Critics have questioned whether 17-year-old David Hogg and the other high school students demanding that the nation’s gun laws be strengthened are mature enough to understand the complex policy positions they have staked out.
But this weekend, Hogg labeled one of his harshest critics using a word familiar to almost anyone who has ever walked a school hallway: “Bully.”
“It’s disturbing to know that somebody can bully so many people and just get away with it, especially to the level that she did,” he said on CNN. “No matter who somebody is, no matter how big or powerful they may seem, a bully is a bully, and it’s important that you stand up to them.”
On Wednesday, mocking Hogg’s comments about his rejection letters, Ingraham tweeted a story from a conservative news site that described the teen as a “Gun Rights Provocateur” — and said Hogg had not been accepted by four University of California schools.
“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it,” Ingraham tweeted. “(Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA … totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”
On CNN, Hogg said the tweet and Ingraham’s criticism of him were in line with bullying statements she had made about others: a conflict with gays while she was at Dartmouth in 1984 and, recently, responding to LeBron James’s political statements by saying that the NBA star should “shut up and dribble.”
They also deserve apologies, Hogg said.
James had responded to Ingraham during an NBA All-Star Weekend news conference.
Hogg took to Twitter, where his number of followers has surpassed 700,000. He compiled a list of 12 companies that advertise on Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle” and sent a message to his followers: “Pick a number 1-12 contact the company next to that #”
In a matter of days, Ingraham lost more than a dozen advertisers, including Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Hulu, Jenny Craig, Ruby Tuesday and Miracle-Ear.
A little later, Ingraham apologized, but Hogg blasted the apology as an insincere “effort just to save your advertisers.”
“The apology . . . was kind of expected, especially after so many of her advertisers dropped out,” Hogg said on CNN. “I’m glad to see corporate America standing with me and the other students of Parkland and everybody else. Because when we work together, we can accomplish anything.”
Ingraham is off the air this week. She told her Fox News viewers on Friday that she is taking an Easter vacation. The network told The Washington Post that the vacation was preplanned.
The advertisers’ efforts to distance themselves demonstrate the influence that Hogg and the other survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., have gained — and companies fears’ about becoming collateral damage in polarizing controversies.
The swift results showcase the power that the Parkland survivors have, not just in organizing rallies but in spurring corporate America to act. Brands, too, have become quicker to distance themselves from controversy, whether by denouncing white supremacy after neo-Nazis praise their products or by pulling their sponsorship after another Fox News personality, Bill O’Reilly, was accused of sexual harassment.
Since the 2016 election, calls to boycott retailers have become frequent: The #GrabYourWallet campaign began as a way to protest Trump, and it identified companies that carried merchandise bearing the Trump name. Those calls have been met with equally passionate responses by Trump supporters who say they are determined to use their buying power to stand with the president and his family.
This post incorrectly stated that JoS. A Bank had removed its advertisements from Laura Ingraham’s show. This post has been corrected and updated.