A Fox News host has to face the consequences now after sneering at a Parkland shooting survivor's college rejections. Major advertisers are dumping Laura Ingraham after she mocked David Hogg, a 17-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Although she has since apologized, Ingraham's initial tweet from March 28 was still up at the time of writing:
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 linked an article by the right-wing opinion site Daily Caller, which reported on Hogg's college plans. The mean-spirited tweet collected more than 16,000 "likes" in two days. However, it also garnered public backlash and a reply from Hogg. The Parkland student called for a boycott and tweeted a list of what he says are the top 12 companies that advertise with Ingraham.
Judging by the swift response, it seems that his call to action is working. A little more than an hour later, Nutrish, a pet food brand owned by celebrity chef Rachel Ray, tweeted, "We are in the process of removing our ads from Laura Ingraham’s program." Hogg thanked them on the social media site.
But Nutrish was only the beginning of a growing list of companies that are pulling their ads from Ingraham's political talk show, The Ingraham Angle. Hulu confirmed its departure in the tweet below:
TripAdvisor also cut ties with Ingraham. A spokesperson from the travel review website gave this statement to AdAge and other media outlets:
We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy. We do not, however, condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency.
Another online travel site, Expedia, also confirmed to CNBC "it no longer advertises" on Ingraham's show. Wayfair, an online home goods retailer, is also in agreement. A spokesperson from Wayfair gave a statement to AdAge and other media outlets to explain why Ingraham's tweet crossed a line:
We support open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program.
Representatives from Johnson & Johnson and Nestlé also told CNBC that their respective companies would stop advertising on Ingraham's show.
To recap, this means at least seven companies have dumped Ingraham so far: Nutrish, Hulu, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Wayfair, Johnson & Johnson, and Nestlé. During the fallout, Ingraham took to Twitter to apologize:
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 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.
Fred Guttenberg, father to Parkland shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, said the apology was not enough, though.
Hogg chimed in with agreement, saying on Twitter he would only accept Ingraham's apology if she would "denounce" the Fox network. "It's time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children," he wrote.
Critics of Fox News and right-wing media outlets have accused conservative media of spreading conspiracy theories, lies, and insults to discredit the Parkland students' gun control advocacy. But as Ingraham has learned, this can come with repercussions.