by Carol Swain
When it comes to Leftist politics, “The ends justify the means.” You knew it was going to eventually happen in the wake of the Feb. 14 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead. Especially when there are emotional, outspoken (and now exploited) teens involved, pretty much on cue, speaking out against the NRA, the Second Amendment, and conservative causes and politicians.
By now, you know who and what I’m talking about. The who is David Hogg, 17, a senior at Stoneman Douglas and, apparently, the leader of a handful of activist students there that might be this generation’s Mod Squad. Mod Squad III? With any luck they will soon get their own TV show on CNN or MSNBC.
This 2018 Mod Squad, comprised of Hogg et al, serves as leaders of the pack in the newfangled March for Our Lives movement. In the early going at least, March for Our Lives showed itself to be an admirable effort to campaign against school shootings/violence. Quickly, though, it has been remade into just another gadget to be tossed into the Liberal toolbox.
The Florida school tragedy is catnip to the Leftist strategy of exploitation and disruption. Coddle the cause, blame the Republicans, and try to keep a straight face – in this case, a somber one. This is a page torn out of the Rahm Emanuel playbook. Emanuel, former President Obama’s former left-hand man – and currently the mayor of arguably the most gun-violent city in America – told the Wall Street Journal about 10 years ago, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Once again, Emanuel’s words are timely, even if he is passé.
Which brings us back to the 17 dead in Florida, or as Emanuel might say, the jackpot – in this case, a good shot at taking down radio/Fox News Channel commentator Laura Ingraham (or hanging her by her own words).
Unless you have been living under a rock or buried in tax paperwork, you are familiar with the controversy over Ingraham’s innocent tweet that has resulted in what looks like a successful advertiser exodus from her show. On March 28, she tweeted: “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.)”
That was Ingraham’s response to a Hogg tweet in which he had mentioned the four rejections, as if the rest of America knowing about this was supposed to help him advance the March for Our Lives cause? Is it pity he wants? Welcome to the club, David – few of us have a perfect record when it comes to college applications.
As soon as Ingraham’s tweet hit cyberspace, the mainstream media jumped on it. It didn’t take a 4.0 grade-point average to realize that Ingraham had stepped into the goo. Most likely, she wished she could have had it back. The next day, Laura offered the following tweeted apology, which Hogg refused to accept as penance:
“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.”
Despite Ingraham’s well-worded apology, Hogg, the offended man/child, who has disrespected millions of Americans with his foul language, rejected the apology and is now gloating about his ability to harm Ingraham. Ingraham’s tweeted mea culpa gave Hogg a golden opportunity to man up and give Ingraham a hall pass. Instead, he took a petulant teen’s pass himself.
If Laura loses her show over such a simple tweeted statement, you can be sure that the tactic will be repeated across America. Even when liberals can’t win an election or conquer the court of public opinion, they can play hardball – or dirtball – with the worst of them. We cannot allow conservative voices to be crippled by bullying tactics, and that’s what this is. What can we do? We can contact Fox News executives and ask them to support Laura’s rights to free speech.
According to The Blaze, as of Saturday, March 31, twelve companies had pulled their ad dollars. We can contact these companies and let them know of our plans to boycott their products and services. If they hear from enough of us, they might reconsider their hasty decision to pull advertising over an offense that does not rise to the level of anything justifying their actions.
- Office Depot
- Liberty Mutual Insurance
- Johnson and Johnson
- Jenny Craig
- Stitch Fix
- The Atlantis, Paradise Island resort
Being the people means speaking up so conservative commentators, such as Ingraham, can keep speaking out. We should also reward the advertisers who support free speech.
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This story originally cited a story in The Blaze that incorrectly listed Home Depot as one of the companies boycotting Laura Ingraham’s show. The Blaze story was incorrect, and has subsequently removed Home Depot from the list of boycotters, and our story now reflects that.
Here is the communication we received from Home Depot spokesperson that prompted this correction:
Hello – I’m reaching out from The Home Depot in hopes of having the story below corrected. A few stories and posts have confused us with Office Depot. In fact, we don’t advertise on political news or opinion shows.
Can you assist? I’ve included links below. We’ve already reached out to The Blaze and they’ve issues a correction.
Carol M. Swain is a former associate professor of politics at Princeton University and former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. Her forthcoming new book is Debating Immigration: Second Edition (forthcoming, July 2018). Facebook: Profcarolmswain Twitter: @carolmswain E-mail: [email protected]