Editorial

What The Laura Ingraham Boycott Is Really About

Advertisers are dropping Fox News host Laura Ingraham after she made fun of Parkland survivor David Hogg this week.

On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a Daily Wire article mocking Hogg for whining about getting rejected by four different colleges. It was not a smart move for a cable news host to tease a high school student over such a matter, but it was hardly as offensive as Hogg claiming Sen. Marco Rubio makes money off of dead kids.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student soon got the upper hand in this feud when he called for a pressure campaign against Ingraham’s advertisers. His large fanbase quickly went into action and forced several companies — including TripAdvisor, Hulu and Jos. A. Bank — to cut ties with Ingraham’s Fox News program. (RELATED: David Hogg And Media Matters Team Up For Ingraham Boycott)

The conservative commentator herself capitulated to the pressure and issued an apology to Hogg, which he rejected. “I 100% agree an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough. I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight. It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children,” he tweeted, proudly boasting of his power over Ingraham.

That statement clarified that Hogg’s goal was not to seek an apology for taunting him about his college acceptance woes — it was to punish Fox News as a whole for daring to criticize the gun control movement.

The young activist benefits from his age in this pursuit. While wanting to be treated as a serious advocate in spite of numerous inflammatory statements, Hogg and his fellow student-activists always retreat to their age when criticized.

Yes they are kids and it is dumb for prominent figures like Ingraham to make juvenile insults against them. But that doesn’t mean commentators can’t challenge their arguments on gun policy or call out their smears on the NRA and Republicans.

Hogg wants Fox to treat him and his friends only with adoration — just like the establishment media does. And now he has a friend in corporate America to punish his critics.

“I think it’s great that corporate America is standing with me and my friends,” Hogg said on CNN Friday. “They cannot push us around, especially when all we’re trying to do here is save lives.”

Corporate America appears to agree with Hogg’s assessment that all his fellow gun control advocates are trying to do is “save lives” and will not broker any criticism.

The effort against Ingraham is only the latest example of the Left weaponizing corporate power to stifle conservative viewpoints. Last month, activists were able to pressure companies to cut ties to the NRA. Now they’re trying to repeat their success against Fox News, and it appears to be working to some extent.

The most powerful tool left-wing activists have is corporate pressure. They can use it to overturn legislation, make their enemies unemployable and tilt the public discourse in their favor. This is an advantage exclusive to the Left — conservatives have been unsuccessful in convincing corporate America to take up their concerns. (RELATED: Corporations Must Punish The Right To Prove They’re Woke)

The March For Our Lives folks are smart enough to realize this advantage and exploit it to maximum effect. It’s hard to promote your viewpoint when it comes at the price of your revenue stream.

Breitbart learned this lesson after becoming the primary target for an economic pressure campaign by the left-wing group Sleeping Giants. The conservative news outlet reportedly lost 90 percent of its advertisers due to this campaign.

Media Matters has wanted to replicate this effect for Fox News for some time. In the past, they were able to get Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly hauled off the air by pressuring their advertisers. Now the progressive group hopes to do the same with Ingraham and Sean Hannity.

The pressure campaign isn’t intended to promote civility or “facts-based” discourse. If that was the goal, Hogg would be the primary target of that effort. He’s taken every chance to smear his opponents as blood-thirsty murderers and spouted reckless rhetoric. Yet, Hogg is still a respected hero because he demands gun control. (RELATED: Don’t Expect Gun Grabbers To Be Civil)

Nor is this consumers letting companies know their business will suffer if they continue to support Ingraham. It’s highly unlikely Hulu was going to lose any customers if it continued to advertise on the Fox News program.

Instead, corporations are reacting to the supposed moral weight the Left commands. These companies don’t want the hint they’re supporting “bad” people, according to liberals, so they too often cave to any pushback they receive from left-wing activists. The Ingraham boycott further reaffirms this sad trend.

Fox will hopefully hold its ground and stand by its host. Axing her show would open up all of their hosts to the same kind of economic intimidation. A punitive action against Ingraham would only show blood in the water to its adversaries.

The Left knows it can count on corporations to do its bidding when called upon — and it’s going to be more frequently used against the Right in the years to come. It’s time for conservatives to acknowledge this problem and let corporate America know it can’t turn into the enforcer of progressivism.

Follow Scott on Twitter and buy his book, “No Campus for White Men.”