Social media has become a cesspool of animosity and nastiness. Time and time again, public figures will post something they would quickly regret. This time, it was Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who taunted Parkland survivor and prominent gun control advocate David Hogg on Twitter for being rejected by four colleges he applied to despite having a 4.1 GPA.
There’s no defense for Ingraham’s tweet. It was petty, childish, and mean-spirited.
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.) https://t.co/wflA4hWHXY
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 28, 2018
That being said, Hogg’s reaction to her tweet took it to the extreme when he essentially launched a boycott campaign aimed at her advertisers. At least eight companies have already pulled their ads from her shows.
These boycott campaigns have become far too common. The most successful one to date took down Bill O’Reilly after he was exposed for sexual harassment almost a year ago.
As advertisers began dropping, Ingraham issued an apology on Twitter, saying that any student with a 4.1 GPA “should be proud” and that she was sorry for the “upset or hurt” her tweet caused him and the other victims of the Parkland shooting. Hogg rejected her apology, tweeting that it was an effort to “save her advertisers” and that he would only accept her apology if she denounced the way Fox News “has treated my friends and I in this fight,” adding that “it’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children” and that she should “focus less on fear and more on facts.”
He then appeared on CNN Friday morning and insisted that Ingraham should “stand down,” and said that while she is an honest opinion host, she needs to be “more objective.”
Look, if Hogg doesn’t want to accept Ingraham’s apology, that’s his decision. But the rest of us need to stop pretending that he’s the beacon of moral authority.
It’s ironic that he’s calling on everyone to “love thy neighbor” and to end the “mudslinging” because he certainly hasn’t practiced what he’s preaching. Over the past several weeks, he has referred to the NRA as “child murderers,” called Dana Loesch “disgusting” and accused her of not caring about children’s lives, smeared Republican Sen. Marco Rubio by claiming he’s bribed by the NRA in exchange for the lives of Florida students, and blasted Republicans as “sick f–kers” for not meeting his standards on gun reform. And judging from his boycott campaign, Hogg’s solution to save children’s lives is to bully the opposition into silence.
Hogg believes that he can get away with playing two roles at once: a teen victim of a mass shooting and a vocal gun control activist. One minute, he’s a brave young man who is leading the fight against the gun lobby and in the next minute, he’s crying that a lady was mean to him on Twitter. And with the help of the leftwing group Media Matters, he and his cult following have pressured over a half a dozen advertisers to part ways with the Fox News host. It’s worth emphasizing that they’re using exact punishment on Ingraham for this one tweet that they used on Bill O’Reilly for being a sexual predator. In other words, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime at all.
But when you enter the arena of public discourse, especially when it pertains to politics, no one is or should be shielded from criticism. Ingraham certainly deserved criticism for the tweet and whether she was pressured to or not, she did the right thing by apologizing. Hogg on the other hand feels no remorse for his vicious attacks against Rubio, Loesch, the NRA, and Republicans. In fact, he recently argued that the political theater at the March For Our Lives where he attacked Rubio with an NRA price tag wasn’t “provocative enough.”
For weeks, the media shamelessly allowed these Parkland students to go unchallenged as they spouted divisive, hyperbolic nonsense that was full of inaccuracies. Because of that, Hogg feels justified to say and do whatever he wants without consequence. He has been given such political power that he is using it to launch boycott campaigns against those who simply hurt his feelings.
Hogg has a platform right now because he and his classmates went through a horrific tragedy, and he deserves defending from conspiracy theorists who accused him of being a “crisis actor.” However, he cannot cloak himself in victimhood forever as he continues to be this outspoken activist. His demagoguery and blatant hypocrisy have reached a boiling point. If Hogg wants to be treated like an adult, then he should be called out as such.