WTF MSM!? Did CNN script anti-gun town hall?

Rob Eno · February 22, 2018  
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Sen. Marco Rubio and Jake Tapper at the CNN town hall on guns
CNN's Jake Tapper, left, listens to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) during a CNN town hall meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla. Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/TNS | Getty Images

Scripted? …

Student speaks out … Colton Haab, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, claimed on local news that he chose not to participate in the CNN town hall on guns last night. Haab said that he made the decision after he was handed a “scripted question.” CNN has forcefully denied the suggestion. Haab is a member of the JROTC at the high school and wanted to ask a question about whether more security is necessary at schools. You can watch Haab speak here and make up your own mind.

They’ve done it before … CNN’s assertion rings hollow to me. You’ll remember Donna Brazile gave CNN town hall questions to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. CRTV’s Michelle Malkin reminded viewers of CNN’s history in a video released before the town hall. Malkin said, “CNN has a long history of rigging its town halls with phony plants and Democrat operatives to push left-wing agendas.” Malkin documented this history in a 2016 column.

The fact remains that the event last night was not news. It was political theater. From the name of the event — “The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” — to the questions, to the raucous crowd: It was political. Just because the students have every right to speak does not mean that it wasn’t an orchestrated political event. CNN will have (more) egg on its face if Haab is able to produce proof of the scripted question.

Dana Loesch is on fire … If you watched the town hall last night, you undoubtedly saw the reaction that NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch received. It was vile and misogynistic, and it included threats of violence. This morning, Loesch spoke at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, about the reception and said she needed security protection to leave the premises. Conservative Review’s Chris Pandolfo shows you what you need to know about Loesch’s fiery speech.

Loesch torched the media for focusing their town halls on “crying white mothers” and followed up by saying “there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don’t see town halls for them, do you?” You can read Pandolfo’s take and watch the full speech here.

Speaking of Loesch, here’s video of her husband, Chris, talking about the CNN event and whether it was scripted or not. Mr. Loesch notes how one student even asked Dana a question when she wasn’t on stage.


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Media pile on …

Tur’s slur … MSNBC’s Katy Tur yesterday claimed on the air that Florida Governor Rick Scott was “refusing to speak” to students assembled in his office. There was one big problem with that. Scott wasn’t “refusing to speak;” he was at a funeral for a victim of the shooting. The baseless claim by Tur only serves to increase the already boiling passions. Tur should know better.

Oh no! Trump had notes … Before going into events, leaders often have note cards to prompt them to remember to ask certain things of those assembled. Notes are a basic part of running a meeting. But hey, when you can get a picture of those notes and make them political, why not do so? Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake decided he would use the notes to remind us all of “Trump’s empathy gap.” This is just more deflection and distraction from the MSM.

Yesterday, Donald Trump held a thoughtful, respectful, and televised meeting with people touched by school violence. It looked like he was listening. But that’s not the message the media needs to be delivered, so they write this malarkey.

Oliver Darcy and activist voices at CNN … Yesterday, the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross tweeted that Brooke Baldwin “is an activist, not a reporter.” That set off Brian Stelter’s CNN media “critic” wingman, Oliver Darcy. The whole tweet thread is a must-read. Darcy shot back at Ross that if Baldwin is an activist, that means everyone at the Daily Caller must be as well. Darcy completely ignored the facts of Baldwin’s on-air activism. What Darcy apparently doesn’t get is that CNN sells itself as straight news; The Daily Caller does not. Nor does Conservative Review. There are no claims of unbiased commentary. With us here at CR, it’s right in our name. When you purport to be unbiased, you need to actually be unbiased.

Still script-free …

You know what’s unscripted? The truth. And that’s what I try to bring you every day in the WTF MSM!? newsletter. You can help spread the word about the newsletter by sending your friends over to the WTF MSM!? email signup page. Then send me an email at [email protected] to share the good news of how many more people you’ve invited to get the email. As always, feel free to tell me anything questionable you see the media do. Together, we can fight back.

Author: Rob Eno

Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.