Hogg’s Media Matters boycott dangerous for democracy

April 8, 2018

Conservative firebrand and Fox News’ Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham spent last week on vacation.  A vacation that as she signed off last Friday said was planned, but to many outside observers (myself included) seemed more a result of a boycott campaign started by Parkland High School student turned gun control activist David Hogg.

It all started when Ingraham tweeted out this comment to a www.dailywire.com article on young Hogg’s self-admitted college rejections: “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.)”

Within minutes the twitterverse was exploding in backlash against the “cruel and heartless” Ingraham.  While many responses had words unpublishable in a family newspaper, the gist was “how dare you attack a child survivor of mass murder” and the tone was as hateful as anything I’ve ever seen.

By that Wednesday evening Hogg tweeted in response: “Pick a number 1-12 contact the company next to that #” that included the list of advertisers.  (A list that we would later learn was provided to Hogg by the radical left wing group Media Matters.)

By noon Thursday, Ms. Ingraham tweeted an apology:

Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. 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) . 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. WATCH: https://youtu.be/K0v7yxczipo  (2/2)

Two hours later young Hogg rejected the apology: “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” and the boycott battle was on.

Media Matters compiled a larger list of over 130 advertisers, Hogg re-tweeted the link and by Friday it was an all-out race by advertisers not to be the last rat abandoning ship.

Thankfully Fox News would not be one of those rats.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times Monday, Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News, said, “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts. We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”

In less than a week one of this nation’s highest rated cable news shows was pushed to the brink of extinction because a 17 year old had a hissy fit that an adult said he “whined”.

Such is the sad state of society today.  So scared of controversy are corporate executives today, that a newly minted activist can, with the help of the professional, left turn social media into a censorship weapon that even Josef Goebbels would be proud of.

Never mind that in the original tweet Ingraham clarified Hogg’s rejection as more likely a result of already established tough acceptance rates.  The poster child took offense and the heathen must be punished.

David Hogg may have started a sympathetic victim but his public appearances, television interviews and his repeated joy in calling the NRA a terrorist organization and its members, murderers and child killers with blood on their hands long ago thrust him into the category of public figure open to criticism.

And lest you still support his “innocent child” facade, there are these gems from a www.theoutline.com interview:  “They’re pathetic f***ers that want to keep killing our children,”…….. “It’s like when your old-ass parents [say], ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f***ing phone’ and you take it and you’re like, ‘OK, let me handle it,’ and you get it done in one second,” Hogg said. “Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government because our parents don’t know how to use a f***ing democracy, so we have to.“

Corporations have every right to decide where to spend their advertising dollars.  But we should all take pause at the speed and voracity at which a highly organized left wing censorship campaign almost took down one of the most engaging conservative voices in the country.

The 1st Amendment isn’t about silencing voices, it’s about ALL voices.  If you can’t handle that, then you don’t deserve to be in the arena in the first place.  No matter what your age.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the Sunday, April 8th, 2018 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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