A survivor of last month’s Florida school mass shooting has called on a US television chat-show host who mocked him to step down.
David Hogg said Fox News presenter Laura Ingraham should quit as he rejected her apology for accusing him of “whining” over being rejected by four colleges.
Ms Ingraham had apologised to Mr Hogg for her controversial tweet after seven companies took Mr Hogg up on his suggestion that they pull their advertising from her show.
But the student, who has led a high-profile campaign for gun control since the massacre that left 17 people dead, rejected her apology and said it was “great” that corporate America was standing behind him and fellow pupils who were standing up for reform.
Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the 14 teenagers and three adults who died at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine’s Day.
At a March For Our Lives rally in Washington DC, Mr Hogg told a crowd of thousands that politicians supported by the National Rifle Association should get their “resumes” ready. There was widespread anger when one website compared him to Hitler over the way he held an arm up in the air.
The host of the Ingraham Angle show also had a dig at him, tweeting: “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA [grade point average]... totally predictable given acceptance rates.)” A grade point average of 4 is considered a top mark.
In response, Mr Hogg suggested on Twitter that advertisers boycott her show, and other social-media users slated her for being “mean-spirited” and a “cyber-bully”.
Ms Ingraham then issued an apology, saying: “Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA.” She added: “On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland.
Mr Hogg, a self-styled “#neveragain activist”, said after her apology: “I think it's great that corporate America is standing with me and the rest of my friends.
“I think it’s important that we come together as both corporate and civic America to take action against these people and show them that they cannot push us around, especially when all we're trying to do here is save lives. And when people try to distract like Laura’s trying to do from what the real issue is, which is gun violence in America, it’s not only sad, it’s just wrong.
”From a journalistic standpoint, I’d say she needs to be more objective and needs to stand down because I’m not the issue here. The issue needs to be gun violence in America. She’s trying to distract from that and I hate it.”
He said he did not accept Ms Ingraham’s apology.
“She’s only apologising after a third of her advertisers pulled out and I think it’s really disgusting that she tried promoting her show after ‘apologising’ to me. I think it’s wrong and if she really wants to do something she could cover things like inner-city violence.
“I know she’s a talk-show host but as such she has a responsibility to show both sides of the story.”