News and Commentary

REPORT: CNN’s Long History Of Allowing Democratic Town-Hall Plants, Rigging Debates

On Wednesday, CNN hosted a town hall that was supposed to be an open discussion on what could be done to prevent further school shootings but was quickly revealed to be an overtly one-sided event in which pro-Second Amendment advocates were shouted down. Now accusations have surfaced that CNN “scripted” the event.

Colton Haab, the ROTC student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who acted heroically during last week’s shooting, accused CNN of censoring his pre-submitted statement and questions. Haab claims that one of Jake Tapper’s producers, executive producer Carrie Stevenson, replaced questions he planned to ask with a question provided by CNN and told him that he had to “stick to the script.” Haab decided to skip the debate altogether.

In response, CNN accused Haab of lying in a tweet published by CNN’s communications team:

President Donald Trump seized on the opportunity to hammer the far-left network, which commonly serves as his punching bag, which drew the following response from CNN’s communication team:

CNN has proof? Will they release their proof? It is suspicious that the allegations that CNN scripted the town hall have been made public for over 24 hours, yet there has been no pushback on the claims made by Haab from anyone who attended the town hall.

If Haab is lying, why aren’t the people who attended the town hall calling him out for it? Could CNN actually have scripted the town hall?

Well, if history is any indicator, the answer is yes.

A 2016 piece by Michelle Malkin documented numerous examples of times in which CNN has stacked the audience and only allowed questions to go to people who are big-time Democrats:

CNN has a long history of allowing political plants to flourish in its public forums.

At the cable station’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas in 2007, moderator Wolf Blitzer introduced several citizen questioners as “ordinary people, undecided voters.” But they later turned out to include a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, the president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, and a far-left anti-war activist who’d been quoted in newspapers lambasting Harry Reid for his failure to pull out of Iraq.

Malkin goes on to highlight a “CNN/YouTube GOP debate” that took place just a few weeks before she published the article, in which “undecided voters” were the ones who got to ask questions. Here are the “undecided voters”:

  • A member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Americans For Hillary Clinton Steering Committee.
  • A young woman named “Journey” who questioned the candidates on abortion and whom CNN failed to properly identify as an outspoken John Edwards supporter.
  • A supposed “Log Cabin Republican” who had declared his support for Obama on an Obama ‘08 campaign blog.
  • A supposedly unaffiliated “concerned mother” who was actually a staffer and prominent Pittsburgh union activist for the United Steelworkers — which had endorsed Edwards for president.
  • A supposed “undecided” voter who urged Ron Paul to run as an independent, but who had already publicly declared his support for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s Democratic presidential bid.
  • A staffer for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), a former intern for Rep. Jane Harman (D-California) and a former intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Malkin further notes that when the Democrats were pushing hard for Obamacare, White House “citizen town halls” were stacked with far-left Democrats, including:

  • An operative for the Washington, DC-based Health Care for America Now, the K Street Astroturf outfit with a $40 million budget to lobby for government-run health care that directed its activists to “drown out” opponents at town hall meetings.
  • An “unemployed” cancer patient who was actually working for the DNC’s Organizing for America and the Virginia Organizing Project, which coordinated lobbying trips and health care forums with HCAN.
  • A Democratic National Committee member and community blogger at Organizing for America.
  • The 11-year-old daughter of a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama who had donated thousands of dollars to the campaign, as had her law-firm employer.

During the 2016 Democratic primaries, CNN commentator Donna Brazile gave debate questions to Hillary Clinton before the debate so that she could prepare in advance. Brazile lied about doing so repeatedly before she finally came clean and admitted to doing it.