Now, Fox News’ Jesse Watters has updated his program’s reporting on allegations CNN scripted its town hall on gun violence.
Last week, Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, as well as Fox News.com, updated viewers and readers on previous news reports on the claims that CNN scripted its town hall. Florida school shooting survivor Colton Haab alleged that CNN scripted the event, and then his father released e-mails that seemingly supported the claims; CNN then released its copy of e-mail exchanges and Haab’s father admitted to the Associated Press he had edited the e-mails. Haab denied the edits were “malicious.”
While Watters did issue an update explaining the father of a student admitted to changing an e-mail, iMediaEthics notes the update was not necessarily a full correction, but rather posed it like a debate. In a March 3 episode, Watters said, according to Mediaite:
“Last week we told you about reports CNN may have scripted questions for a town hall. The father of one of the students making that accusation has since said he accidentally removed a line from the CNN emails. Some say they may have changed its meaning. Just wanted to let you know.”
iMediaEthics wrote to Fox News to ask why Watters presented the matter as a dispute, by saying “some say they may have changed its meaning,” when the deletion of words does change the meaning. Fox News declined to comment, pointing to the on-air statement.
Laura Ingraham also made an on-air statement updating viewers that the e-mails were doctored. Ingraham said,
“Before we go, we want to update everyone on a story we discussed last week when a Stoneman Douglas student claimed that CNN tried to script questions for him ahead of its gun violence town hall. The student offered email exchanges as proof but that student’s father now admitting he altered part of those emails by omitting key words. (tsk tsk tsk) You shouldn’t do that.”