Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reports that when Laura Ingraham was hired, no one in the executive suites of Fox News could possibly have foreseen that she'd be inflammatory:
Last week, Ingraham’s volatility became not just a newsroom issue, but something of a crisis for the network. Ingraham’s tweet ridiculing Parkland survivor-turned-gun-control-advocate David Hogg about his college admissions ignited an uproar. Hogg responded by calling on advertisers to boycott Ingraham’s show. By Friday, about a dozen companies had yanked commercials despite Ingraham issuing an apology, a step she took on her own.
Inside Fox, senior executives were exasperated, sources said. “You don’t attack a kid,” one told me. “It was an unforced error.” Not surprisingly, the network’s advertising department was in an uproar. “People are pulling their hair out,” one insider told me.... It wasn’t the first time Ingraham’s rhetoric had caused problems. In February, Ingraham told LeBron James that he should “shut up and dribble” after James was quoted by ESPN criticizing Donald Trump. Ingraham’s comments about James made executives apoplectic, sources said.
Regarding the attack on LeBron James: Really? People at Fox are surprised at a "shut up and dribble" comment from a woman who once wrote a book about liberal entertainers with this title?
And Fox believes kids are not to be targeted, yet a regular commentator on Fox is Michelle Malkin, who was the key smear merchant attacking Graeme Frost, a twelve-year-old defender of the S-CHIP children's health program in 2007?
If you hire a lot of bomb-throwers, don't act shocked when bombs are thrown.
That's the same lesson The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has learned, now that he' realizes Kevin Williamson wasn't kidding when he called for the hanging of women who had abortions. Sure he said that one day on Twitter, but who knew he actually meant it? (Um, he's a writer and provocateur for a living. Maybe you should assume that if he commits something to print, even on social media, he's enough of a pro to make sure he believes it first, and he'll say it again if asked.)
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog