IMPACT: Laura Ingraham is the host of The Ingraham Angle on Fox News, the most-watched cable program on television at that time slot, as well as The Laura Ingraham Podcast on PodcastOne Network. Ingraham uses her media platforms to propagate anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric and conspiracy theories. She also regularly invites and endorses anti-Muslim figures on her show and podcast.
Laura Ingraham has been a television host on Fox News since 2008 and a contributor since 2007. Fox News is one of the most influential media organizations in the U.S. and, according to the Center for American Progress’ “Fear Inc.” report, regularly “amplif[ies] anti-Muslim alarmist threats and conspiracy theories.” In October 2017, Ingraham became the host of her own primetime Fox News show, The Ingraham Angle, which airs weeknights at 10pm/ET.
From 2001 to 2018, Ingraham hosted a three-hour syndicated radio show on Westwood One Network (2001–2004), Talk Radio Network (2004–2012), and Courtside Entertainment (2013–2018). In November 2018, Ingraham announced that she would be leaving radio and be transitioning to a career in podcasting. In January 2019, Ingraham launched The Laura Ingraham Podcast, a podcast that features three episodes a week for Courtside Entertainment’s PodcastOne network.
Ingraham’s Fox News show consistently tops cable news ratings. In August 2019, similar to previous months, The Ingraham Angle was the third most-watched cable program with an average of 2.61 million viewers. Her show is also the most-watched cable program for her time slot. Her former radio show was also popular, ranked as the sixth largest syndicated show and reaching 6 million listeners per week.
Ingraham has had a major platform at Republican and conservative conventions. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Ingraham spoke in support of Donald Trump, saying that only he could “restore respect across all levels of society.” She also praised Trump at the 2018 and 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Trump has praised Ingraham and appeared multiple times on her show.
Ingraham’s website features a page titled “Laura’s Reading List.” The page recommends several books by anti-Muslim figures, including Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Nonie Darwish, Sebastian Gorka, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Andrew McCarthy.
Ingraham has published several books. Her book Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America is described on its Amazon page as a “devastating critique of the liberals who hate America.” Her books Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump and Busting the Barricades: What I Saw at the Populist Revolt discuss and defend President Trump and his rise to the presidency. Her other books Power to the People and The Obama Diaries (a satire of Obama’s presidency) earned her the status of New York Times bestselling author. The Amazon page for Power to the People describes the message of the book as, “‘They’re coming for you.’ Specifically, ‘they’ means . . . illegal immigrants and Islamic jihadists, among others.”
Ingraham has propagated the “great replacement” white supremacist conspiracy theory, which claims that ‘Western civilization’ is threatened by a deliberate demographic shift caused by ‘multiculturalism’ and non-white immigration. In March 2019, Ingraham discussed European immigration, Muslims, and birth rates on her podcast with guest Pat Buchanan, a former White House staffer. She asked Buchanan, “Is Western civilization . . . hanging in the balance? I think you could actually make a very strong argument that it is tipping over the cliff.” In another March 2019 podcast episode, Ingraham accused Democrats of aiming to “replace . . . the old America with a new America who’s not coming into the country legally.” On both her Fox News show and her podcast, Ingraham has warned of “demographic changes” on several separate occasions.
Ingraham has described immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border as an “invasion.” On a March 2019 episode of her podcast, Ingraham stated, “This is an invasion of the country. . . . They are invading the country.” In July 2019 on her Fox News show, Ingraham said, “Calling [immigration] anything but an invasion at this point is just not being honest with people.” The notion that non-white immigration is tantamount to “invasion” has been propagated by several white supremacists, including the accused perpetrator of the mass shooting that targeted Mexicans in El Paso in August 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 22 people. President Trump has also frequently used the word “invasion” to refer to undocumented immigrants.
In November 2015 on her podcast The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham said that the U.S. should only accept refugees from the Middle East who “are Christians.” She opposed accepting Muslim refugees, saying that the U.S. “cannot be the warehouse of all these . . . Muslim people coming from these far-flung lands” who could become “radicalized.” Her language reflects President Trump’s original Muslim ban, which barred refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as Trump’s statements on the matter, such as his interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he said that he would give priority to Christian refugees. In fact, between Fiscal Years 2016 and 2018, the Trump administration decreased the acceptance of Muslim refugees by 91%. In November 2015 on her podcast, Ingraham expressed opposition to accepting Muslim refugees because of their “dual loyalties” to “the Quran, or the Quranic way of thinking.” She then claimed these dual loyalties led Muslim refugees “to try to blow us up” or to later “go to their home countries . . . to wreak havoc.”
In June 2017 on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Ingraham said that ‘terrorism’ is the “price . . . to pay for multiculturalism” in Europe, specifically blaming London mayor Sadiq Khan and describing him as a “multiculturalist.”
On her Fox News show in June 2018, Ingraham defended Trump’s family separation policy, saying that children separated from their parents were “housed in what are essentially summer camps.” In reality, the child detention centers were overcrowded and lacked basic necessities, and seven children have died while in custody. Charles Blow, a New York Times columnist, and journalist Andrea Pitzer, who has written a book on the history of concentration camps, among others, have described the detention centers as “concentration camps.”
On her Fox News show in July 2019, Ingraham defended Trump’s racist tweets telling four Congresswomen of color, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley, to “go back” to “the places from which they came.” She said that though he erred in his comments, as three of four of the congresswomen were born in the U.S., she doesn’t “take from that error ‘Trump’s a racist.’”
In July 2019, Ingraham hosted Shireen Qudosi on The Ingraham Angle. Qudosi is the national correspondent for the Clarion Project, an organization that produces anti-Muslim films, among other projects. On Ingraham’s show, Qudosi called Rep. Omar “a failed American experiment” and falsely said, “She’s not American.”
In July 2019, Ingraham invited “Muslim reformer” Raheel Raza, a member of the anti-Muslim Clarion Project’s advisory board, on her podcast. They argued that the term “Islamophobia” is used to silence free speech. Raza is part of the group of “anti-Islam Muslims” and pseudo-experts who are presented by the media and government as legitimate representatives of Islam, though they are not accepted as such by the wider Muslim community, according to policy analyst and activist Wardah Khalid.
In August 2019, Ingraham hosted British physician Qanta Ahmed on her Fox News show. Ahmed, who has defended then-Member of Parliament Boris Johnson’s comments comparing women who wear the niqab to “letterboxes,” portrayed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib as terrorist sympathizers, saying, “They have a grotesque Holocaust envy.”
Ingraham drew controversy after she defended on her Fox News show in May 2019 several far-right figures and white supremacists who had been banned from social media platforms for breaking the websites’ respective terms of service related to hate speech. These included Paul Nehlen, an antisemite and white supremacist who celebrated the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, Alex Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist, and Laura Loomer, an anti-Muslim commentator who has called Islam “a cancer on humanity.”
Ingraham’s Fox News show has faced calls for advertisement boycotts over her statements. In mid-2018, gun control activist and school shooting survivor David Hogg called for companies to boycott her show following her tweet mocking Hogg over his college admissions and, later, her comments on Trump’s family separation policy. Dozens of major companies, including TripAdvisor and Hulu, pulled their ads from her show. Later that year, several more companies pulled their ads following her comments about immigration and “demographic changes.”
Ingraham has also attracted controversy over other racist statements she’s made. On her Fox News show in April 2019, Ingraham and guest Raymond Arroyo laughed and mocked American rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle in a segment about his death. Following basketball player Lebron James’ comments disparaging President Trump, Ingraham dismissed James as “barely intelligible” and “ungrammatical” and told him to “shut up and dribble” on her Fox News show in February 2018. Ingraham and Arroyo co-host the show Laura and Raymond on Fox Nation together, which began in 2018. As a Fox News contributor, Arroyo is also a frequent guest and substitute host on Ingraham’s Fox News show and, formerly, her radio show.
Ingraham has a history of homophobia. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth University in the 1980s, where she ran a conservative student newspaper The Dartmouth Review, she assigned a student reporter to attend an anonymous support group for LGBTQIA2S+ students. The subsequent newspaper article outed at least one student. Though Ingraham apologized for this incident in 1997, her brother, who is gay, has since called her a “monster” and said that she told him they would have to “agree to disagree” on issues such as same-sex marriage.
Updated October 29, 2019