The smear campaign against the Parkland shooting survivors took a turn for the worse when Fox News' Laura Ingraham made fun of Parkland student David Hogg for receiving college rejection letters. On Wednesday, the Fox News host tweeted a story about Hogg's college rejections along with an unbelievably mean comment. Hogg, however, was having none of it. He responded by calling for Ingraham's advertisers to boycott her.
Conservative opinion website The Daily Caller had picked up the college rejection story from an interview Hogg gave to TMZ. In the interview, the 17-year-old Parkland shooting survivor spoke candidly about about what it was like to juggle graduation plans while "changing the world."
Despite reportedly holding a 4.2 GPA, Hogg revealed he had been rejected by four colleges. He has also been accepted to three universities. Ingraham tweeted about it with these mocking words:
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.)
Hogg then tweeted at Ingraham asking for her biggest advertisers before compiling the list himself. Some of Ingraham's top advertisers, according to Hogg, include AT&T, TripAdvisor, Nestlé, and Hulu. Many Twitter users, including at least one lawmaker, also slammed Ingraham for making fun of the Parkland student.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) was one of many who expressed they wouldn't stand for Ingraham's remarks:
Hogg's younger sister Lauren Hogg also called on Melania Trump to address Ingraham's mean-spirited blow. As the First Lady, Melania has chosen cyberbullying as her cause — an irony she seems to be aware of, considering her husband's penchant for attacking people on Twitter.
Last month Lauren also tweeted at Melania to help stop cyberbullying after Donald Trump Jr. "liked" a public tweet that promoted a false conspiracy theory about her family.
Unfortunately, conservatives and nationalist zealots have spread hate speech, lies, and hoaxes about the Parkland mass shooting survivors in an attempt to discredit them. The Guardian noted that Gab, a social media network catering to white supremacists, helped disseminate a fake image of Parkland senior Emma González tearing up the U.S. Constitution. The doctored image was widely shared by rightwingers across Twitter and Facebook.
Usually during this time of year, many high school seniors would be preparing for prom, graduation, and life after high school. Leading a mass protest and fighting a smear campaign by the far right aren't typically on the agenda. But for students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it isn't a typical year.
On Feb. 14, a 19-year-old gunman and former student walked into their school began firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The shooter killed 17 students and staff members, and injured more than a dozen others. The devastating massacre was America's eighth school shooting this year that resulted in death.
Just one day after watching their peers get gunned down, a group of Parkland student survivors started the Never Again movement for gun policy reform. The teenage activists spearheaded what has become a nationwide call to protect students, improve gun control, and break the political influence of the National Rifle Association.
In their biggest event to date, Parkland students organized the March for Our Lives, a gun control demonstration that took place Saturday, March 24. More than 2 million Americans participated in the rally, reported The Washington Post.
Hogg admitted to TMZ that it was difficult to focus on college admissions at a time like this. "It's been kind of annoying having to deal with that and everything else that's been going on but at this point, you know, we're changing the world," he said. "We're too busy. Right now it's hard to focus on that."