What: A glimpse at how Laura Ingraham is doing since brands began to pull out of her show.
Who: Kate McKinnon, Colin Jost, and the SNL writers.
Why we care: Fox News host and noted Bad Opinion Haver Laura Ingraham has been making inflammatory statements for a long time. (Shock Jocks author Rory O’Connor once referred to her as “right-wing radio’s high priestess of hate.”) One recent provocative remark, though, is proving to be a bridge too far. After Ingraham Twitter-taunted Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg for not getting into four colleges, Hogg encouraged his followers to ask Ingraham’s brands why they sponsor her. The resulting tsunami of tweets has resulted in over two dozen brands fleeing from Ingraham’s show, and Ingraham herself having to take a week off the air. Something about David Hogg brings out the worst in conservative pundits–one from Sinclair got fired recently for threatening the student’s rear end with a poker–but it doesn’t take much to bring out the worst in Ingraham.
As editor of her college paper, The Dartmouth Review, a young Ingraham had a reporter secretly tape a meeting of the Gay Students Association for a piece questioning the program’s funding. She advocates for mass deportation of immigrants “by the thousands,” and famously did what looked an awful lot like a Nazi salute at the Republican National Convention in 2016. But while she’s caused an uproar before, the backlash has never been quite this focused or intense.
Over the weekend, SNL addressed the sponsor exodus, with a Weekend Update segment where Kate McKinnon portrayed the embattled host. The central joke of the scene will be familiar to anyone who watched SNL when Rush Limbaugh experienced a similar boycott following his controversial comments on Sandra Fluke in 2012, and Taran Killam-as-Limbaugh thanked his remaining sponsors, like Lee’s Pencil Dullers and Depends For Racists. McKinnon brings a funny list of unlikely sponsors along with her to the Weekend Update desk. More importantly, though, she also brings an understanding of why this boycott is happening: because it’s Ingraham’s job to make one intentionally polarizing comment after the next, and when confronted with some of these individual comments, no brand would want to stand behind them.
“Don’t boycott my show,” McKinnon-as-Ingraham says in a climactic moment. “Our country’s so divided right now, and I’m an important part of that. Let’s move on. You know I’m going to say something worse. Why don’t you just watch the show and find out what that’s going to be?”
Watch the full clip below.