A newly minted celebrity, 17-year-old David Hogg, who became a student activist after the mass shooting at Florida’s Parkland High School, is being helped in his attacks on Fox News host Laura Ingraham by “powerful, radical, shadowy groups.”
But Fox News is having none of the “agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” and the network is standing by Ingraham.
Hogg has been making the TV interview rounds since the Feb. 14 shooting at his school in which 17 people were killed, calling for gun control.
He commented in an interview that he has been rejected by a number of elite colleges and universities, and Ingraham poked fun at him on social media. He erupted and demanded an apology, which she provided.
But as his campaign against Ingraham drew support, he refused her apology and called her a “bully.” Hogg called on his more than 600,000 Twitter followers to slam Ingraham’s top advertisers with messages of opposition, prompting more than a dozen companies to yank their ads from “The Ingraham Angle.”
Ingraham is taking a planned vacation from her show this week, Fox News said.
Fox News Co-President Jack Abernathy told the Daily Caller News Foundation the network is standing by Ingraham.
“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” Abernathy told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back, hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”
Hogg isn’t the only one behind the anti-Ingraham campaign, former Fox News talk-show host Bill O’Reilly believes.
On his website, O’Reilly, whose popular Fox News show was canceled after he was accused of sexual misbehavior in lawsuits, said the powers that be are helping Hogg.
“There is no question that if you are a conservative commentator in America, elements on the far left will try to harm you,” he said. “A few weeks ago, Laura was branded a racist for opining that Lebron James and other athletes should not use their athletic platforms to talk politics. That is an opinion that millions of Americans hold.
“Now, Ms. Ingraham faces a sponsor boycott for telling an activist anti-gun high school student to stop whining about his college admission woes,” he said.
“That tweet was ill-advised and Laura has apologized. But know this: the sponsor boycott is not some spontaneous uprising by companies. It is being directed by powerful, shadowy radical groups who want Laura Ingraham off the air.”
Mediaite reported Ingraham is on a pre-scheduled vacation this week “with industry speculation buzzing that her fate is currently up in the air.”
Media Matters posted online a list of her advertisers, noting those who have complied with Hogg’s demands to withdraw from her show.
Karen Townsend at HotAir pointed out that the companies boycotting Ingraham were, in turn, becoming targets of boycotts.
She noted “The Ingraham Angle,” which airs daily at 10 p.m. Eastern time, was the No. 4 cable show on TV last month, according to AdWeek, which said it’s on track to be the second-most viewed show in its time slot.
“It’s unclear how much of an impact the advertiser exodus will have on Ingraham’s program. The 11 who have left are a small portion of the 129 companies that have run ads on her program in the last 10 days, reports Media Matters, a left-leaning media activist group,” Townsend wrote.
“Funny how corporations have caved so quickly to the demands of the young Floridian, isn’t it? Not only did companies immediately jump on the bandwagon of blaming the NRA for the mass shooting and cancel discounts to members but now corporate America is responding to and encouraging Hogg’s fifteen minutes of fame. While I don’t agree with Ingraham’s mocking his failures to be admitted into colleges – she was trying to make a cheap political point – there is plenty to criticize him about over his policy demands and his political ideology.”
She write that as Hogg “fancies himself a student journalist, it is hard to not notice he has his act down cold.”
“He dresses and presents himself to appear more mature. He has a perpetual frown for the camera and wishes to project a level of seriousness that is often contradicted with his hot takes on Twitter. One minute he is asking Americans to come together for common sense gun control reforms and the next he is name-calling politicians and blaming a private organization for murder. You know, like a teenager behaves.”
The Washington Post said critics have speculated whether or not Hogg and other students “are mature enough to understand the complex policy positions they have staked out.”
But Hogg, the report said, accused Ingraham of bullying him by making Twitter statements about being rejected by top colleges.
The newspaper cited other retailer boycotts that have been announced, such as an anti-President Trump “GrabYourWallet” campaign. But that effort triggered a backlash from Trump supporters, who pledged to back companies targeted by “GrabYourWallet.”