Is a backlash brewing over sponsors fleeing Laura Ingraham's show?

Like clockwork, the hashtag resistance has begun in support of besieged Fox show host Laura Ingraham. As of nine hours ago, as I write this Saturday morning, eleven companies have pledged to pull their sponsorship from the primetime Laura Ingraham show on Fox. Her fans are beginning to pop up and demand like-minded viewers boycott these companies.

Eleven companies so far have withdrawn their ads from Ingraham’s Fox News program after she feuded with a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting over Twitter. The Atlantis, Paradise Island resort; Office Depot, Jenny Craig, Hulu, Nutrish, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Wayfair, StitchFix, Nestlé and Johnson & Johnson said they would pull ads from the show.

“The Ingraham Angle,” which airs daily at 10 p.m. Eastern time, was the no. 4 cable show on TV last month, according to AdWeek, both in terms of total viewers and viewers in the 25-to-54 demographic, a coveted age group for cable news advertisers. According to AdAge, it’s on track to be the second-most viewed show in its time slot, in which it competes with MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.”

It’s unclear how much of an impact the advertiser exodus will have on Ingraham’s program. The 11 who have left are a small portion of the 129 companies that have run ads on her program in the last 10 days, reports Media Matters, a left-leaning media activist group. On Thursday night, Ingraham’s show ran a “filler” ad, indicating it could be having trouble selling.

Ingraham’s viewers are using the hashtag #IStandWithLaura to note their disapproval of Parkland student David Hogg’s demands on corporate America. Celebrity chef and talk show host Rachel Ray’s line of pet food, Nutrish, was the first to cave. With 129 companies in play, it remains to be seen what the effect of losing eleven companies on sponsorship dollars is for the network. Ingraham has announced she will take a vacation week next week, which is usually how these things begin to cool down.

Funny how corporations have caved so quickly to the demands of the young Floridian, isn’t it? Not only did companies immediately jump on the bandwagon of blaming the NRA for the mass shooting and cancel discounts to members but now corporate America is responding to and encouraging Hogg’s fifteen minutes of fame. While I don’t agree with Ingraham’s mocking his failures to be admitted into colleges – she was trying to make a cheap political point – there is plenty to criticize him about over his policy demands and his political ideology.

As Hogg fancies himself a student journalist, it is hard to not notice he has his act down cold. He dresses and presents himself to appear more mature. He has a perpetual frown for the camera and wishes to project a level of seriousness that is often contradicted with his hot takes on Twitter. One minute he is asking Americans to come together for common sense gun control reforms and the next he is name-calling politicians and blaming a private organization for murder. You know, like a teenager behaves.

While he enjoys playing the victim when he finally gets a bit of pushback from others – he is a liberal, after all, and they always throw the victim card into a debate – it is amazing to me how long it took for any public opposition to take hold. I understand the tendency to tread lightly with young people and especially traumatized ones but now this student has reached the age of eighteen and is most definitely eager to be in the public spotlight as a spokesperson for his classmates. It’s been six weeks since the school shooting. I wonder how most of them feel about that, given that we only hear from a select few in interviews. CNN has made this one student a star and one morning show host, in particular, is his biggest cheerleader.

“David, I am stunned that four colleges rejected you. What kind of dumb-ass colleges don’t want you?,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Parkland gun activist David Hogg on Friday.

“I mean, you’ve taken the country by storm, how do you explain this? Did they reject you before the Parkland massacre or how do you explain this?” Camerota asked.

To which Hogg replied: “They rejected me about two weeks ago, most of them.”

I have no doubt that Camerota is “stunned” that colleges have admission processes and that some rejected his application despite his sudden fame. I would venture to say his rejection happened before he pushed his way into the national debate and has just now been notified. Also, we have no knowledge of when he applied – did he add colleges he thinks will now give him a leg up in a career in journalism?

Vanity Fair editor Kurt Eichenwald entered the fray by criticizing a more conservative Parkland student on Twitter and so far only one company has responded. It’s more complicated with him, though, as he is no longer considered a contributor on MSNBC, according to NBC, though he makes the claim in his bio. Also, Eichenwald claims he was confused about with whom he was tweeting.

What a mess. So far, only one company has pledged to pull ads from MSNBC.

In the meantime, hashtag warriors are gonna hashtag and now David Hogg thinks he’ll just take a gap year and go on the campaign trail anyway. Anyone surprised by this?  He will, no doubt, continue his online fight against the NRA. As Senator John McCain touted a pet project in Arizona Friday, Hogg replied with “Why do you take so much money from the NRA?” to McCain’s tweet. McCain receives the most money from the NRA of any sitting member of Congress. McCain’s in Arizona battling brain cancer.