Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson Back Off "Scripted" Town Hall Question Claim
The about-face from the Fox News hosts comes after a high school student's father admitted to inadvertently deleting words in an email to a CNN producer.
Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, two primetime Fox News hosts who helped popularize the narrative that CNN had "scripted" a question for high school student Colton Haab to ask in a Feb. 21 town hall on gun control, admitted on their respective shows Tuesday night that no evidence now backs up that claim.
Their comments came after the Associated Press spoke to the student's father, Glen Haab, who told the newswire that he unintentionally deleted a few words from an email he had received from a CNN producer before sending it to outlets covering the "scripted" story. The omission of those words gave more credence to the belief that CNN had essentially told the student what he should ask the politicians assembled for the event.
On top of statements from CNN denying that it did anything untoward, both network president Jeff Zucker and anchor Jake Tapper personally told The Hollywood Reporter in interviews that the whole thing is baloney. "It's just not true," Tapper said last week.
"There is no evidence, as of right now, that CNN tried to give Colton Haab a scripted question," Carlson said in an "update" on his show.
Carlson had interviewed the student Thursday night, an interview that President Trump then tweeted about. He said his show had asked CNN to verify and comment on the emails that the Haab family provided, which he said the family now "concedes" it altered.
"Tonight, Glenn Haab told the AP that he omitted some words from the email; he says he did not do it on purpose," Hannity said on his show. "Therefore, what Haab told all news outlets last week was inaccurate. Our job is always try to strive for the truth, and we wanted to correct the record.”
When contacted, a spokesman for CNN declined to comment on the record about the about-faces. A Fox News spokesperson pointed only to the videos of the Tuesday night segments.