- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg says it “doesn’t really make any sense” when critics of his activism spotlight powerful political networks operating behind the scenes.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell invited one of the most prominent faces behind the  “March For Our Lives” onto his show this week to discuss a boycott campaign of Fox News star Laura Ingraham. The 17-year-old also responded to claims by former cable news giant Bill O’Reilly that “powerful, shadowy radical groups” are augmenting his message.

“I’m pretty well lit — I don’t see any shadowy figures behind me,” Mr. Hogg told “The Last Word” host from Florida. “I mean, honestly, if he sees shadowy figures as corporate America standing by us, OK, I guess. It doesn’t really make sense.”

Mr. O’Reilly said via his official website that efforts to scare off Ms. Ingraham’s advertisers after she recently mocked Mr. Hogg’s failure to get into specific colleges were not entirely organic.

“If a Bayer aspirin company is going to boycott somebody because they don’t like [Laura Ingraham’s] tweet — even after the tweet has been apologized for — come on. What is that? Everybody makes mistakes,” Mr. O’Reilly said Monday. “We’re now past the point of no return. Media Matters is winning. … They know that they can damage anybody.”

“Corporate America is on the side of justice,” Mr. Hogg countered during his MSNBC appearance, Mediaite reported. “You, [Mr. O’Reilly], with the sexual harassment, they stood with the victims of that to ensure that nobody else would have to suffer through that. They’re trying to stand with us too to prevent the bullying we’ve seen.”

SEE ALSO: Brian Stelter, CNN host, warns Laura Ingraham boycott pushed by David Hogg part of ‘dangerous’ trend

Not noted during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student’s appearance was the price tab for the “March Four Our Lives” rally in Washington. The gun-control event was estimated to cost upwards of $5 million.

Celebrity political activists who helped fund the rally include Hollywood producers Deena Katz and Steven Spielberg, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and actor George Clooney.

Mr. Clooney and his wife, Amal, pledged $500,000, while Ms. Winfey offered a matching contribution.

A crowdfunding campaign by fellow Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky also raised over $3.5 million.

“The nonprofit board of the March For Our Lives Action Fund includes political figures and activists,” NRP reported March 26.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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