Journalism

Fox News Anchor Apologized for Mocking Parkland Student

As a couple of advertisers backed out, a Fox News anchor apologized for a tweet about the Florida high school student who has spoken out about gun violence.

A Fox News anchor apologized after posting on Twitter that one of the outspoken high school students who helped organize the March for Our Lives movement was “whining” about rejection letters from colleges.

On Wednesday, Laura Ingraham tweeted that David Hogg, who has been described as a “self-appointed spokesman for a generation” and a “gun rights provocateur,” was rejected by four colleges to which he applied “and whines about it.” Hogg is a student of Stoneman Douglas High School where a gunman opened fire on February 14, killing 17 and injuring at least that many more.

Hogg responded by tweeting out a list of advertisers on her show:

Some of those advertisers, including Nestle, Expedia and TripAdvisor decided to pull their ads over Ingraham’s tweet. Another of those advertisers is Rachel Ray’s Nutrish, a dog food brand that my dog happens to like. The company tweeted that they were in the process of removing their ads, to which some loyal Fox News viewers tweeted that they were removing Nutrish from their dogs’ menus…permanently.

I won’t be boycotting Nutrish. Or any of the others, for that matter.

It seems those boycotters found it unacceptable that a sponsor would pull out of a program whose host would taunt a high school student who has called for stricter gun laws, though they apparently had no problem with the taunting itself.

On Friday, Ingraham apologized for the tweet: “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 said on Twitter. “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.”

It was nice to bring Holy Week into this. I suppose it might not be unreasonable to suggest it would have been better if Holy Week would have been considered sooner. That could have avoided this whole mess, couldn’t it?

The real question now is whether the people who were so quick to promise a boycott of the advertisers who pulled their ads from the show of someone who would make such a remark will now boycott Ingraham now that she’s issued the apology. After all, doesn’t that mean she’s going against those boycotters now that she’s retracting her statement?

No, I’m not holding my breath that such a thing would happen.

But it’s always an interesting double standard to watch: there’s always one side who wants to be able to say whatever they want to say without any consequences, but who simultaneously want to inflict consequences on those who don’t agree with them.

Holy Week or not, I think we’re better than this.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.