Fox's Laura Ingraham: I wasn't talking about race - | WBTV Charlotte

Fox's Laura Ingraham: I wasn't talking about race

By DAVID BAUDER
AP Media Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham is disavowing the support of white nationalists and claims her views about the nation's demographic changes have been distorted, although that hasn't quieted critics who see bigotry in her words.

Her commentary this week leading into the one-year anniversary of a white nationalist demonstration that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, has also drawn attention to how Fox speaks to an audience that is overwhelmingly white.

Ingraham said on Wednesday that "in major parts of the country, it does seem that the America we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people and they're changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like."

As she spoke, film on the screen behind her depicted people scaling what appeared to be a giant border wall or slipping under a fence.

Shortly after, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke tweeted a link to what she said, calling it "one of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of MSM." He later deleted the tweet.

Ingraham said toward the end of Wednesday's commentary that she was not talking about race and ethnicity, and complained a night later that the disclaimer was being missed.

On Thursday, she said she had "a message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I won't even mention, you don't represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear."

Instead of race, she said she was talking about "a shared sense of keeping American safe and her citizens safe and prosperous.

"I want to make it really clear," she said. "My concern will remain with the families who have suffered from the tragic results of illegal immigration."

Still, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski called it a "white supremacist speech" on Friday. CNN's Van Jones said that in discussing "demographic changes," Ingraham was clearly talking about race and ethnicity.

"You dropped the dog whistle," Jones said on CNN. "You went with the megaphone. Now you're trying to pick up the dog whistle again. It's not going to work."

Fox management has said nothing about Ingraham's remarks, and a spokeswoman said Friday that the network's top executive, Suzanne Scott, was not immediately available for an interview.

Earlier this year, Scott told producers of Fox shows to do a better job keeping their on-air hosts and guests in line following a spate of controversial or offensive comments. It's not clear if she considers Ingraham's commentary in the same vein.

With a prime-time lineup of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Ingraham, Fox has positioned itself to appeal to supporters of President Donald Trump, and frequently runs Trump's campaign rallies in full. The audience at Trump rallies is primarily white, and so it is for Fox: on average, its prime-time audience this year is 91 percent white and non-Hispanic, the Nielsen company said. MSNBC's audience is 69 percent white and CNN's is 57 percent, Nielsen said.

Ingraham's commentary could have business implications among some advertisers who are already skittish about her since she tweeted about Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg whining about being rejected from colleges. Hogg, who has become a gun control activist, responded by calling on advertisers to boycott her show.

Her program averaged 37 paid advertisements in March but was down to 15 in July, according to Media Matters for America, a liberal Fox News critic that monitors its programming.

Meanwhile, her viewership was up nearly 10 percent between the first three months of the year and the second three months, Nielsen said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • National politicsPoliticsMore>>

  • Trump says he 'won't let' social media target conservatives

    Trump says he 'won't let' social media target conservatives

    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:48 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:48:43 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:59 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:59:32 GMT

    President Donald Trump is accusing social media companies of "totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices" and says he "we won't let that happen.".

    More >>

    President Donald Trump is accusing social media companies of "totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices" and says he "we won't let that happen.".

    More >>
  • Privacy group tells FTC Google tracking violated 2011 order

    Privacy group tells FTC Google tracking violated 2011 order

    Friday, August 17 2018 4:43 PM EDT2018-08-17 20:43:22 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:56:18 GMT
    A privacy group that lobbied the Federal Trade Commission to take action on Google nearly a decade ago says in a letter to the FTC that Google has violated the terms of a 2011 settlement because of practices...More >>
    A privacy group that lobbied the Federal Trade Commission to take action on Google nearly a decade ago says in a letter to the FTC that Google has violated the terms of a 2011 settlement because of practices exposed in an Associated Press report this week.More >>
  • Trump asks SEC to consider ending required quarterly reports

    Trump asks SEC to consider ending required quarterly reports

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:20 AM EDT2018-08-17 12:20:39 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:56:16 GMT
    Trump asks SEC to review the practicality of quarterly reports from major US corporations, says 6-month reporting system might be favorable.More >>
    Trump asks SEC to review the practicality of quarterly reports from major US corporations, says 6-month reporting system might be favorable.More >>
Powered by Frankly