Laura Ingraham’s new venture into hosting her own hour of prime-time cable-TV news got off to an auspicious start Monday night.
The 54-year-old conservative author and columnist debuted her “Ingraham Angle” Fox News Channel program to an audience of 3,352,000 viewers at home, including 708,000 in the coveted 25-54 age demographic, Mediaite reported.
The former Reagan White House staffer easily beat out MSNBC’s “The Last Word” and the Don Lemon-anchored “CNN Tonight” in total audience size, although Ms. Ingraham’s maiden voyage in the 10 p.m. slot saw a loss of 240,000 viewers from her lead-in, 21-year FNC veteran Sean Hannity, Adweek’s TVNewser noted.
It’s unclear how much of Ms. Ingraham’s draw is attributable to her highly coveted interview subject, Trump White House chief of staff John Kelly, but it’s undeniable their talk caused a stir online.
Mr. Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, made waves in the interview with comments about the cause of the U.S. civil war being an inability of both sides to compromise, and to a lesser extent a remark about how Beijing’s authoritarian Communist system is one that “apparently works for the Chinese people.”
While it has been mostly liberals lambasting Mr. Kelly for the former, it is conservative critics who have picked up on the latter.
“This is nothing short of an abdication of an American administration’s responsibility to the oppressed people of the world,” said Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine. “The State Department’s 2016 human-rights report described China as an ‘authoritarian state’ in which ‘repression and coercion’ of those engaged in civil and political rights advocacy remains ‘severe.’
“Torture and execution without due process are rampant,” Mr. Rothman said. “Secret prisons are reserved for journalists, bloggers, and dissidents. Women, minorities, the disabled, and the faithful are subject to cruelty and subjugation. Perhaps President Trump and General Kelly believe it is counterproductive to antagonize the regime in Beijing, but it is something else to grovel before the Politburo as they have.”