Fox News personality Laura Ingraham has been hit by a boycott campaign designed to punish her for a couple of tweets she directed at the self-appointed Second Amendment authority David Hogg.
This was the tweet that started it:
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.) https://t.co/wflA4hWHXY
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 28, 2018
And the response:
Pick a number 1-12 contact the company next to that #
Top Laura Ingraham Advertisers
4. @Allstate & @esurance
6. @RocketMortgage Mortgage
— Black Lives Matter (@davidhogg111) March 29, 2018
Ingraham apologized, but that just wasn’t good enough.
From January 1, 2018 through March 28, Ingraham’s hour averaged 14 minutes and 33 seconds of paid commercial time, according to Kantar Media.
And then she called David Hogg a whiner.
Her criticism on Wednesday, March 28 led Hogg to call for a boycott of sponsors of the show. That sparked an advertiser bailout, and on Thursday, “The Ingraham Angle” lost so many sponsors that it had only 8 minutes and 45 seconds of ad time — down 40 percent from average. She shed another minutes and 45 seconds the next night, leading to a total decline of 52 percent.
Ingraham lost five of her Top 20 advertisers: Bayer, Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, and Wayfair.
Others that bailed include Entertainment Studios, Office Depot, Expedia, Principal Finance, Honda, Progressive Insurance, Jenny Craig, Ruby Tuesday, Jos A Bank, Stitch Fix, Nestle, TripAdvisor, and Nutrish.
Ingraham is out this week on what is billed as a planned vacation. Fox News has weighed in with its support:
“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”
Good for Mr. Abernethy. It is good to see someone stand up to the mobocracy that the U. S. is inexorably becoming. It is a shame that major corporations have so little regard for free speech that they cave into this kind of cyber lynch mob without even flinching. As William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection writes:
It’s not about Laura Ingraham or David Hogg — it’s about an unhinged and emboldened totalitarian movement that seeks to deplatform conservatives. Their primary target for a decade has been Fox News, which is the one non-liberal network in a sea of liberal major media.
Sacrificing Laura Ingraham won’t satiate the beast. If Fox News cancels Laura Ingraham over this faux outrage about her tweet, then Fox News might as well close the network.
Ultimately, though, this nothingburger of an issue is going to fade and Ingraham will rise or fall based on her ratings. Unfortunately, once you go through this kind of thing there is an inclination to pull your punches and for your bosses to tire of going to bat for you.