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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