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Laura Ingraham goes on vacation as more advertisers drop her Fox News show over David Hogg comment

INGRAHAM
Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show continues to lose advertisers after her social media taunting of David Hogg, an outspoken Parkland, Fla., shooting survivor.
(Marvin Joseph / The Washington Post)

Fox News host Laura Ingraham is taking a weeklong vacation as advertisers continue to abandon her program over her remarks about Parkland high school shooting survivor David Hogg.

Liberty Mutual, Office Depot and Entertainment Studios, maker of the film “Chappaquiddick,” are the latest Fox News sponsors that have said publicly they will not run commercials in the conservative commentator’s nightly prime-time program, “The Ingraham Angle.”

Ingraham told viewers at the end of her Friday program that she is off next week for an Easter break vacation with her children and that fill-in hosts will appear in her place. A Fox News representative said her absence was planned before this week’s advertiser reaction to Ingraham’s social media taunting of David over his rejection by several colleges.

Ingraham is under criticism for her tweet about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior, who has transformed into a highly visible gun control activist following the deadly shooting at his Florida school in February. He mentioned in an interview that he was not accepted by four University of California schools.

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“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it,” Ingraham tweeted on Wednesday. "(Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA … totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”

Ingraham issued an apology Thursday after David urged his followers to pressure sponsors to pull out of her show.

Well over a dozen advertisers, generally skittish over any social media backlash, have responded by saying they are not running commercials in the show or have canceled plans to do so. Most are moving their ads to other programs on the Fox News schedule, according to a person familiar with those discussions.

Other defectors include Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, TripAdvisor, Nutrish, Expedia, Jos. A. Bank and Hulu, the streaming video service that is one-third owned by Fox News parent 21st Century Fox.

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Ingraham is often the fourth most-watched program in all of cable news with about 2.6 million viewers nightly.

Ingraham’s apology came quickly, considering that Fox News commentators have typically resisted backing down when under attack for their controversial statements. But the support and sympathy for David and other Parkland students has prompted advertisers to continue to bail from her program.

David did not accept Ingraham’s apology, calling it “an effort just to save your advertisers.”

“I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight,” he tweeted Thursday. “It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children.”

The thinned herd of advertisers was apparent during the Friday edition of “The Ingraham Angle.” The commercial breaks were filled with Fox News promotional spots and commercials from direct response advertisers — usually a sign of ad cancellations.

An advertising boycott sealed the fate of former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who was fired last April. The boycott followed a report that O’Reilly and the network had paid $13 million in settlements over the years to women who had complained that he had abused or sexually harassed them during their employment.

stephen.battaglio@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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UPDATES:

March 31, 6:23 p.m. : This article was updated with additional information on advertisers who have pulled out of “The Ingraham Angle.”

March 30, 9:35 p.m.: This article was updated with Ingraham’s announcement that she will be on vacation next week.

This article was originally published March 30 at 5:20 p.m.


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