In an odd turn of events, the ever-progressive Bill Maher came to the defense of Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, where he and his panel of guests were discussing the boycott launched by student activist and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.
At the end of March, Hogg requested his Twitter followers contact Ingraham’s major advertisers after she tweeted negative comments about him receiving rejections from colleges. Following the boycott, her show The Laura Ingraham Show was dropped by multiple companies. Maher touted the boycott as un-American. “I want to defend Laura Ingraham,” Maher said. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but it has to do with the Parkland kids and guns and free speech.”
“Again, he is in the arena, and then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors,” Maher continued, referring to Hogg. “Really? Is that American?” Maher asked his audience, to which a few yelled “Yes!” in response.
“He complains about bullying? That’s bullying!” Maher said. “I have been the victim of a boycott...I've lost a job as a result. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do it by principle.” One of the guests, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D), shared his opinion, “Boycotting is part of free speech.” He continued, “Saying, ‘I don't want to work with that person.' Saying, 'I will not buy a product from that person.' That's speech."
“Really? All of the things Laura Ingraham has said over the years, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back?” Maher responded, adding that it makes for a “very chilling atmosphere.”
After Ingraham tweeted a Daily Wire story about Hogg getting turned down from four colleges he applied to, the student activist shared a list of 12 of Ingraham’s advertisers, which included Arby’s, Hulu, Trip Advisor, AT&T, Allstate, and more. When advertisers began pulling out from Ingraham’s show, she issued an apology. However, Hogg didn’t accept it.
“Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA—including David Hogg. 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. “For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David immediately after that horrific shooting. And as always, he’s welcome to come on my show anytime for a productive discussion.” Hogg then responded to Ingraham's politicized apology by tweeting, "I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I️ in this fight. It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children."