After Fox News host, Laura Ingraham, criticized Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, David Hogg, over his college rejections, advertisers began withdrawing from her program. One of the leaders of the boycott was Hogg himself, who called Ingraham a bully over her tweet. Ingraham apologized to Hogg but he refused to accept the apology, saying it was only a strategy to get her advertisers back.
Some notable companies that pulled their advertising from her show are Expedia, WayTrip, Joseph A. Bank, and Nestle. Ingraham took the week off of her show to be on vacation with her children and returned on Maonday, April 9th.
Sean Hannity’s Advertising War
This is not the first time that advertisers have decided to pull their ads from a Fox News show. Sean Hannity faced a similar issue last May.
Hannity was criticized for pushing a theory about Seth Rich being murdered, despite Fox News not wanting the narrative to be pushed anymore. Hannity agreed to not pursue the story anymore and then took his Memorial Day vacation, amid speculation that he would not be returning to the network.
The biggest company hurt by this round of boycotts was USAA (United States Automobile Association) who lost a large amount of customers and then put their advertisements back on his show after the backlash. Hannity faced more advertising backlash later in 2017 also.
In November, Keurig announced their advertisements would no longer appear on Hannity’s shows due to his coverage of Roy Moore and the Alabama senate race. Following videos of people smashing their coffee makers and the appearance, the company took sides. Keurig reinstated their advertisements and Hannity gave away 500 free coffee makers on his radio show to replace the ones that were destroyed. Hannity blamed Media Matters for America for what happened with Keurig and other companies taking similar actions.
How Conservatives Can Win This War
No matter which side is faced with companies threatening this action, it sets a bad precedent for free speech. Hosts of shows like Hannity and The Ingraham Angle are scrutinized often for what they say and they wouldn’t have any advertisers if companies pulled out of agreements every time they said something controversial.
Conservatives should try to win this war by using this argument, but, unfortunately, in business money talks and this argument generally won’t be very effective. Instead we’ve seen conservatives list the sponsors of liberal talk show hosts, especially on MSNBC with Kurt Eichenwald’s attacks on Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyle Kashuv.
Eichenwald claimed to work at MSNBC and Vanity Fair, but the television network and magazine denied he worked for them. His biography on Twitter was quickly updated to show he was not working as a contributor anywhere and was a New York Times best selling author. As bad as it would look for conservatives to stoop to the level of mudslinging right back at liberals, it might be their best strategy to win this war.
The American citizens will be the ones to decide who wins this war with their wallets and the companies they buy from.