Steve Almond's Failed Ambush of Laura Ingraham

Some people make a name for themselves by building something -- a business, a following, an audience.

Others try to make a name for themselves not by building anything but just by trying to tear down what others have built.

Steve Almond has set out to do the latter. For the past few years he has set out to tear down the National Football League through a book he wants to sell. The NFL is a millionaire-creating machine, responsible for making many young men very rich, and the majority of those young men it provides generational wealth are Black. The league also creates jobs for thousands of others, from franchise front offices to the vendors in the stands, the parking attendants outside, and retailers who sell NFL-branded clothing and other items. Wrecking the NFL would destroy all of that, plus take away one of the few rallying points our nation still has, because everyone thinks the Washington Commanders is a joke of a name. 

After Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a freak collapse against the Bengals, the nation rallied around him and prayed in unison. Everyone regardless of which team they support, which race they happened to be born to, wherever they live or even if they care about football or not, prayed for that young man to recover. We learned who he is and donated money to his charity for kids. They even prayed on woke ESPN and Disney didn’t fire them for it.

For an all-too-brief moment, America became a praying nation again. Hamlin says he has been overwhelmed by all the love Americans have poured out to him. 

Steve Almond has been trying to tear all of that down for years, and he took advantage of Hamlin’s injury to appear on “Ingraham Angle” on Fox News to make his case. Ingraham doesn't mince words with fools. Conflict can make for a great show even when it involves uninteresting opportunists and not worth the audience’s time. Steve Almond isn’t worth anyone’s time. 

He appeared on Ingraham’s show with a dual agenda. The first was to push his book, in which he clownishly argues for doing away with football and all of the fun it provides and the jobs and millionaires it creates. Almond says it’s all too risky, but the fact is there are risky jobs everywhere and life is full of risk. One of the most dangerous things one can ever do is simply get into your car, turn the key, and drive. Even if you’re perfect behind the wheel, someone else’s mistake can kill you. That’s life. The only way to eliminate risk is to eliminate what it means to live.

It’s risky to sit in a chair all day. It’s risky to live and work in a city, and riskier after the anti-police movement took over the Democrats and the media. It’s risky to eat and drink some of the things that give us pleasure. Living entails risk. 

Almond’s second agenda was to try to humiliate Ingraham by bringing up a controversial moment in her career. A few years ago Ingraham got into hot water for a tweet about Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. She apologized for it. Almond brought that up specifically to put her on the defensive and make headlines for himself with the likes of the Young Turks

The reason people change their behavior is because there is an economic incentive,” Almond said. “Couple of years ago when you taunted the survivor of the Parkland mass shooting, you apologized only because advertisers withdrew from your show."

Failed pillow designer David Hogg, whom Almond didn’t name when he weaponized him against Ingraham, is one of the most obnoxious characters in politics these days. When he isn’t calling for the end of the Second Amendment, he’s trolling and generally being a leftist hack. Calling Hogg merely a “survivor of the Parkland mass shooting” was strategic and dishonest. But Ingraham was on to Almond’s game.

Ingraham cut him off and ended the interview. I know her and can tell you why she did this. Ingraham had sniffed out what Almond was really all about. He wanted to make a name for himself by opportunistically putting her on the defensive and hurting her as much as possible. 

It wasn’t about Damar Hamlin, football, or any sort of principle at all. Almond planned this on-air ambush just to get himself into the headlines on the websites populated by Laura’s untalented haters. 

It worked. 

The militantly left-wing Huffington Post, Newsweek, and many others ran stories not about the discussion itself or even about Hamlin. His injury became a side issue to Steve Almond’s cynical attempt to tear down a successful woman who has spent decades building something. 

The media want to reward Almond for this because they don’t like Laura Ingraham. But he shouldn’t be rewarded. Opportunists like him should face the music they want to force on others. Cynically attempting to tear down someone else’s success should never be rewarded. This should be the end of what there ever was of anyone taking Steve Almond seriously about anything. 

Image: Gage Skidmore

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