Laura Ingraham used a pointed song choice to lead into her interview with Florida’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis, on her radio show.
In welcoming her interviewee on Thursday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show” (not to be confused with her Fox News program, “The Ingraham Angle”), Ingraham played Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey.” You can listen to the audio here, courtesy of Media Matters.
DeSantis earlier this week was heavily criticized for warning voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum — the first African American person to be nominated for governor by a major party in the sunshine state. “We’ve gotta work hard that we continue Florida going in a good direction, lets build off the success we’ve had on governor Scott,” DeSantis told Sandra Smith on Fox News Wednesday morning. “The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”
The comments were immediately seized upon online, where they whipped around Twitter with many saying the racial implications were unavoidable.
Smith moved quickly to distance herself and Fox News from those remarks. “We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement,” Smith said on air on Wednesday, shortly after DeSantis’ appearance, while also noting that “Mayor Gillum will be on with Shepard Smith today at 3 p.m.” She then read out a statement the DeSantis campaign issued shortly after the incident.
Ingraham’s song choice was quickly derided on Twitter, including by filmmaker Judd Apatow, who has frequently gone after Fox News personalities. “Racist evil person. But Lachlan and James Murdoch and @foxnews are fine with that. They monetize it. So evil.”
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 31, 2018
Laura Ingraham is really embracing the Fox News White Power Hour. https://t.co/jkJAX8k8UP
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) August 31, 2018