Laura Ingraham announced Friday night that she is taking next week off for what she described as a pre-scheduled Easter vacation with her children. But the timing of her announcement had many observers wondering if the Fox News host is trying to get out of the way of an ongoing boycott effort led by Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.
On Wednesday, Ingraham was roundly criticized after she publicly mocked Hogg for being rejected by several California colleges. Hogg responded by encouraging his followers on Twitter to contact her advertisers.
On Thursday morning, after three advertisers bolted, Ingraham attempted to mitigate the situation with an apology. “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,” she tweeted.
Hogg rejected that apology, and Ingraham didn’t follow up on it, or mention the boycott at all, during her Thursday night show. But the boycott campaign continued overnight, and by Friday, at least 12 advertisers had ended sponsorship of “the Ingraham Angle.”
By taking a vacation in the middle of a severe public relations headache, Ingraham is following a path blazed by fellow Fox host Sean Hannity, and former Fox Host Bill O’Reilly. Hannity took a Memorial Day vacation during an advertiser boycott in May 2017 after he promoted a conspiracy theory surrounding the death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
A month earlier, O’Reilly took an unannounced vacation amid reports of payouts to settle multiple sexual harassment accusations against him. The uproar saw O’Reilly lose nearly all of his advertisers, and he was ultimately fired by the network while still on vacation.
A Fox News representative declined to comment on the timing of Ingraham’s announcement, but did tell TheWrap that her vacation “was planned.” That didn’t stop social media users from speculating otherwise, however.
We’ve seen this movie before pic.twitter.com/FX0ekYUGnF
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) March 31, 2018
So Laura Ingraham is taking a vacation from her show next week. Obviously a test firing so the Trump propaganda channel can assess ratings without her. Only thing that bothers them is loss of ad $$, not rude content
— GenX cat lady (@AllModConz) March 31, 2018
Fox News' Laura Ingraham announced Friday she would be taking a vacation the next week to celebrate Easter with her family as advertisers have dropped her show. Bill O'Reilly announced he would be taking vacation for Easter. He was later fired by the network.
— NPGABE, M.D/PhD/M.A/B.L.S/ASS (@npgabe) March 31, 2018
So, Laura Ingraham is taking a planned vacation as advertisers are jumping ship. Coincidence, I think not.
— Jim Morrison (@jmorriso63) March 31, 2018