“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts, Abernethy said in a statement. “We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”
An advertiser boycott of Ingraham’s show began last week after she took to Twitter to ding David Hogg, one of the survivors of the high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. As of this morning, 16 advertisers have said they are yanking spots from the program.
Ingraham announced on her show Friday, “A blessed Good Friday and Passover to all of you; I’ll be off next week for Easter break with my kids,” saying guest hosts would fill in this week.
Ingraham’ Friday pre-planned-vacation news immediately triggered media comparisons to that time Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly said similarly told viewers at the end of his FNC show was taking a previously planned break as advertisers ad advertisers were bailing from The O’Reilly Factor.
About a dozen advertisers had moved their ads off her show by Friday, over her mockery of Hogg, who is calling for more gun control measures and was one of the speakers at the recent March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
The O’Reilly ad pullout had come in reaction to a New York Times report clocking the millions of dollars in settlements that had been paid out by O’Reilly’s parent company and the host himself to settle harassment complaints over the years. Despite O’Reilly’s assurances he would be back after his planned vacation, he never returned to the network as host.
Ingraham, isn’t in O’Reilly territory. She’s battling Hogg over a tweet in which he expressed disappointment at being rejected by some of the colleges to which he had applied.
“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it,” Ingraham had tweeted on Wednesday, adding, “(Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA … totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”
Hogg responded by asking who were her major advertisers, followed by a call-to-action to her sponsors to pull their ads. She apologized after some sponsors took Hogg’s suggestion, saying her apology was being offered in the spirit of the holiday.
Hogg rejected that apology, saying she was only trying to stem ad pullout. He saying he would accept an apology from her when she denounced what he called the way in which her network has been mudslinging at him and his schoolmates as they call for more gun control measures. “It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children,” Hogg scolded.
Also in response to the ad boycott, some Ingraham supporters launched their own boycott, of advertisers who pulled their spots from The Ingraham Angle.
#IStandWithLaura was the top trending hashtag Saturday night among bots and accounts linked to Russia, various outlets reported.
That triggered CNN media analyst Brian Stelter who, on his Sunday show Reliable Sources, cautioned advertiser boycotts – which he led the charge in covering when it was O’Reilly – had gotten out of hand.
“Are ad-boycotts the right answer here?” Stelter asked, adding, “I’m personally pretty wary of this. I think it’s dangerous to see these ad boycott attempts happening more and more often in this country.” O’Reilly’s situation was a “national scandal” he described. “This was really just a stupid tweet, right?” Stelter put to his panel.
Nonetheless, Monday morning, some media outlets still were speculating Fox News could wind up jettisoning Ingraham if the boycott continued.