"Lynch Mob" Or "Freedom Riders": Laura Ingraham's Take On Ferguson Protests Vs. Bundy Ranch Standoff
Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL
Laura Ingraham's opinion on the merits of a protest movement seem to vary considerably from month to month. Ingraham recently characterized protestors in Ferguson, Missouri as a "lynch mob" and downplayed the story as a "local, criminal" story, but in April the radio host helped to elevate the standoff between scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and federal law enforcement agents while suggesting his supporters' violent threats against the government constituted a mere "act of civil disobedience."
Police in Ferguson, Missouri are currently using heavy force to crack down on citizens protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, at the hands of an officer of the mostly white St. Louis County Police Department. Journalists have been arrested on baseless or suspect justifications, and events in the St. Louis suburb have exploded into a national news story.
On August 14, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham complained that the events were receiving too much attention and suggested Brown's death was nothing more than a "local, criminal" story. Ingraham, a nationally syndicated radio host and contributor for both ABC and Fox News, blamed the media for sensationalizing and nationalizing the story, claiming the media presence "perpetuates the unrest and the discontent on the ground."
"You bring in the satellite trucks," Ingraham said, "And then people start playing to the cameras on scene."
Ingraham's disdain extended to the protestors, whom she grotesquely equated to a "lynch mob."
Ingraham struck a much different tone earlier this year, when racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to comply with court orders instructing him to remove his trespassing cattle from federal land.
Conservative media outlets hyped the situation at the time, and gun-toting, (mostly white) militia members subsequently streamed into Nevada from across the country to confront federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management with threats of violence. As some protestors set up sniper positions with guns aimed at federal officers, and others warned that enforcement efforts against Bundy would be met with violence, Ingraham appeared on Fox News to help nationalize the story and suggest the NV protestors were merely engaged in "an act of civil disobedience." The Bundy Ranch confrontation, according to Ingraham, was the front lines of a larger, national battle against federal government land grabs, and she characterized the use of 200 agents needed to enforce the law as "a ridiculously disproportionate response."
On her radio show at the time, Ingraham even characterized Bundy's supporters as "new Freedom Riders," likening them to a renowned group of civil rights activists who protested segregation in the 1960s.