Not a big plurality, but it’s interesting to see how many Democrats aren’t gung ho for a “boycott people who make fun of me” movement. And how many Republicans are.
Elsewhere, a clear majority of 52 percent says that Ingraham’s original tweet goofing on Hogg for his college rejections was also inappropriate — although a near-majority of Republicans says it *was* appropriate, and another near-majority of GOPers says that she shouldn’t have apologized for it. Damn.
A confession of my political naivete: I thought Hogg’s own personal favorability might be (somewhat) immune from standard left-right divisions on guns. He’s been extremely nasty to gun-rights advocates at times but he is in fact a kid and a survivor of a very recent mass shooting. Does he get an allowance from the public for that? Turns out … no, not really:
Democrats who know who he is are only running about three-to-one in favor and he’s actually slightly unpopular on balance among independents. Needless to say, he’s very unpopular with Republicans. (It’s even worse among Trump voters, where he’s at 9/58!) To put that in perspective, his numbers aren’t wildly different from … Laura Ingraham’s. She’s at 8/50 among Democrats, 24/28 among indies, and 53/10 among Republicans. Overall his favorable rating is 26/26 whereas hers is 26/30. If ever you needed a reminder of how super-charged the gun debate in America is, reflect on the fact that a traumatized kid throwing rhetorical bombs at the NRA on cable news can get to roughly the same levels of popularity in six weeks as a conservative talk radio host who’s been throwing rhetorical bombs at the broader left for almost 20 years.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Sherman claims that Fox News executives are “exasperated” with Ingraham for having mocked a child and that there are more advertisers who’ve pulled ads from her show than is publicly known. (The official tally is 16.) Perhaps only one man stands between her and oblivion. Fortunately for her, he’s the most powerful man on the masthead:
Rupert Murdoch continues to recover at his Bel Air estate from a back injury suffered on his son Lachlan’s yacht in January, but he had strong views on how Fox should respond to the controversy. Sources said the 87-year-old mogul wanted Fox to more forcefully defend Ingraham against the boycott. “They needed to show the haters wouldn’t get a scalp,” one Fox staffer said. According to an insider, on Saturday, Murdoch emailed Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy and instructed him to support Ingraham…
Sources say Murdoch has told people that Fox’s current management has been too quick to cave to the network’s many critics. “Rupert’s been annoyed by what he perceives as cowardly behavior by his executives,” one person close to Murdoch told me. “He thinks they’re being pussies.” In February, Murdoch was unhappy that Fox retracted an offensive column, by Fox veteran John Moody, mocking U.S. Olympic officials for emphasizing the team’s diversity.
If Rupert Murdoch wants Ingraham on the air next week, Ingraham will be on the air next week. In lieu of an exit question, here’s a Stoneman Douglas student whom the vast, vast majority of Americans haven’t heard of. Meet Anthony Borges, who was in class on February 14 when the shooting began and concluded that the only way to keep the shooter out was to barricade the door — with his own body. The shooter did indeed try to enter that room but couldn’t get in, thanks to Borges. Borges was shot five times and needed nine surgeries, but he survived. So did the 20 other people who were in the room with him, saved by his own bravery. Here’s the GoFundMe page for his family. Savor this clip, as you’re not apt to see much more of him on cable news unless he has some hot takes about the NRA being child-killers.