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Commentary

FL Survivor's Dad: CNN Producer Told Me Specific Type of People They Wanted on Air

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Journalists are supposed to report the news as evenhandedly and fairly as possible. Of course, every story has a bit of an angle — but when does that “angle” become blatantly dishonest spin?

That’s the question that many people are now asking in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Left-leaning news outlets such as CNN wasted no time in turning the tragedy into a platform to push liberal talking points… and now several people directly connected to the incident are calling out the media for playing politics and stacking the deck.

During a Thursday night appearance on “The Ingraham Angle,” one of the school shooting survivors and her father spoke plainly about their frustrations in dealing with the media, particularly CNN.

Host Laura Ingraham asked Ariana Klein, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, for her thoughts on the CNN “town hall” event that seemed shamelessly slanted to attack Second Amendment rights and promote gun control.

“The whole point of the town hall meeting was to hear the kids and hear what we had to say,” the young student said.

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Ingraham brought up Colton Haab, another survivor of the shooting who has accused CNN of telling him to “stick to the script” and pressured him to parrot the network’s talking points instead of writing his own questions during the town hall meeting.

“Originally I thought it was going to be my own question and my own say. It turned out to be more of just a script. She had actually said over the phone that I needed to stick to the script,” Haab told Tucker Carlson previously.

(The discussion with the Klein’s begins at the 22:59 mark.)

Has CNN's coverage of this incident been slanted?

Ariana Klein sided with her classmate. “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,” she told Ingraham.

That’s when Klein’s father doubled down on the claim that CNN was trying to skew the town hall event and their reporting overall to push a particular narrative.

“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,” Andrew Klein explained.

“And I read that as being a gun control debate,” he stated.

When pressed for clarification from Ingraham, the father confirmed that CNN wanted to give the spotlight only to people who would to talk about “policy implications” of the shooting, which is news-speak for criticizing gun laws.

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Klein explained that the CNN producer was “looking for people who want to talk about the policy implications about happened (…) 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.”

In other words, Ariana Klein being a survivor of the school shooting was apparently not interesting enough for CNN to invite her to the town hall meeting. They were only planning on inviting people who wanted to attack gun policy.

There may be a simple but disturbing reason that CNN did not want to give Ariana Klein and her father a platform to speak: The family is Republican and he is a gun owner.

“I’m a Republican. I’m a gun owner. I’m a responsible gun owner,” Mr. Klein told Ingraham. “Unfortunately, I think a lot of the people talking about gun control don’t understand what they’re talking about.”

There is room for commentary and specific political viewpoints within news reporting when it is clearly labelled as such. The problem with what outlets like CNN are doing is that they’re pretending to be unbiased.

They’re pretending that a staged, slanted town hall debate is a fair representation of people’s views, when it looks increasingly like they cherry-picked only the voices that matched their narrative. It’s a rejection of any diversity of opinion while claiming to be neutral — and the American people are getting tired of those games.

Press “Share on Facebook” if you’re fed up with a biased media acting as the arbiters of truth!

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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