Parkland shooting spokesperson David Hogg is not slowing down his media push. The ever-present Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student has become emboldened by the mainstream press lending its full support to his anti-gun activism.
What that same media complex is loathe to report, however, is how ineffectual Hogg’s efforts have been. In fact, the teen mouthpiece's vitriol is actually helping his targets.
The media backing taking place has encouraged Hogg to broaden the scope of his calls for action. Not only has a new book deal been reported, a release date of June 5 for the project has made headlines. This young man, even getting help on the book from his sister, apparently has some kind of impressive super-powers, otherwise where did he find the time between media appearances and school work?
Hogg's presence on network news shows has bolstered his activist image. It's helped make him a loud mouthpiece for consumer influence. The newest call to action was that Hogg targeted investment service providers Blackrock and Vanguard Group, because they have gun-manufacturer holdings in some of their portfolios. (Curiously, the tweets he sent with this new directive have since been deleted.) This follows what many consider to be a Hogg boycott “success”.
With the help of Media Matters for America, a boycott was called against the Laura Ingraham program on Fox News Network. This was not due to her taking a controversial stance on gun control; Ingraham made a comment about Hogg being declined a college admission. (Note: It was Hogg himself who placed this detail of his life into the news cycle.) Hogg, who called for an apology and then later refused it, took this personal slight and, with information provided by MMFA, targeted the advertisers of Ingraham’s show.
A list of companies followed the directive -- delivered by a student just turning 18 -- and proclaimed they would no longer run spots on her program. As the press went wild detailing these events, and gleefully reporting on the growing list of companies pulling out, what they failed to do later is report the conclusion. Those companies fleeing missed out on business, because following Hogg’s boycott, Ingraham received a 20-point spike in viewership.
That has not been Hogg’s only provoked result. The lengthy anti-gun lecturing we have endured since the Feb. 14 shooting has not led to an avalanche of legislation on weaponry. In fact, all the calls for new laws and gun control have delivered a very different reality. As Hogg, other Parkland students, and many non-profit groups (as well as numerous members of the press) have been demonizing the National Rifle Association, the populace has reacted in a different fashion.
The NRA has seen a sharp spike in membership since the organization became the targeted villain in much of the “debate.” Additionally, in March, following weeks of sermonizing and constant blame, the NRA broke its record for donations. Gun sales have also seen an increase as a result of the gun-nabbing lectures. It is notable that not just nationally, but in Florida, gun sales and background checks have jumped in the wake of Parkland.
Here is where David Hogg continues his misguided track record:
He is currently trying to compel Blackrock and Vanguard to divest themselves of companies in their holdings which have actually increased in value as a result of Hogg’s activism. It becomes laughable for him to threaten economic hardship on these entities if they do not conform to his demands, when standing firm will only see their portfolios benefit.
The more he protests, the more they actually stand to gain.
This has been the case ever since the tragedy in Parkland. As David Hogg has been angrily stumping for change in our gun laws, what he appears to have more influence on is the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this commentary exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.
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