Laura Ingraham’s recent imbroglio with Parkland student David Hogg is not one of her best on-air moments.
Her attempt at comedy where she sarcastically mocked Mr. Hogg with her tweet, “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates)” was silly. Worse yet, it was simply not consistent with her personal brand as a thoughtful commentator, as a “thinker.”
Hogg’s response to Ingraham, a Fox News and radio host, was his own tweet which advocated a boycott against Ingraham’s advertisers. Hogg listed Ingraham’s top 12 advertisers, ranging from Sleep Number beds to Hulu and Wayfair.
This could be seen by some as vindictive, especially after Ingraham apologized to this new media darling.
Ingraham’s Twitter misstep left her open to criticism from college students, advertisers, and thinking adults who believe in teachable moments, as well as of those who have a gripe regarding her political point of view.
This outburst makes the old public relations adage that “all publicity is good” an anachronism — a vinyl record in the time of Spotify and Pandora.
In addition, her tweet faux pas makes her a serial “politically incorrect” offender. Her recent antagonizing of comic Jim Carrey’s artwork with Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo (March 21, 2018), in which she described Carrey’s art like this, "It looks like a murder scene. What is that?” is a no-no in the hyper-sensitive art world.
And another: Her attack on “the King” — LeBron James — over negative comments he made about President Trump where she called LeBron remarks as "barely intelligible,” “ungrammatical,” and, ironically enough, “ignorant.”
All this says is that Ingraham doesn’t run away from controversy. Where she erred with Hogg is in how others perceive what she did to a child — almost an adult but still a child, nonetheless. “Almost” is only good in “horseshoes and hand grenades,” as they say, but for Ingraham, this translates into an insensitivity towards a child at a highly upsetting time. Not a good thing!
Even though Ingraham is the adult in the room, Mr. Hogg must learn fast: The higher you go up the tree, the more your backside will show.
This means when you take on adult issues, you must accept the consequences of being an adult. Taking criticism, being mocked publicly, and having others disagree with your opinions are never easy — even to the seasoned public figure.
Exposure to suffering doesn’t shield you from having others disagree with you. It’s how they disagree with you that matters. Perhaps Ms. Ingraham could have done a better job with her lampooning Twitter tactic. This would have caused less grief for the embattled talk show host.
This can also be a learning moment for Mr. Hogg, especially when receiving an apology. Forgiveness is something that one should learn early in life, especially when feelings are strong and a full life is ahead.
To make matters worse, The Wrap’s Jon Levine reported that Geraldo Rivera, the legendary Fox News Channel veteran stated that “what she (Ingraham) said was indefensible… I don’t know” about Ingraham’s fate at the channel, but “It’s not going to be an easy road.”
With all this bad news, there is still a ray of hope for the embattled Ingraham. Market Watch, which monitors consumer perceptions of advertisers reported that “the boycott of Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show barely registered with consumers (with one exception.)"
If logic and ratings matter, Ingraham will be given another day to challenge her fans and detractors. All because she, her team, and decision-makers understand that it is always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought
“Fight The Good Fight; Finish The Race, Keep The Faith.”
— Dr. John Tantillo, The Marketing Doctor
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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