Fox News hosts like Laura Ingraham usually get away with smearing Americans with lies, bigotry, and worse. But after she attacked Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, everything fell apart.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham was shamed into publicly apologizing after attacking David Hogg, one of the teenage activists from Parkland, Florida.
“The comments she has made are not consistent with how we feel people should be treated,” Nutrish’s spokesperson said in a statement.
Ingraham attacked Hogg over his college application process, writing, “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it.”
Hogg rebuked her smear and called for people to boycott her advertisers for financing her mean-spirited commentary.
Less than 24 hours later, Ingraham apologized.
“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,” she wrote.
She couldn’t leave it at that, though. In a second tweet, she tried to entice Hogg to appear on her Fox News show, apparently believing that even her odious public shaming is an opportunity to pump up her ratings.
The apology was an unusual moment for Ingraham and her cohorts at Fox and in the right-wing media, who have repeatedly engaged in dishonest smear campaigns, often tinged with racism and other forms of bigotry.
It is a toxic brew of hate that helped Trump himself to transition from a reality TV personality to a political figure.
Ingraham never apologized after she told NBA superstar LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” when he spoke up about Trump’s embrace of racism.
There were no moments of reflection and humility forthcoming from Ingraham when she mocked black voters and said they voted for President Barack Obama “because he was, you know, half-black.”
She didn’t seem to have any second thoughts about blaming Democrats when Trump described Nazis as “very fine people,” while arguing that Democrats have made a “race play” for black voters.
There wasn’t no apology after she said Mexicans emigrated to America to “murder and rape our people,” nor was there one when she said Spanish-language media outlets were “toxic.”
Ingraham has a long and sordid history of reveling in toxic rhetoric, but she didn’t have it in her to apologize until she began to lose revenue thanks to advertiser abandonment.
As David’s sister, Lauren Hogg, noted, Ingraham waited the Hoggs’ boycott started working to offer her apology.
The rest of Fox News has the same problem.
Fox stars like Sean Hannity have not apologized for his depraved use of the death of DNC aide Seth Rich as part of a grotesque anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory.
And Bill O’Reilly, who was the centerpiece of Fox’s lineup for multiple decades as he groped and fondled and harassed multiple women, still portrays himself as some sort of pitiable victim.
Ingraham and her ilk in the right-wing media have focused their ire on the Parkland survivors, comparing them to Nazis even as Americans rally to their cause.
Fox News incubates figures like Ingraham and Trump, creating a feedback loop of bile designed to coarsen and degrade American public discourse and politics.
But this apology, extracted through public shaming and disciplined political action, shows that the Fox News way doesn’t have to be the only path. These people can be held accountable for their words and actions, and even if their apologies are insincere, it is proof that they are not invulnerable.
Decency and honesty can win, and it far outclasses the likes of Laura Ingraham, Fox News, and their entire ecosystem of hatred.