Screenshot via Fox News

Mayor Catherine Pugh accepted an invite to go on Fox News’ conservative punditry program “The Ingraham Angle” last night, and things went as expected. In an alternate universe, a thoughtful discussion would have taken place about Pugh’s plan to bus Baltimore students to the “March for Our Lives” anti-gun violence rally on March 24 in D.C. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t happen, as the conversation swiftly spiraled into a painful eight minutes of Pugh and her host talking over each other, flinging stats around and making snide remarks.

To save you the headache of watching, we’ve rounded up the five most cringe-worthy moments:

1) From school shootings to Baltimore’s murder tally

Pugh, trying to explain to Laura Ingraham why students were so motivated to march to City Hall earlier this week, remarks, “As you well know, we have had some 320 different school shootings since 2013.” (Outlets and researchers say it’s really around 300.) As Pugh begins to also mention how Republican Gov. Larry Hogan supports spending taxpayer dollars to bolster school security around Maryland, Ingraham interrupts: “Right, you had 343 murders in Baltimore in 2017, a devastating number; horrific violence; have some of the toughest gun laws in the country in Maryland, we all know that.”

Pugh: “I don’t know if we have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but we do have—”

“They’re very tough laws,” Ingraham interrupts, noting, “I’m from Connecticut.”

Pugh then points out that murders are actually down so far this year. A grinning Ingraham listens, then retorts, “Well that’s good, because last year was a disaster.”

2) “You should get your facts straight, love.”

Ingraham begins harping on the city’s school funding woes, including last year’s infamous $130 million budget deficit. But Pugh wrongly assumes Ingraham is arguing the city is dealing with its own budget deficit, and wants to correct her. As Ingraham begins talking over her again, Mayor Pugh tries to sting her.

“That is not true, Laura. You should get your facts straight, love. I don’t know whether you’re trying to become the communications director for the Trump administration, but let me just tell you the facts.”

Ingraham, smiling, replies, “I don’t know why you’re getting personal, mayor.”

3) Who’s next? Pro-lifers?

The core of Ingraham’s argument—and likely why she even asked Pugh to come on—is pushing that Pugh is using taxpayer dollars to advance an ideological pro-gun control stance by funding buses for students to D.C. (Pugh has since noted she’s waiting for a private donor to step up and pay for it.)

“Why is that your job as the mayor of Baltimore, to assist student activists?” Ingraham poses. “Are you doing that for the March for Life next January?”

Pugh, sort of responding, says, “That’s exactly why I am doing it. Because I am the mayor of my city, because I care about my children, I want their voices to be heard.”

Ingaraham repeats her query about whether Pugh will bus students to the anti-abortion demonstration. Baltimore’s mayor goes for the honest answer: “Actually, the pro-lifers didn’t reach out to me.”

4) The question that was never asked

Fox News pulls up a slide for Ingraham to read from. It lists the worst of the worst about Baltimore City Schools: Student enrollment has dropped to 10-year low, the aforementioned $130 million budget deficit, last year’s resulting lay-offs of 115 personnel, that whole problem of the heat not turning on during the coldest days of the year, and $38 million needed for additional repairs.

Mayor Pugh asks what all of this has to do with busing kids to Washington. “These are tomorrow’s voters,” she proclaims. “These are young people who are very concerned about the future of their country.”

Ingraham does what she does best, and pesters Pugh, saying she wants her to answer a question: “Mayor, Mayor, hello?”

A smiling Pugh calmly responds, “What is the question, Laura? I’m listening, Laura.”

Ingraham presses on, ultimately forgets to ask it.

5) Don’t go out in Baltimore at night

Things are coming to a head at the end of the segment. After minutes of trashing Baltimore for its municipal woes, Ingraham goes for a knockout, blaming liberal Democratic leadership for the city’s ongoing problems. “It’s not Donald Trump’s fault,” she says.

A real conversation is now very much out of reach. As Pugh continues defending her right to bus students to the upcoming protest, Ingraham counters, “So the only thing you’re teaching them is protesting. Let’s see how this works out in the STEM field.”

Pugh returns to the issue of how prevalent school shootings are in the United States. Ingraham then claims those “are the fault of the Maryland government,” implicitly because of its restrictive gun laws, but who knows?

When Mayor Pugh says her goal is to make Baltimore’s children safer, Ingraham doubles down on the shade: “OK well if you want to be safer, don’t spend a lot of time late at night on the streets of Baltimore.”

If you’d like to see this conversation actually unfold, get the Aleve ready, and watch the video below, or over at Fox News.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...

6 replies on “The 5 most cringe-worthy moments from Mayor Pugh’s interview with Laura Ingraham”

  1. The issue is Mayor Catherine Pugh is coming from an insider view. The issue is she is a Former Maryland Senator and fails to see that unlike Legislature that runs by session, the city of Baltimore does not. I expected and predicted that when the City failed to respond to media and the murders in mid November, that the plan was to ignore and not respond to the high numbers until January when the Magical Reset happens to zero and all becomes well again.

    In the Legislature you have a 3 month period and all work not completed in effect vanishes and starts again in a new year. Your Father/Mother/Childs death.. they don’t count because that’s last year. True there has been a drop in January but numbers are never static.. you never have crime the same way.

    From her PR firm background the shooting are a double win. If the numbers fall it’s because she appointed a new Police Commissioner, if they did not.. it’s because well they need time because they just appointed a new Police Commissioner.

    This is not PR it’s peoples lives and to pass it off as “last year” invalidates the fear and sadness of the community and the great loss some will feel for the rest of the remaining days.

  2. Ingraham’s point was that Baltimore schools are a mess, completely broke and dilapidated with failing test scores but Pugh has money to send illiterate students to political rallies. All for her political liberal agenda!

  3. The entire city is a mess. The schools are a byproduct of lack of care or the ability to enforce standards.

    No we should not be sending a student a community group to Washington, we should not be spending taxpayer dollars to fun legal care for people who enter or stay in the US illegally. (not talking kids who grew up here) (I don’t care if it’s matched)

    Government is out of touch with reality because we have career politicians. The School is a mess because we have kids from broken homes who have poor upbringing and then compounded by teaching that is outdated (because what they teach is for the industrial economy that left 30 years ago.) Schools are always about 30 years behind changes.

    Money, from the casino, the soda tax or whatever never gets there because it goes to the general fund and not earmarked in a fund that can’t be raided. Money is not the reason a high school graduate can’t even count change without a calculator.

    Yes, it is a liberal agenda that fails, but so does the conservative. because neither has a reason to fix issues that keep them in power.

  4. I thought that the most cringeworthy part of the interview was Mayor Pugh’s inscessent talking. She was rude. Laura Ingram tried to ask questions and the mayor rambled on and on. I don’t care what the questions were, it was an interview. And mayor Pugh’s behavior was disrespectful. Ingram only tried to interrupt after letting the mayor deliver an opening dissertation. Yes, Laura Ingram has Different political and philosophical views (and I do not subscribe to many of them), but instead of engaging in respectful discourse, the mayor demonstrated that’s she is unwilling to even listen to another viewpoint or to answer legitimate questions, like “are taxpayer dollars being spent on those buses?”
    The Mayor served as an unfortunate example of the fundamental problem with politicians today, and with voters for that matter. Absolutely no willingness to engage in respectful discourse. I lost a lot of respect for her as a result.

  5. The sad thing is that when a person comes on an interview and is not prepared for the questions it makes them look bad not the interviewer. Laura Ingraham is a right-wing conservative and Mayor Pugh should’ve been ready for her backlash. It was also sad to see that her only reply was about the bus trip. The Mayor was passionate about her effort to help the children and their cause, but she was not ready for Ingraham’s questions about the cities woes.

  6. Why on earth would the Mayor ever go on that show to begin with? Ingraham isn’t a reasonable talking head that wants to hear differing viewpoints to help her audience make informed decisions about timely topics of interest. Her entire show is to push her weird agenda by shouting down people. Even if Pugh was the best speaker, which she isn’t, and had the best ideas, which she doesn’t, Ingraham would have shouted her down and talked over her because that’s why her audience tunes in. Big fail for whoever on Pugh’s team set this up.

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