Bayer 16th Co. to Drop Ingraham As Gun Control Issue Looms in Midterms

Bayer AG, the massive German conglomerate, confirmed Saturday that the company will no longer be spending ad dollars to support Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show.

Bayer  is at least the 16th company to withdraw sponsorship from “The Ingraham Angle” after the abrasive host attacked Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg last week.

“Bayer US has stopped advertising on Laura Ingraham and we have no plans to resume any time in the future,” the company wrote in a tweet.

After Ingraham mocked Hogg for his college rejections on Twitter, the 17-year-old sent out his own tweet with a list of companies sponsoring Ingraham’s show.  The public pressure and bad publicity made almost all of them withdraw as sponsors.

Ingraham tried apologizing to Hogg, but he said he would not accept it, and he has since doubled down on his critique of Ingraham, saying that “a bully is a bully.”  “I think now with advertisers standing with us, we can accomplish anything,” Hogg said Saturday.  Ingraham also announced Saturday she will be taking a break from her show.

Meanwhile, Democrats are now embracing the gun control issue on the campaign trail.  They seem to think that the political winds have changed, even though Congress probably won’t pass any new gun control laws before the November elections.

Political strategists and pollsters say there is now more apparent public support for gun reform than there has ever been, so for Democrats to focus on this hot-button issue is a smart move.  The mass murder of 17 people in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s day was a catalyst that seems to have changed public opinion as well as sparking massive anti-gun protests throughout the country on March 24th.

The shooting seems to have caused a major shift in the politics of the gun debate, and Democrats are no longer afraid of the NRA or afraid to speak up on the issue.  They have been helped by the Parkland students who have proven to be very media-savvy as they have managed to keep the gun control issue in the public eye and thus in the public debate for the 2018 campaign season.

The new polls and the massive demonstrations have strengthened Democrats’ resolve to embrace gun reform as not only smart policy but also a position that will pay off with electoral victories.

“This is going to be a serious issue in the elections. … Either we change laws or we change who’s in Congress. The kids get that,” said Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). “The Republicans, as they have for five years, can just keep stuff off the floor [but] they can’t keep everybody out of the voting booth. So they do that at their peril.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the member of Congress who represents Parkland, expressed his belief that “keeping kids safe ought to be the priority of our government. And in a lot of places we have one candidate who stands on the side of kids and public safety and morality, and we have another candidate who stands solely with the gun makers.”

“Yeah, you bet it’s going to be an issue in the campaign,” he added.

Democrats were greatly encouraged by Conor Lamb’s congressional victory in the special election in early March in a district that overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the 2016 election. When Lamb — a moderate but somewhat progressive Democrat — won in a  conservative area in southwest Pennsylvania it gave new strength to the belief that supporting reasonable new gun laws will not be political suicide for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms.  In fact, throughout the country Lamb’s winning campaign is being seen as a model for how Democrats can support gun reform in red districts and still prevail at the ballot box.

If new gun control laws are passed after Democrats take back control of Congress, then the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting will not have died in vain.

Leo Vidal

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