Klein’s daughter, Ariana, survived the shooting ordeal in which former student Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 students and adults, including the school’s athletic director and football coach. Both Kleins attended Wednesday’s listening session with President Donald Trump at the White House.

The narrative that CNN preferred, the senior Klein told host Laura Ingraham, “was taking the tragedy and turning it into a policy debate, and I read that as being a gun control debate … the producer said, ‘We are looking for people who want to talk about the policy implications for preventing future mass shootings.'”

Klein continued, saying, “I’m a Republican. I’m a gun owner. I’m a responsible gun owner,” Klein said. “And we talk about gun control. It’s not about taking away guns from people like me but keeping them out of the hands of people who should not have them or are irresponsible, or a threat to society.”

Earlier Thursday evening, Colton Haab, another Douglas student who survived the massacre, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that after he had submitted multiple questions he wanted to ask during the CNN event, a producer for the cable network rewrote them.

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“They had taken what I had wrote and briefed [them] on, and they actually wrote the question for me,” Haab told Carlson. When Carlson noted that “seems dishonest,” Haab agreed, saying, “It definitely did, and that’s kind of why I didn’t go last night.

“Originally I had thought it was going to be more of my own question and more of my own say, and then it turned out to be just a script and she had said that over the phone, that I needed to stick to the script.”

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Ariana Klein backed Haab’s account, pointing out, “Our voices need to be heard, and he should have been able to ask any question he had to ask, but instead we have these networks that don’t want us to give our real opinions and they want us to further their own agendas.”

In response to Haab, CNN issued a statement saying “there is absolutely no truth to this. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”

The CNN town hall included National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who was jeered and called a “murderer” by members of the audience, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who was also shouted down and insulted for accepting contributions from the NRA.

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The audience and the CNN panel of analysts for the program demanded banning assault rifles like the AR-15 Cruz used in the Parkland shooting.

But Ingraham pointed out that CNN has “a history of planting questions,” adding that “most of the students … had the same opinion on what to do, namely to ban certain weapons, you know, to trash the NRA, to be really disrespectful to [Sen.] Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] and nasty things being said to [NRA spokeswoman] Dana Loesch, she was there,” Ingraham said.

Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Mark Tapscott manages LifeZette's political coverage. He is an elected member of the First Amendment Center's Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, has testified before Congress on transparency in government, and is a former CPAC Conservative Journalist of the Year. Reach him at [email protected].