Somebody goofed? Fox News issues statement after Laura Ingraham gets hit by left and right

(Video screenshot)

On Friday Fox News issued a statement defending host Laura Ingraham from allegations that she’d purposefully defended a known white supremacist and anti-Semite.

During a segment on free speech a day earlier, “The Ingraham Angle” host displayed a picture of white supremacist, anti-Semite and failed Wisconsin congressional candidate Paul Nehlen alongside those of other “prominent voices” who’ve been “censored by social media.”

Look:

To be clear, the graphic above is accurate. Every individual featured is prominent — i.e., well known — and has been silenced/censored on social media in one capacity or another. Moreover, according to Fox News the graphic was plucked from the Associated Press.

“It is obscene to suggest that Laura Ingraham was defending Paul Nehlen’s despicable actions especially when some of the names on the graphic were pulled from an Associated Press report on best known political extremists banned from Facebook,” FNC said in a statement.

“Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech and the intent of the segment was to highlight the growing trend of unilateral censorship in America.”

And therein lies the key problem, according to Ingraham’s critics. They feel as if her decision to include Nehlen in a segment about free speech amounted to a tacit endorsement of his bigotry.

See some of the backlash on social media below:

The host disagrees with this line of thinking.

“Retweeting screenshots of despicable old tweets by racists and/or anti-semites must make those racists & anti-semites very happy,” she tweeted Friday afternoon. Unfortunately it does zero to elevate the debate in America,” she tweeted Friday morning:

Her point was that Nehlen’s past remarks — many of which are indeed bigoted to the extreme — are irrelevant to the broader discussion about free speech, which she and other conservatives would argue should be enjoyed by every American, regardless of his or her specific beliefs.

Like English comedian and actor Ricky Gervais has repeatedly tweeted in the past couple of months, “If you don’t believe in free speech for people who you hate, fear and disagree with, then you don’t believe in free speech.”

However, criticism of Ingraham hasn’t just been limited to the left. Some conservatives have pounced as well because, while the segment that included Nehlen had been about free speech, it’d specifically been about “Democrats’ desperate push to shut down the right” and “and “How far will the left go to silence conservatives,” as seen in the chyrons below:

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

The juxtaposition of these chyrons with Nehlen’s pic suggests that Ingraham believes the failed Wisconsin congressional candidate is a conservative. He’s not.

“The conservative GOP kicked Nehlen out of the GOP,” one proud Trump supporter explained on Twitter. “He is NOT a prominent conservative voice. Democrats are all racists. If anything he’d fit in much better with them. But, yeah, somebody goofed, on that I agree.”

“But to say Laura Ingraham and Candace Owens are white supremacists?” he added.

That too is a valid point. Both Ingraham and black conservative activist Candace Owens have repeatedly been smeared by the left as white supremacists, as bizarre as that sounds.

This, however, speaks to the host’s broader point, which is that the left has been trying for the longest time to smear and silence those voices “who believe in border enforcement, people who believe in national sovereignty,” etc. Those who hold conservative viewpoints, basically.

That said, should she have included Nehlan among those voices? Probably not, though she’s not wrong to point out that free speech applies to every American, even the bigoted ones.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

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Vivek Saxena

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