PARKLAND — Longtime “Fox News” contributor and host Laura Ingraham bit off more than she could chew when mocking Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg about his college rejections.
Hogg survived the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by Nikolas Cruz that claimed the lives of 17 of his classmates and teachers, and promptly embarked on a path of highly-publicized gun control activism that brought him to the nation’s attention, much to the chagrin of Ingraham and other far right commentators who have hurled everything from insults to outright conspiracy theories at the Marjory Stoneman students.
Hogg, who carries an impressive GPA and has an SAT score of 1270, posted in fairly good humor on social media about college rejections he’d recently received. Ingraham tweeted in response:
“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”
As it turns out, the public judged it still a little too soon for partisan attacks on an 18-year-old high school student who’d just undergone a severe tragedy. Hogg issued a call for Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott her show, and several agreed, including such high-profile “Ingraham Angle” sponsors as TripAdvisor, Nutrish, Wayfair, JoS. A. Bank, Expedia, Hulu and Nestle.
Pressure from Hogg’s 600,000 Twitter followers undoubtedly helped the companies come to their respective decisions.
“We are in the process of removing our ads from Laura Ingraham’s program,” Nutrish, the pet food company of celebrity cook Rachael Ray, said via Twitter.
Hulu also responded on Twitter: “We’d like to confirm that we are no longer advertising on Laura Ingraham’s show and are monitoring all of our ad placements carefully.”
One of the most scathing indictments of Ingraham’s comments came in a statement issued by e-commerce company Wayfair:
“As a company, we support open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program.”
As the hits kept coming, Ingraham offered a weak apology.
“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,” the Fox host said. “For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David immediately after that horrific shooting and even noted how ‘poised’ he was given the tragedy. As always, he’s welcome to return to the show anytime for a productive discussion.”
Unfortunately for Ingraham, the Twitter war was only just heating up; Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg who was slain in the massacre, reacted to the statement.
“An apology to save your advertisers is not enough,” Guttenberg tweeted. “What you did was disgusting. Our message for common sense gun reforms has won, and those in opposition have gone negative. They need to pay a price for that. These kids have suffered enough.”
Hogg added to the comment on Thursday: “I 100% agree an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough. 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.”
Ingraham has been under a social media siege of sorts from other responders since.
“Are you really picking on a teenager who just watched his classmates die in pools of their blood less than two months ago?” Brooke Binkowski asked in a manner and tone typical of the many replies.
“Imagine being an adult who hates teenagers so much you pants him online for getting rejected by colleges,” Andrew Kirell tweeted.
It may yet come to pass that the next unintended casualty of Nikolas Cruz’s rampage is Laura Ingraham’s career.