A commentary this week on immigration by Laura Ingraham of Fox News has set off a political ruckus that has resulted in her disavowing the support of white nationalists and the likes of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, reports the Hill. Here's a look at what's going on:
- The original: On Wednesday—watch the video here—Ingraham complained that demographic shifts were changing the US for the worse. "In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore," she said. "Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like." Much of it stems from "both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love."
- The backlash: It came fast and furious, accusing Ingraham of being racist and/or xenophobic. At CNN, for example, SE Cupp took Ingraham to task. "What once might have been a dog whistle is officially a scream, voiced over the airwaves of the President's favorite cable news network," she writes. Cupp called the commentary flat-out racist. "She's complaining that people who come to America from other countries—even legally—are making this country unrecognizable to her," and, more to the point, to Fox's largely white, older viewers.
- David Duke: In a since-deleted tweet, the former KKK leader praised Ingraham's commentary as "one of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of MSM,” reports the Daily Beast.
- Ingraham responds: On Thursday, Ingraham insisted that her commentary was not about race or ethnicity but about "keeping America safe" through secure borders. The second video is here. “A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention: You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear." (The "racist freak" is apparently Duke.)
- A critic: Of course the commentary was about race, writes Eugene Scott at the Washington Post. "One can’t talk about demographic changes in America without talking about race and ethnicity." He adds that Ingraham did not apologize, because that would have defied the Trump playbook.
- A key base: A post at Axios notes that Ingraham's show is popular with Trump's base, and the concerns she voiced resonate there. The post cites a 2017 survey in which nearly half of white working-class respondents said they "feel like a stranger in (their) own country," and 68% said the American way of life needs protection from the influence of foreigners.
- A defender: "Liberals never get tired of pretending to care about minorities to take down their politic opponents," tweets Candace Owens of Turning Point USA. "The same people calling for a boycott of Laura Ingraham's advertisers sent ZERO tweets about the 71 black people that were shot in Chicago over the weekend."
(Read more Laura Ingraham