The Whole Truth About Laura Ingraham

February 9, 2020 0 By Sebastian Fry


Conservative firebrand Laura Ingraham is known
to her millions of fans on talk radio and Fox News as a sharp-tongued, no-holds-barred
critic of American politics, but how much do you really know about the controversial
television host? Here’s the truth about Laura Ingraham. Before stoking the fires of partisan politics
on the AM band, Ingraham triggered a few controversies back when she was editor of The Dartmouth
Review in the early ’80s. According to The New York Times, Ingraham
sent a reporter to secretly record a meeting of the Gay Students Association, then published
a partial transcript of the meeting, including the identities of two “association officials.” The GSA felt this was a violation of its first
amendment rights, since members were reportedly required to take an oath of confidentiality
to attend. Ingraham later justified the story by saying
the publication was simply investigating school funding that the GSA had received, a total
of $825 over two years, and that her reporter acted legally under freedom of the press. She told UPI, “It seems they just have parties and talk
about parties. There isn’t a heterosexual group that gets
funding.” The story gained national attention and became
a lightning rod for critics who claimed Ingraham had “outed” her fellow students. Though she had spectacular success on talk
radio and eventually became the permanent guest host for Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor,
Ingraham’s first go-round at a solo TV project for the conservative cable station didn’t
go so well. Ingraham’s 2008 show, Just in with Laura Ingraham,
which attempted to blend conservative talking points with Daily Show-style humor, lasted
just three weeks before getting yanked. Ingraham previously fared a bit better utilizing
a virtually identical format for her late ’90s MSNBC show, Watch It!, which lasted 17
months and was shifted to three different time slots. Speaking with C-Span about her first foray
on the small screen, Ingraham said, “It was a great time. We tried to do it like a mini interview, a
little bit like The Daily Show…It was odd, very ambitious and a lot of fun.” When the show was cancelled, Ingraham said
she was never told why, adding, “That’s kind of the way MSNBC goes.” She also said the experience eventually caused
her to pivot to a full-time radio gig. Late Arizona Senator John McCain’s daughter,
Meghan McCain, is now a public figure in her own right, having co-hosted the panel show
Outnumbered on Fox News before landing a permanent spot at the table with the ladies of The View. But when she’d only just dipped her toe into
the shark-filled waters of political punditry back in 2009, McCain tangoed with none other
than Laura Ingraham. According to Think Progress, Ingraham then
used a “valley girl” voice to imitate Meghan and made a mocking reference to how show couldn’t
get cast on The Real World because, in Ingraham’s words, “They don’t like plus-sized models.” She went on to slam The View host for being
critical of “extreme” political viewpoints on both sides of the aisle. “I mean I don’t even know what Meghan McCain
stands for, I mean last time I checked, she was talking about her tattoos.” McCain responded in a column for the Daily
Beast called “Quit Talking About My Weight, Laura Ingraham,” in which she questioned why
Ingraham deviated from the ideological discussion for a crass personal attack. Ingraham responded by calling her “plus-sized
models” remark, “[A] throwaway comic line [that was an attempt
to jab at] Hollywood’s obsession with stick figure women.” Years later, Adweek asked Meghan how she felt
about her previous feuding with Ingraham, and her response was: “I just want to thank her for my career. She’s the person who got me national attention. That’s all I have to say about that.” Checkmate. If you thought all past and present Fox News
hosts were automatically on the same side, think again. There doesn’t even seem to be a shared bond
of sisterhood between former colleague Megyn Kelly and Ingraham, despite the many reasons
working in the same troubled newsroom could have forged one. But for Ingraham especially, there was no
love lost when Kelly defected to NBC News. In her October 2017 interview with The New
York Times, Ingraham swiped at Kelly’s now-defunct nine o’clock hour on Today with a rather unflattering
comparison, saying, “What do you think? We’re going to have a stove in the back, and
we’re going to have popovers?…No. I won’t be doing that.” On-air, Ingraham has come for Kelly a few
times, referencing the flagging ratings of Kelly’s morning show and mocking her segment
featuring women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault. Ingraham also tweeted a Variety story that
pondered NBC’s controversial hiring of Kelly with the question, “Did NBC make a $17.5 [million dollar] mistake?” Yikes. Shots have not only been fired here, but full-on
war has been waged, even if only one side seems to be fighting. In an interview with The New York Times, Ingraham
casually revealed that she talks to President Donald Trump on the phone rather frequently. She explained, “Sometimes, I call him, and occasionally,
I’ll get a call.” Ingraham claimed she has phone chats with
the leader of the free world a few times a month. It was a remarkable admission to make, but
one that perhaps shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise given the president’s known
TV-watching habits, for the most part, he’s an unabashed lover of Fox News. Add to that Ingraham’s early endorsement during
his candidacy, and it starts to make sense. “Donald Trump respects us enough to tell us
the hard truths about what has happened to our country.” But that’s not to say that Ingraham is Trump’s
yes-woman. She also pointed out to The Times that she’s
been critical of the president at times, and that she would continue to be critical on
air as she saw fit. When asked about how she thought Trump might
react to her criticism, she said, “He’ll probably…be irked. We are friends, but friends tell friends when
they go off course. And I’m sure he’ll tell me when he thinks
I’m deviating from what’s proper and thoughtful. And I’ll do the same with him.” For decades, Ingraham has given more than
her two cents on the American political process, and there may come a day when she decides
to get off the sidelines. Speaking with The Sunday Times in 2013, Ingraham
said, “[I’ve] been approached by various people
to get involved [and I’m] keeping an open mind about running for office in the future.” Fast forward four years, and Ingraham’s plans
had not yet solidified, although she seemed to have narrowed her sights on a branch of
government to try to infiltrate: the legislature. Specifically, Ingraham was eyeballing the
seat occupied by Tim Kane, the junior senator from Virginia, who also ran for vice president
alongside Hillary Clinton. In an echo of her remarks from 2013, Ingraham
once again said that she’d been encouraged to run by some reportedly “well connected”
Virginians, which she claimed to find “very flattering,” although she had yet to make
up her mind on whether to do so, according to CNN. A few months later, The Washington Post all
but ruled out the possibility of Ingraham joining the 2018 race, but it’s probably safe
to assume the extremely popular pundit who President Trump considered to be his press
secretary hasn’t given up her political aspirations just yet. Ingraham was diagnosed with breast cancer
in 2005, and battled for years with chemotherapy and surgery. In 2013, she spoke with Talkers about being
a cancer “thrivor,” explaining that she thinks the term “survivor” sounds too “defensive.” She added, “The coast is clear. I try to go on without obsessing about it
all that much. It was not a pleasant experience to go through
and I treated it like training for a marathon, or writing a law school essay. I powered through it and did not want people
to pity me.” Ingraham even channeled the life-threatening
struggle into another book, Power to the People, which was published in 2007. Though the book covers Ingraham’s typical
political stomping grounds, she told Cancer Connect that it was the stories of other “thrivors”
that inspired her to write it. Asked to counsel others afflicted with a cancer
diagnosis, Ingraham again referred to a cancer battle in terms of a tough assignment that
shouldn’t be, in her words, “the defining characteristic of your life.” Ingraham started the Adopt a New Attitude
Project in response to the Russian government’s retaliatory 2012 ban of all adoptions to the
United States. According to The Washington Free Beacon, the
former Soviet state’s harsh restriction was a reaction to U.S. economic sanctions, and
it resulted in the immediate stoppage of any further adoptions of Russian children to American
families, including more than 300 adoptions who were already somewhere in the process. Referring to adopted children as “little angels
[that] need us,” Ingraham told The Free Beacon, “I didn’t really think all that much about
adoption until I adopted.” She claims she found her passion for the cause
after adopting three children of her own, two boys from Russia and a girl from Guatemala. She said she hopes Adopt a New Attitude reveals
what she calls “great light of adoption [is]” to the public. In January 2017, after being accused of human
rights violations, Russian officials signalled that they were ready to re-open discussions
on the issue, and that there was potential to revert to how conditions were prior to
the ban. Clearly, Ingraham is no fan of liberal teen
activists. But she may have saved her worst attack for
Greta Thunberg, the teen climate change activist and Time’s 2019 Person of the Year. According to Time, “[Thunberg] inspired 4 million people to join
the global climate strike…in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history.” Ingraham was apparently unimpressed by the
achievement. “The adults who’ve brainwashed these kids
should be brought up on charges of child abuse.” During an episode of The Ingraham Angle that
aired three days after the historic worldwide protest, the conservative host compared Thunberg
to the fictional teen cult in Stephen King’s classic Children of the Corn. “I can’t wait for Stephen King’s sequel, Children
of the Climate.” Yikes. Predictably, she faced instant backlash over
her comments, the harshest of which came from her brother, Curtis Ingraham. While that may sound shocking, keep in mind
that Curtis had previously called Laura “a monster,” according to The Daily Beast, and
publicly shamed advertisers on her show. “Someone asked me, is that really your sister
or is she just playing a media personality, and I think it is who she has become.” After Laura’s Thunberg slam, Curtis headed
to Twitter and didn’t hold back, saying, “Clearly my sister’s paycheck is more important
than the world her three adopted kids will inherit. I can no longer apologize for a sibling who
I no longer recognize. I can and will continue to call out the monstrous
behavior and the bully commentary born out of anger.” Dubbed “the most-listened-to woman in America
on political talk radio,” Ingraham left her radio show in 2018 to launch a podcast on
the PodcastOne network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ingraham
claimed that hosting a prime-time television show and a three-hour radio show was just
too much for her as a single parent of three. But just a year later, the podcast ended. Her last broadcast was on September 30th,
2019, and no new episodes have dropped since. The Daily Beast reported further, “And yet, on her official website, Ingraham
has continued advertising and selling auto-renewable $49.95 [per] year subscriptions for a podcast
that apparently no longer exists.” Sources told the publication in October that
the show would be coming back, but Ingraham and her executive producer ignored requests
for comment, and the podcast was scrubbed from her Twitter bio. In December 2019, PodcastOne confirmed to
The Hollywood Reporter that Ingraham’s podcast was over, and that her deal with them had
expired, saying in a statement, “Our podcast was always available free of
charge, and we are not aware of this being part of any paid package.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
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