Parkland activist David Hogg has received no shortage of abuse since he became one of the main faces of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students' push to end gun violence. However, he doesn't only receive abuse. CNN's Alisyn Camerota called the schools that rejected Hogg "dumbass colleges" — and Hogg, as ever, responded as eloquently as possible.
Camerota had Hogg on New Day on Friday morning, and she brought up the fact that Hogg had received four college rejections.
"David, I am stunned that four colleges rejected you," Camerota said. "What kind of dumbass colleges don't want you? I mean, you've taken the country by storm! How do you explain this? Did they reject you before the Parkland massacre?"
Hogg, who had maintained a stoic expression the whole time Camerota spoke, answered her question by turning the focus away from himself.
"They rejected me about two weeks ago, most of them," Hogg said, shaking his head. "It was UCLA and UCSD. The way I explain it is, we have a heavily impacted university system in America, and I think there's a lot of really good candidates that don't get into college."
This is all true, of course, even if for most high school students, it's tough to remember when you're facing multiple rejections. Hogg, applying as an out-of-state student to two California schools, would have had a difficult time getting in there anyway — especially since he put the applications together well before the tragedy that sparked his gun control activism occurred.
I think it goes to show that regardless of whether or not you get into college, you can still change the world," Hogg went on to say. "The hardest part is just believing that you can and continuing that effort to change the world because you eventually will."
Hogg's eloquence is particularly notable given that the driver behind much of the conversation around his bad college news was Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who mocked Hogg's rejections on Twitter. "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.)," Ingraham wrote on Wednesday.
Instead of lashing out at Ingraham, Hogg responded by tweeting a list of Ingraham's top advertisers and asking his followers to call those companies to ask them to stop buying that advertising. Several of her top ad buyers, then, started announcing that they would no longer maintain a connection with her show.
Ingraham then apologized to Hogg on Twitter. "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," she wrote, the day after her insulting tweet. Hogg, however, apparently didn't read a lot of sincerity into her apology.
“She only apologized after we went after her advertisers,” Hogg said. “It kind of speaks for itself.”
In the end, Ingraham's misguided comment provided Hogg with yet another chance to rise above — which he's unfortunately been forced to do again and again. As one of the most prominent activists, he's also received some of the most abuse. Soon after the shooting, a tide of conspiracy theorists online began calling Hogg a "crisis actor" rather than a student who'd just survived a school shooting — and Hogg used that as an opportunity to cement his reputation as a guy unlikely to let the haters faze him.
"These people that have been attacking me on social media, they've been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people," Hogg said on CNN. "People have continued to cover us in the media. They've done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them."