When ‘Fake News’ is Actually Fake News

You’ve probably seen all the claims circulating about CNN allegedly “coaching” survivors of the Parkland school shooting and telling them to stick to the questions as given to them. Trump, of course, called it “fake news.” Turns out the “fake news” was actually fake news.

The family of Colton Haab, a student at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week, provided a doctored email to media outlets in order to defend Haab’s claims that CNN rewrote a question for him to ask at the network’s Wednesday town-hall-style event on school shootings.

Haab told the Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday night that CNN executive producer Carrie Stevenson gave him a question to deliver to lawmakers and told him to “stick to the script.”…

“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,” Haab told Carlson. “And they had — she had taken that, of what I had briefed on, and actually wrote that question out for me.”

CNN says that Stevenson and Colton agreed on one question that Colton would ask, but that Haab’s father, Glenn Haab, intervened, sending a lengthy speech (see below) that he wanted Colton to read, which included three questions for lawmakers.

Stevenson responded that the speech was “way too long” and that Colton “needs to stick” to the question they agreed on. Glenn then responded that he and his son “are not actors” and that Colton would not participate in the town hall if he could not read the full speech.

And here’s the important part. They turned over doctored emails that showed CNN was telling the truth. They said that they were asking everyone to keep their questions brief rather than give long speeches and that he needed stick to the question “that he submitted.” The emails that the Haab family turned over did not include that part and the metadata for the Word document that included the email showed that the last person to edit it was Glenn Haab.

The Haab family then sent those doctored emails to Fox News and Tucker Carlson ran with the story, claiming that it shows CNN was trying to censor the families who wanted policy changes other than stricter gun laws. Of course, virtually every time they claim something is fake news, that turns out to be fake news.

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