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Hogging Free Speech

Bob Rogers

Friday, March 30, 2018 – To a degree, Americans have the right to free speech, according to the constitution. Likewise, Americans have the right to self-protection. But a snot-nosed kid from Florida rejected by several colleges of higher learning in even liberal California, took it upon himself to demonstrate to all others that free speech really isn’t free and, somewhat similarly, neither are gun rights. To illustrate his power of persuasion, David Hogg, the erstwhile leader cum loudly germinated by the Parkland, Florida school shooting, took offense at remarks by Fox News talker Laura Ingraham who profiled Hogg’s “No thanks” from those California Universities who turned Hogg down for admittance post-high school. He took account of Ingraham’s advertisers and tweetstormed his displeasure with Ingraham’s 1A rights which resulted in the cancellation of some of those gutless advertisers from The Ingraham Angle.

While Hogg fancies himself as the principal spokesman of the original Parkland Five and dictator of the March protestors, it was Emma Gonzales that made the greater impression with her silent sincerity, the 4 minutes and 26 seconds of genuine emotion at the podium fighting back her tears. That soulful pause – not the Hitler-like ranting of Hogg –  has been described as the loudest silence in the history of U.S. social protest.

Hogg, far less significant to the protest than Gonzales, listed 12 Ingraham advertisers as targets for pulling their ads. Of the 12, Nestle, Hulu, and Nutrish have cancelled. Media reports say TripAdvisor, Expedia, Wayfair and, surprisingly, Johnson & Johnson are reportedly pulling their ads, as well.

Of the thousands of protesters below the advertiser target demographic 18-35 age group likely not yet impressed with buying power assets, such a cancellation of ads on Ingraham’s show may well pale compared to the multi-millions of gun owners in the marketplace and, especially, compared to the 5 million consumer-members of the NRA. Similarly, those advertisers may have forgotten that Delta Airlines, as a protest of the Parkland school shooting, is regretting its major financial mistake by cancelling its discount program for NRA members preparing to fly to Dallas for the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings in May. That didn’t sit well with Georgia’s Lt. Governor who, in retribution, cancelled a major fuel discount that Delta enjoys at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, Delta’s hub. That discount, reportedly estimated at $40 million, was then cancelled by the pro-gun Georgia Legislature. In contrast, only 14 NRA  members had taken advantage of the Delta discount. Not the best tradeoff…

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