CNN's Scripted Anti-Gun Debate Goes Off the Rails After Student Calls Out "Bloody Politicians"


CNN hosted a town hall-style event on gun control in Florida on Wednesday in the wake of the recent mass shooting. Unsurprisingly, it came off as a scripted and staged event solely intended to further one particular side of the “debate.”

Moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, the event featured both of Florida’s senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, as well as Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch — and an incredibly one-sided crowd which booed Rubio and Loesch as soon as they opened their mouths about anything.

We say the event was “scripted” because one of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was invited to participate in the debate declined to attend when the question he wrote was rejected in favor of one provided to him by the network, according to Real Clear Politics.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” explained Colton Haab, a JROTC member who gained attention with his story of shielding fellow students during the shooting with kevlar mats, and intended to ask the event panelists about using veterans as armed school guards. “I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions.”

Chris Loesch, husband of Dana, also addressed the “scripted” nature of the event during a discussion Thursday morning at CPAC, when he noted that one of the students in the audience asked a hostile question aimed at Loesch prior to her even coming on stage for her portion of the event.

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According to The Federalist, that moment was one of many in which the event seemed to go “off the rails,” when the student asked her hostile question about “blood money” political donations from the National Rifle Association to Democrat Sen. Nelson instead of Loesch.

“I had a question for Ms. Loesch but she’s not here yet,” stated the student identified as Michelle Lapidot, who badly mispronounced Loesch’s name — indicating she had no idea who she was — and was reading the question off of her phone. “So, for her and the NRA, which she’s probably watching, and all of you puppet politicians that they are backing: Was the blood of my classmates and my teachers worth your blood money?

Rather than admonish the student for the harshly framed question, Tapper jumped to Nelson’s defense and told him, “You don’t have to answer that question. Let’s move on to the next question.”

Do you think CNN scripted and staged their anti-gun town hall "debate" on gun control?

The crowd booed and the indignant student declared, “Excuse me? I’m a student. I should –,” before she was interrupted by Tapper.

“I understand that,” Tapper said. “But your question, I thought you were going to ask Senator Nelson a question. Your question sounds like you want to ask Dana Loesch a question in the next segment. And I’m happy to do that, if you want.”

Tapper all but admitted to the pre-planned and scripted nature of the event with that remark about “I though you were going ask Senator Nelson a question,” but for their part, CNN released a statement in response to Colton Haab’s allegation which flatly denied that there was anything “scripted” about the event at all, according to The Daily Caller.

“There is absolutely no truth,” to Haab’s claim, insisted Matt Dornic, CNN’s Vice President of Communications and Digital Partnerships Matt Dornic. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”

“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,” Dornic continued. “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.”

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Dornic also claimed that Haab had intended to deliver a speech instead of ask a simple question, which is why he didn’t participate, but The Daily Caller noted that several other participants in the event were permitted to engage in lengthy and emotional soliloquies instead of asking simple questions.

CNN’s staged anti-gun “debate,” replete with incessant boos and hostile questions for the conservative panelists and wild cheering at the mention of a full ban on all semi-automatic weapons, didn’t go quite as CNN may have intended, and it will be a wonder if footage from that scripted event doesn’t end up fueling GOP campaign ads against anti-gun Democrats as we approach the mid-term elections.

Please share this story on social media so everyone can see how the CNN anti-gun “debate” was quite possibly scripted in advance to further the anti-gun narrative.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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