Fox News TV host Laura Ingraham lost legions of viewers, as well as a good number of her advertisers, after her online bullying of teenager David Hogg, a survivor of the deadly shooting rampage at his high school in Parkland, Florida.
But she returned from a week-long break from her Ingraham Angle program Monday night, insisting that it was she who had been the victim of bullying — targeted, she claims, by verbal attacks from “the intolerant left.”
Ingraham began her program Monday night calling out examples in which liberals had supposedly squelched the free speech rights of conservatives at college campuses.
But she quickly broadened her remarks to a more generalized complaint about what she sees as the censuring of conservative speech across the U.S. as she railed against “the left’s propaganda.”
“For all their talk of inclusion, the left doesn’t invite more voices to enter the public discussion. Instead, they drive out any dissenting voice and police the dogma of their own creation,” she said in her monologue at the start of her program.
“The chilling effect on free speech in the workplace, in the media, and in society at large is palpable,” she said.
“Let’s face it: Expressing views that just five or 10 years ago were considered mainstream can now get you fired. It can cause to you lose a promotion. Or you could be branded a hater,” she continued.
“Or, yes, you can get boycotted,” she said after a dramatic pause, making it clear she was speaking obliquely about the boycott Hogg launched to try to get sponsors to drop her program after she mocked him on Twitter for not getting accepted into some colleges he had applied to.
Hogg’s efforts were hugely successful: After as many as 20 advertisers bailed on The Ingraham Angle, the conservative talk show host took a previously unannounced “Easter Break” and it seemed uncertain for a time that she would be resume her broadcast.
Ingraham announced on Monday that not only was her program continuing, but that she was introducing a new regular feature on the show, focusing on the ways she says liberals have bullied conservatives like her.
Hogg meanwhile, got the last laugh on the school admissions issue.
His mother told CNN on Monday that not only had the college senior gotten into the University of California, Irvine, but that he would be taking a year off before starting to devote himself to political activism and the effort to “get people to vote.”
Since the February 14 shooting, Hogg and his classmates have been outspoken advocates on the issue of sensible gun reform. They call on voters to reject politicians who refuse to back such measures or who take vast sums of money from the NRA.