Fox News host Laura Ingraham took time on Wednesday during "The Ingraham Angle" to lean in to two of her favorite pastimes: disparaging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and lamenting immigration, whether legal or not.
Ingraham aired a clip of Ocasio-Cortez – whom she mocked as "New York's new socialist 'it' girl" – articulating in a recent interview with "Pod Saves America" how many Democratic politicians have struggled to address the changing concerns of their constituents as the middle class and upper middle class have shrunk across the U.S.
It was a point that was lost on Ingraham, who responded by attacking Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence by counting how many times the democratic socialist candidate for Congress had uttered the word "like." By assaulting Ocasio-Cortez's acumen, Ingraham enforced racist stereotypes about the inferiority of people of color in the same manner used by President Donald Trump in his attack on LeBron James and Don Lemon over the weekend.
"Nevertheless, she’s kind of right, in a general sense," Ingraham added, after she finished mocking Ocasio-Cortez. "Because, in some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they're changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like."
"Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love," she continued. "Remember the old Democrats — maybe some of them Ocasio-Cortez is referring to — they used to think that borders mattered. But the new activists believe enforcing immigration laws is essentially an ongoing human rights violation."
In a particularly misleading segment, Ingraham went on to cite a the very specific instances of violence of a select few immigrants who had crossed the border illegally. The Fox host used these examples to draw the conclusion that the U.S. needs stronger immigration laws, more border security and an end to sanctuary cities.
However, a study by the Cato Institute that used 2015 crime statistics from Texas found that immigrants who were in the country illegally "were 25 percent less likely to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans. (Legal immigrants were 87 percent less likely)," according to NPR.
Aside from the deceptive nature of pinpointing horrific instances of crime without quantifying their probability or including other important context, this justification frequently employed by the president, Fox hosts like Ingraham and others members of the right, comes from the mouths of individuals who also believe that, no matter how many white men commit violence at home, in schools, in movie theaters or at music festivals, gun laws should remain unchanged.
Unsurprisingly, Ingraham's comments reverberated across social media, with many accusing the Fox News host of venturing into white nationalist rhetoric, including her peers in media:
Brandon Wall from Buzzfeed News also said, "It's been happening for a long time at this point, but it's still astonishing to see just how comfortable Fox News' primetime lineup is leaning into unrepentant white ethno-nationalism".
Matt Pearce, a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times reporter, added: "Apart from, I don’t know, democracy, constant demographic change is maybe the singular defining characteristic of American history. (And even democracy got interrupted by a massive Civil War!) No American has ever lived who didn’t see their America die and born again."