Laura Ingraham’s hard-right Fox News show, “The Ingraham Angle,” is still suffering blowback from her attack on Parkland, Fla massacre survivor David Hogg. Advertisers are still gun-shy (no pun intended, well maybe) about running adjacent to her unabashed Trump cheerleading and racist diatribes.
Ingraham suffered another blow to her image earlier this week after investigative Web site thesmokinggun.com revealed she received a slap on the wrist for theft while a Dartmouth University student in the 1980s.
She responded to her arrest for shoplifting by characterizing it as a college prank done on a “dare.”
Conspiracy monger Sean Hannity is in the same boat, according to Vanity Fair magazine. The article cited “three sources briefed on the numbers,” who said advertising revenues for Hannity and Ingraham are down in recent months.
Both Fox talking heads were targets of advertising boycotts earlier this year. Ingraham lost more than half her show’s sponsors after she ridiculed the Parkland high school student for complaining about receiving rejections from four colleges.
Hannity found himself in hot water for frequently defending Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen without revealing that he was one of Cohen’s clients.
Last November, he faced an advertiser exodus after he embraced Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of dating and assaulting high school girls while he was a 33-year-old county prosecutor.
“Sean Hannity peddles disinformation and discredited conspiracies in order to undermine the rule of law and advance the Trump administration’s interests. He is functioning as a state aligned propaganda operation,” a petition calling for a boycott charged on MoveOn.org.
“The pro-Trump thing isn’t working,” said a Fox insider, at least where it counts–the bottom line. Although network ratings remain strong, Fox News advertising revenues fell by 17 percent in September compared to a year ago, while MSNBC was up 2.6 percent and CNN was down only 1 percent.
The 9 pm and 10 pm news hours, where Hannity and Ingraham air, have become a black hole for advertisers. “Despite all the hype on Hannity, they can’t sell it,” another insider told the magazine.
“Many advertisers have left the show. At this point, the sole purpose of Hannity’s show is not profit, or education, or even entertainment: It is to lay the groundwork for an authoritarian response to the Russia probe led by Robert Mueller,” according to Media Matters for America, an organization that has campaigned against Hannity.
Ingraham apologized and took a vacation for attacking Hogg and sister Lauren. But she’s been unrepentant on her radio broadcast “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
The backdrop to all this is a reported power struggle between Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and his eldest son, Lachlan, who was named last month as the media conglomerate’s new chairman and chief executive, according to Vanity Fair.
Lachlan is reportedly determined to overhaul management, but Rupert is still meddling and protecting favored executives.
Fox News president of ad sales Marianne Gambelli said in a statement “Fox News is in the middle of a record year both in ratings and ad sales and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have the highest rated shows in cable news.”
Maybe so, but if they don’t sell, their days are certainly numbered.