Ben Shapiro: Parkland student should not be free from pushback

Ben Shapiro: Parkland student should not be free from pushback
© Greg Nash

Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro appeared to defend Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday, saying that while he disagreed with her tweet going after Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg it wasn't "remotely close" to criticism that Hogg himself has issued.

Shapiro argued in a series of tweets that Parkland students such as Hogg who engage in political discourse should not be immune from criticism, pointing to the student's past comments regarding gun rights advocates.

"You may not like what Ingraham said. You may disagree with it. I did. But it isn't remotely CLOSE to the level of viciousness with which Hogg has attacked people who disagree with him," Shapiro wrote.

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"I was Hogg's age when I started writing a syndicated column. I got hammered repeatedly -- and some of it was justified. When you join the public discourse, you take on slings and arrows. That's even more true if you decide to maliciously malign your opponents, as Hogg has," the conservative writer and speaker added.

Ingraham apologized on Thursday after advertisers began departing her show over her tweet mocking Hogg for being rejected by several colleges and accusing the high school senior of "whining" about it.

"On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland," Ingraham tweeted.

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Hogg responded, accusing the Fox News host of only apologizing after her show's ad revenue was threatened.

"[A]n apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough. I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight," he tweeted.

Hogg has also been the subject of criticism from right-wing sites such as Infowars and Breitbart News, which have repeatedly attacked Hogg and his fellow classmates, including comparing them to Nazis and Adolf Hitler.

Hogg, meanwhile, has directed his most pointed criticism at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, accusing the Republican senator of putting a "price tag" on student lives by accepting campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including Hogg, launched a national campaign to end gun violence after a shooter killed 17 people at their school in February. The resulting movement has reignited a national debate on gun violence and school safety.