Watch CBS News

Fox News host apologizes for mocking Florida school shooting survivor as uproar grows

Laura Ingraham apologizes to David Hogg
Laura Ingraham apologizes to David Hogg as advertisers flee 00:50

Last month, Fox News host Laura Ingraham got into a very public feud with NBA superstar LeBron James. Now she has found herself in a Twitter clash with a survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting — prompting an uproar that led her to apologize as several sponsors announced plans to pull ads from her show.

It began when Ingraham, citing a story published in the Daily Wire, said in a tweet Wednesday that high school shooting survivor David Hogg had whined about university rejections.

The comment prompted backlash from Hogg and his sister, Lauren Hogg, who also survived the Parkland shooting.

"How low are your ratings @IngrahamAngle that you have to start attacking my brother's grades to get attention?" Lauren tweeted Wednesday night. "If you ask me, he is more articulate than you and has far better character. Man, that's real low even for you. Coming from a 14 year old, please grow up."

David Hogg -- who has been one of the most prominent voices in a student-led campaign against gun violence that emerged in the wake of the Parkland shooting -- then went after her advertisers.

"Soooo @IngrahamAngle what are your biggest advertisers ... Asking for a friend. #BoycottIngramAdverts," he tweeted.

Early Thursday afternoon, Ingraham again tweeted about Hogg -- this time, apologizing.

"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," she said in two tweets.

The apology came after several companies said they were distancing themselves from Ingraham's program. She hosts The Laura Ingraham Show, which is a radio show, and The Ingraham Angle on Fox News.

"We are in the process of removing our ads from Laura Ingraham's program," Nutrish tweeted Wednesday.

The Daily Beast reported that Wayfair said in a statement it doesn't plan to continue advertising on The Ingraham Angle: "As a company, we support open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program." 

CBS News confirmed the accuracy of the statement with Wayfair.

A third company, TripAdvisor, also said it decided "to stop advertising on that program."   

"TripAdvisor believes strongly in the values of our company, especially the one that says, 'We are better together,'" a company spokesperson said in a statement sent to CBS News.

"We also believe Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy," it said.

"We do not, however, condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency," the statement added.

Advertising boycotts can be a powerful weapon in the media world. A spate of allegations of improprieties against Fox News host Bill O'Reilly last year led to an exodus of major advertisers from "The O'Reilly Factor." Days later, Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox (FOX) announced O'Reilly would not return to the network amid scrutiny over sexual harassment allegations.   

39 Days: A CBS News documentary 44:26
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.