When Laura Ingraham Goes Low, David Hogg Goes High Right After Her Sponsors—Spot On! April 2, 2018
Remember former First Lady Michelle Obama’s quote in her speech at the 7/2016 Democratic National Convention supporting Hillary? When attacking Demagogue Donald and his fellow GOPers’ bullying tactics, Michelle Obama stated, “Our motto is: when they go low, we go high (Benen, MSNBC, Maddow Show, 7/25/16).” Unfortunately, the GOP, led by Trump, has made bullying an art form. This bullying has far too often succeeded, first with Donald’s election, and then with his various attacks on wavering Republicans, the media, Democrats, and anyone else who dares to disagree with him. In the Age of Trump, how does one successfully hit back at this supreme bully and his “noise machine” of “Red” aiders and abettors? Not by ignoring their attacks or staying above the political fray. Instead, one must hit the Trump GOP gang where it hurts the most—in its pocketbook. If enough people boycott the sponsors of shows mouthing 24/7 extremist lies, fake news, and absurd propaganda, these shows can be pulled off the air or take a ratings nosedive. Even before Donald came to D.C., Rush “Loose Blabbermouth” Limbaugh took one big hit in his talk radio ratings. After he called birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut” in 2012, many people boycotted his sponsors. Many major sponsors then left him and “El Rushbo’s” ratings plummeted (See Wash. Post, Johnson, J., 3/03/12). In 2017, more than 50 brands pulled ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” after the NY Times had reported on settlements that the show’s host, FOX “star” Bill O’Reilly, had made with women who had accused him of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior. This boycott and these settlements contributed to FOX’ s finally ousting O’ Reilly (See NY Times, Victor, 3/29/18).
The heartless Trump/GOP “noise machine” gang, however, does not cease its irrational attacks against any opposition. They and their NRA allies have gone bonkers over the Parkland, FL high school survivors of the 2/14/2018 gun massacre that slaughtered 17 of their classmates. Why? Because this media savvy group of teens has had the “nerve” to get their peers to organize and argue for gun control. Even worse, the Parkland survivors are pushing to get their fellow 18-year-olds and their friends to register and vote in the 2018 midterms against candidates doing the NRA’s bidding, read, nearly 100% of the GOP. Should this young group of voters finally show up at the polls, the GOP’s control of the House, possibly the Senate, many governorships, and state legislative chambers could be overturned. OMG! In Trump/FOX World, only the “angry Tea Party GOP/NRA” crowd has the right to lobby for their pet reactionary causes.
One of the major leaders against gun violence is Parkland, FL’s David Hogg. Los Angeles, CA native Hogg is the son of former FBI Agent Kevin Hogg and Rebecca Boldrik Hogg, a Broward County FL public school teacher. David moved to FL when he started high school. A Teenlink reporter for the “Sun Sentinel,” Hogg is currently a senior who is expected to graduate from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Miami Herald, Cohen, 3/3/18, abcnews.go.com, Scanlan, 2/18/18, Dwilson, heavy.com, 2/24/18). On 2/14/2018, Hogg was on campus when Nikolas Cruz started shooting with his semi-automatic rifle. Hogg and other students hid in a closet (time.com, 2/15/18, Prusher). Hogg used his cell phone to record the scene. He interviewed other students hiding with him to leave a record in case they did not survive. He texted with his freshman sister during the shooting (cnn.com, 2/18/18, Andone, Strachan, 2/15/18, huffingtonpost.com, Amos, bbc.com, 2/15/18).
After this massacre, Hogg joined other Parkland survivors including Emma Gonzales, Cameron Kasky, Alfonso Calderon, and Sarah Chadwick to protest gun violence and advocate for gun control all over the media. He called on elected officials to compromise to pass gun control measures in order to save lives (Barrett & Dawsey, 2/18/18, Wash. Post, cbsnews.com, 2/18/18, cbsnews.com, Song, 2/16/18). Hogg was one of 20 founding members of the Never Again MSD gun control advocacy group led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students (Lowery, 2/18/18, washingtonpost.com). Hogg and fellow Parkland survivor-activist Emma Gonzales blamed the NRA and the politicians to whom they donate as being complicit in school shootings. Hogg declined to see Trump in D.C. He said he had to be in Tallahassee to lobby state legislators on gun control and that Donald should talk to him in Parkland (Axios, 2/19/18, Johnson & Wagner, washingtonpost.com, 2/21/18). Hogg supports the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms and the right of NRA members to own guns legally. Hogg wants reasonable gun control. He is for regulations prohibiting those with mental illness to get guns. He wants universal background checks. He is for raising the federal age of gun ownership and possession to 21, for banning all bump stocks, and for making sure that people who have committed acts of domestic violence no longer can get guns (Wilson, K., tampabay.com, 2/21/18, cnsnews.com, Jones, S., 2/28/18).
Rational/reasonable Hogg, along with his fellow advocates, was irrationally attacked. False claims on social media stated the Parkland massacre never happened. Other wackos accused Hogg and his fellow survivors of being “crisis actors,” a term used by conspiracy theorists to tar the 12/14/2012 Sandy Hook, CT elementary school shooting victims. “Crisis actors,” according to the likes of loony commentator Alex jones and extremist outlet “True Pundit,” claim that people like Hogg “play” victims of massacres to get gun control in order to “disarm the population (Yglesias, M., vox.com, 2/22/18, snopes.com, 2/22/18, Wilson, 22/1/18, Yahoo!News).” Hogg’s family received death threats from conspiracy theorists, according to his mother (nypost.com, Musumeci, 2/22/18). People claiming to be Trump supporters on Twitter tweeted that Hogg was being used as a “pawn” by gun control activists. Some of these tweeters claimed Hogg was being “coached” by his former FBI agent father to criticize Donald (businessinsider.com, Smith, A., 2/20/16, CNN, Chavez, 2/21/18). Donald Jr. “liked” these tweets. Hogg quickly called Trump Jr. “immature, rude, and inhumane” for liking these tweets (NY Times, Grynbaum, 2/20/18, theweek.com, Lange, 2/20/18). FOX News host Laura Ingraham piled on. In a tweet, Ingraham nastily attacked Hogg with these words, “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.) 8:45AM- Mar 28 2018.” Actually, Hogg, with his Advanced Placement courses has a 4.2 average, and Ingraham can’t even get this simple fact correct (See dailykos.com, “Good News,” 4/01/2018 edition).
Hogg immediately aimed “high.” He went straight for Ingraham’s economic jugular. He called on Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott her FOX show, “The Ingraham Angle.” In 2/2018, Ingraham’s show drew an average of more than 2.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the fourth most-watched cable-news program. Only FOX’s “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” attracted more viewers that month (“Variety,” Steinberg, 3/30/18). After three sponsors dropped Ingraham, she issued a mealy-mouthed apology that didn’t really say she was actually sorry for what she had said or that her attack uncalled for. She just stated that she was sorry because it’s coming up on Easter. She also ridiculously tweeted that she was “helping” Hogg promote his message. Give me a break! Her words? “Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA -incl. @DavidHogg 111. 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. For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David… (1/2). 1:06 PM-29 Mar 2018.” Hogg and Ingraham’s corporate sponsors were not buying her “apology (huffingtonpost.com, 3/30/18, Fang).” As of midnight, 3/31/2018, 19 corporate sponsors have rightly ditched her. These include heavyweights Expedia, Johnson & Johnson, Hulu, Office Depot, Honda, and Bayer (Kos, mediamatters.org). After this controversy over Ingraham’s tweets, she announced on her 3/30/2018 show that she is taking the next week off. Whether she will permanently leave the show is yet to be determined (“Variety,” Steinberg, 3/30/18).
Hopefully, even if Ingraham returns, she will be damaged economically and in her ratings. Ingraham is a “biggy” star in the GOP propaganda galaxy that David Brock described in a 2004 book bearing the title, “The Republican Noise Machine.” Glastonbury, CT native Laura Ingraham (54) received a 1985 undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and a 1991 law degree from the University of Virginia. Ingraham was a vicious radical right-winger from the get-go and has been at it for over 35 years. At Dartmouth, she was a staff member of the infamous “Dartmouth Review” and its editor-in-chief in her senior year (Shapiro, G., “The New York Sun,” 4/28/06, Kos, 3/29/18). “The Dartmouth Review” specialized in hounding LGBTQ students and blacks whom it mimicked with Sambo-style speech pattern parodies. As an editor of this “paper,” Ingraham had a reporter go undercover at a Dartmouth LGBTQ meeting and published the transcript, including the attendees. She, therefore, outed them to friends and family. At the start of the meeting, an oath of confidentiality was read. Ingraham claimed confidentiality did not apply, claiming it was a “freedom of the press issue (Kos, 3/29/18, Bethesda 1971, Alterman, “What Liberal Media?”, 2003).” Ingraham was described by the “Dartmouth Review’s” faculty advisor as having “the most extreme anti-homosexual views imaginable.” He claimed “she went so far as to avoid a local eatery where she feared the waiters were homosexual (Kos, 3/29/18).”
Ingraham clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas, unlike other conservative Justices, only hires law clerks who share his hard rock right-wing philosophy (Peppers, “Courtiers Of The Marble Palace”). Ingraham worked as a speechwriter for Reagan and practiced law in NY (Kurtz, Wash. Post). However, she first came to public attention because she wore a leopard-skin miniskirt for a “New York Times Magazine” cover shoot. Ingraham catapulted herself into TV fame with other “blond-haired/bombshell” conservatives including fanatic Ann Coulter, the late Barbara Olson, and Trump shill Kellyanne Conway, all Bill Clinton haters (Kurtz, Wash. Post, 10/16/98). Ingraham has appeared on MSNBC, CBS, NBC, and “The McLaughlin Group.” Her MSNBC show flopped. On it, she flubbed her lines and missed commercial breaks. However, on this show and others, she often engaged in catty innuendo where she made fun of people’s looks (Alterman). On talk radio, she was more of a success. Before getting “The Ingraham Angle” in 10/2017, she was carried by over 300 stations on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” The NY Times called Ingraham an “ardent nationalist.” She is a “y uu ge” Trump supporter. Despite her grandparents being Polish and Irish immigrants, she is strongly anti-immigration. In 2014, she said allowing more immigrants into the U.S. would be “obscene to the American experience (legacy.com, nytimes.com, 10/25/17, Peters, nytimes.com, 2/15/18).” Baptist-born Ingraham converted to Catholicism. She has attacked Pope Francis because of his belief in climate change. She once asked a radio show guest, “Aren’t they (the Catholic Church) supposed to be saving souls, not saving trees (mediamatters.com, 9/11/17)?”
Hogg may take his “gap year” between high school and college off to continue lobbying for sane gun control measures. He is encouraging young people, whether they go on to college or not, to remain politically active and to “change the world (Wash. Post, Scott, 11/30/18).” He already has. In 11/2018 and in every future election, these youngsters and all the rest of us must continue this battle. We must economically go after Laura Ingraham and her friends. However, most importantly, we must vote her enablers, the “Team Red” GOP, out of office. Kudos David Hogg!