Fox News host Laura Ingraham is eating crow this week after getting called out for “mocking” outspoken Parkland school shooting survivor, David Hogg.
Hogg, one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students at the forefront of protests after 17 of his teachers and classmates were gunned down has been the target of a barrage of negative publicity from right-leaning news shows, radio programs and websites since he became one of the ‘faces’ of the student protests.
Ingraham, a Fox commentator and host, chose to jump on the bandwagon via Twitter, tweeting: “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied… and whines about it…” Many of Ingraham’s 2.2 million Twitter followers supported the comments, and many followed suit by roasting Hogg online. However, the student responded quickly. Instead of engaging in a tweet war with any critics, Hogg encouraged his followers to contact Ingraham’s advertisers and express their displeasure.
The response had the desired result. According to NPR, multiple companies threatened to pull their advertising from Ingraham’s show after the offending tweet about Hogg. These brands included Nestle, Nutrish, Hulu, as well as Expedia, Wayfair, TripAdvisor, and Johnson & Johnson.
The day after news of the intended boycotts broke, Ingraham issued an apology, saying: “On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland…” Ingraham also invited Hogg to come on her program to discuss the issue of gun control, and, presumably, to clear the air.
Hogg was not dissuaded, saying: “I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight. It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children.”
It’s fairly clear Hogg believes the threatened boycott is what caused Ingraham to “change her mind” rather than her ruminations of Holy Week. Backing up this version of events were comments from certain advertisers, including TripAdvisor, which released this statement: “(We) do not condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster… We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy… In our view, these statements focused on a high school student cross the line of decency.”
Ingraham’s fans did not feel the same way, and took to social media to let their opinions be felt. But at present, it appears that the advertisers agree with Hogg and TripAdviser.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations.