In the least surprising news ever, Fox News is deciding to stick with Laura Ingraham after she publicly mocked 17 year old survivor of the Florida high school mass shooting in Parkland, David Hogg. Why? Because Ingraham and “free speech” are apparently the victim in all of this.
“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News, told the Los Angeles Times. “We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”
Again, this is a grown woman who took to Twitter to humiliate a child who only weeks previously witnessed an unspeakable horror because he didn’t get into the college of his choice. How this can be reconciled in the minds of those who work at Fox beggars belief. Then again, this is a network created and run by perverted sex offenders, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that it stands by an employee bullying a child (particularly if that employee was a staunch defender of men who attack women).
More than anything, this serves as yet another lesson that there are no equivalencies between the right and left in America. MSNBC is not Fox News, and Rachel Maddow is not the opposite of Laura Ingraham. Democrats are not “just as bad” as the Republicans — who are gleefully perpetuating the bullying of children in the wake of a mass school shooting.
The GOP and the conservative media network that supports it is a rotting carcass of moral depravity, so far removed from reality and human decency that it is no longer salvageable. Anyone left defending these monsters needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask themselves what they truly believe in. Because this isn’t an isolated case — it is the prevailing orthodoxy in right wing circles.
“The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lies,” frequent Fox News guest Ted Nugent told The Joe Pags Show last Friday. “I really feel sorry for them because it’s not only ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it’s soulless.”
“To attack the good, law-abiding families of America when well-known, predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless,” the right wing hero went on. “These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul. … These children can’t be critical of any of the propaganda that they’re fed and that’s just sad.”
This week, Nugent doubled down on his comments and defended Ingraham’s attack on Hogg.
“I thought her comments were well placed to a guy who had gone off the rails … spewing the hate,” Nugent said. “I think Laura was in line. But the left, they circle the wagons.”
Yes, a child begging adults to pass sensible gun control so he doesn’t get blown to pieces in math class is soulless, and guilty of spewing hate, while the adult mocking him for not getting into the college of his choice was “in line”. This is what mainstream conservatism looks like in America right now, and it is utterly, utterly repugnant. This was James Wood’s contribution to the gun control debate in America — accusing Hogg of being a Nazi. Yes, really:
You might have a little trouble getting Jewish Americans to embrace this look. Do you have some shiny jackboots and brown shirts to go with it? Guessing maybe you skipped history class while you were shilling for the @DNC… pic.twitter.com/WfA4jL9y65
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) March 10, 2018
Where do decent people find common ground with this type of madness? How do we go about engaging in civil discourse when attacking the victims of a massacre is deemed appropriate behavior — again, toward goddamn children?
It was heartening to see the mass advertising exodus from Ingraham’s show after Hogg urged his followers to target the companies buying spots on it. Corporate America appears to be tiring of the grotesque bullying on right wing media outlets, and their refusal to participate in it is a good sign for the future. Of course Ingraham, Nugent, Woods, and any other hate merchant on the right it perfectly free to express their disgusting views, but companies are equally free not to associate their brands with it.
Those attacking the child victims of gun massacres should be relegated to the dark corners of Youtube or the 4chan messaging boards, not mainstream media outlets with major brand advertisers. Thankfully, the public has the power to make that happen, so we must keep up the pressure and never allow these toxic views to metastasize.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.