Laura Ingraham loses sponsor over defense of white supremacist

The Fox News host called white supremacist Paul Nehlen and others "people who believe in national sovereignty."

Laura Ingraham speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. CREDIT: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Laura Ingraham speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. CREDIT: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fox News host Laura Ingraham has lost a sponsor over her defense of a prominent white supremacist.

The “Ingraham Angle” host featured avowed white supremacist Paul Nehlen in a graphic of prominent conservatives who she said have been censored on social media during her Thursday night show. As the graphic went up, Ingraham criticized social-media companies, which she accused of censoring conservatives under the guise of combating hate speech.

“It’s people who believe in border enforcement, people who believe in national sovereignty,” Ingraham told far-right activist Candice Owens, who is black, as the graphic went up.

The photo-printing service Fracture was quick to respond, pulling its advertisement from Ingraham’s show. In a statement on its website, the company said it is reviewing its ad-buying policies to make sure they are in line with its values.


“Last night one of our ads aired during an episode of The Ingraham Angle during which Laura Ingraham expressed alarming views that run entirely counter to the values that we hold as a company,” the statement read. “We are taking this matter very seriously and as a result we are taking swift action.”

Ingraham did not apologize for the graphic or mention the controversy over it during her show Friday. But in a statement, Fox News denied that Ingraham was defending Nehlen and said “some of the names” in the graphic came from an Associated Press report on Facebook banning political extremists.

“Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech and the intent of the segment was to highlight the growing trend of unilateral censorship in America,” the statement read.

Nehlen is a member of the so-called “alt right” who made unsuccessful bids for the Republican U.S. House nomination in Wisconsin’s first district in 2016 and 2018. He was banned from Twitter in 2018 over a series of racist and anti-semitic tweets, including a meme that replaced the face of British royal Meghan Markle, who is biracial, with a prehistoric dark-skinned Britain dubbed “Cheddar Man.”


The tweets also won Nehlen a ban from the Wisconsin Republican Party and a round of censures from state Republican politicians, including his then-opponent, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose campaign called Nehlen “bigoted.”

Last April, Nehlen wore a T-shirt featuring Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers as he praised people whom he said “do what needs to be done, and that is to rid white lands of Jews.”

The graphic Ingraham showed also featured several other controversial figures. One, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, has flirted with neo-Nazism and defended pedophilia with children as young as 13. Another, conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, has promoted theories that mass shootings are staged and accused “Democrats and communists” of plotting “white genocide.”

The controversy over the Nehlen graphic is not Ingraham’s first.

Last August, during a discussion of immigration, she said that “massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people … that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.” Many commentators saw that as a reference to the U.S. becoming less white, though Ingraham later denied she was talking about race or ethnicity.

Just four months earlier, a stampede of advertisers fled Ingraham’s show after she mocked Parkland shooting survivor and gun-safety advocate David Hogg on air.