Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham hit the headlines last week after she mocked a survivor of the Parkland shooting, which claimed 17 lives, for not getting into his first choice university.
It turns out that wasn’t the first time the right-wing pundit has been cruel.
A former peer claims she bullied gay classmates and tried to out them in the student newspaper while a student.
In 1984, when Ingraham was editor of The Dartmouth Review, Dartmouth College’s unofficial newspaper, she sent a reporter to secretly record an anonymous support group for gay students.
Ingraham then published a transcript of the Gay Students Association meeting – complete with the names of two students present – in the paper, which had a reputation for deriding black people, women and minorities, according to The New York Times.
The article detailed attendees describing their sexual experiences and sexual identities and named two officials of the association.
Ingraham defended outing students who did not want to go public with their sexuality at the time, saying it was “a freedom of the press issue, obviously.”
“It was a profound form of bullying,” said Jay Berkow, who was a leader of the student club and is now a professor of music theatre performance at Western Michigan University.
The meeting involved going through a 12-step programme to help students come to terms with their sexuality, and was intended to be in total secrecy.
Everyone in the room swore a pledge to not share any information, which Ingraham reportedly ordered her reporter to break.
“They were trying to shame us by outing us,” Jeff Sidell, another member of the society, told Newsweek. “But we were like, ‘We’re already out!’”
The incident eventually led to a criminal investigation for wiretapping and a violation of privacy rights by the New Hampshire State Attorney General.
“In my opinion, there clearly seems to be some lack of humanity in this woman,” Berkow said he felt at the time.
When questioned by Newsweek to explain the incident, the Fox anchor pointed to a Washington Post article she wrote in 1997 attempting to explain away the ‘investigation’.
“Part of what we did was journalistically justifiable: The group received college funding, but, unlike every other student group receiving a college grant, refused to make public its membership or budget,” Ingraham wrote.
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“We wanted to find out how student funds were being spent and to demonstrate the double standard Dartmouth had created by funding the group.
“But in doing so, we adopted a purposefully outrageous tone—occasionally using, for example, the word ‘sodomites’ to describe campus gays.”
Earlier this year, Ingraham had anti-LGBT lobbyist and President of the Catholic League Bill Donohue on her show to criticise a lesbian couple who were denied permission to foster a refugee child through a government-funded scheme based on their sexual orientation.
In 2016, Ingraham claimed that people would soon take up wearing adult diapers to avoid transgender people in bathrooms.