The Fox News host wasted no time making herself the victim after she bullied a school shooting survivor.
After a weeklong vacation amid controversy and boycotts, Laura Ingraham returned to her Fox News time slot on Monday night. And predictably, she offered no contrition.
Instead, she made herself out to be the victim and called the people who boycotted her “Stalinists” whose “objective is a total transformation of American society, not through rational discourse and open debate, but through personal demonization and silencing.”
Notably, at no point during the segment did Ingraham bother to mention that the reason she was boycotted had nothing to do with her “ideas” or with being conservative. It was because she gleefully mocked Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg for not getting into a few colleges.
“We’re winning the war of ideas,” said Ingraham. “On immigration, the economy, life, trade, and yes, political correctness. Which is why we’re seeing the left-wing retaliatory hit squads popping up everywhere. Today in academia, in Hollywood, and in the media, the left will brook no dissent, and they will militantly police the borders of their stale orthodoxy. Well, we are not going to stand for this.”
Ingraham then announced there would be a new recurring feature on her show called “Defending the First,” which will “expose the enemies of the First Amendment, of free expression and free thought, while showcasing those brave voices making a difference.”
She invited viewers who have “been subjected to threats or intimidation because of your speech” to tweet their horror stories to her.
“Because without free speech and a free conscience, we’re not truly a free people. We’re not afraid to debate ideas here. We relish a vigorous debate. They run from it.”
Try as she might to imply otherwise, the First Amendment does not give Ingraham the right to be sponsored by private companies to express her views — as 19 companies have now refused to do. Nor does it protect her from people turning off her show or not buying from companies that sponsor her. These are also acts of free speech.
But Fox executives evidently agree with Ingraham that she has a right to have her attacks on a teenage gun violence survivor “debated” and legitimized as if they are just a political view.
“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” said the network in a statement last week.
Ingraham and her supporters would have us believe public support for people like David Hogg is a slippery slope that threatens political discourse. But the real danger is the legitimization of anything said by a prominent public figure based on the need for false balance rather than what they are actually saying.
That lets bullies like Ingraham weaponize their unique platforms to hurt people. And we cannot allow that to be the norm.