The problem seems to have started when Colton Haab submitted a question he wanted to ask at CNN’s town hall and was invited to speak. After Colton got that invitation, Glenn Haab instead wrote back to CNN with a lengthy statement that he wanted his son to give instead. CNN correspondent Carrie Stephenson responded that the statement was too long and that instead they needed to stick to the question Colton had submitted himself.
“This is what Colton and I discussed on the phone that he submitted.”
But to support his contention that CNN was trying to make Colton follow a script written for him by someone else, Glenn Haab shopped to the media an email that simply said.
“This is what Colton and I discussed on the phone.”
The doctored emails immediately made the rounds and were used as “proof” that CNN was driving the narrative rather than the students. After his father told CNN that Colton would not participate in the town hall, Colton was interviewed by both local and national news and said that CNN had actually asked for a long speech and then substituted a question of their own.
"CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted," Haab said.
Only … no. Colton submitted a question, CNN accepted the question and offered him a time to speak. Then when the elder Haab attempted to expand that slot into a lengthy speech and three questions rather than one, CNN simply reminded them both that there was limited time and asked that Colton stick to the question he had written and submitted.
And then Glenn Haab manufactured a story that did harm to Colton’s fellow students and fed into the conspiracy machine.
Haab acknowledges omitting some words from the email but says he didn't do it on purpose.
The only problem with Haab’s “didn’t do it on purpose” claim, is that the words he omitted were dead in the center of the email. It’s difficult to think of any scenario in which those words were left out, other than one in which they were specifically selected and deleted. An action that perfectly served the needs of people who are attacking students and their families—people who are still attacking the families of students at Sandy Hook.
And the motivation behind it all doesn’t seem to be any better thought out than wanting more time on national TV. And if that’s what Haab wanted … he’s getting it.
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