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Fox News host Laura Ingraham waded into the culture wars on Thursday night when she ripped NBA star LeBron James for criticizing President Donald Trump in a video, telling him to “shut up and dribble.” She also called James’ commentary “barely intelligible,” a remark some construed as having racial undertones.
On Friday night, Ingraham addressed the backlash to her comments, which was so widespread that even actress Ellen Pompeo posted the video of the segment and wrote on Twitter: “Someone tell this bitch to meet me outside… Im so not in the mood for playing nice or polite this week.”
Ingraham said that her criticism of James, a black athlete, was not race-based, and pointed out that she’s been mocking celebrities for wading into political commentary for many years, using some variation of “shut up and [insert occupation].”
“Today, the media reacted as if I cursed somebody out and played the race card,” Ingraham said. “When I call them out for their insipid commentary, they immediately throw out the race card.”
Ingraham called James’ comments about the president “a drive-by hit on Trump,” and said that if a white basketball player had made the same criticisms of former President Barack Obama, he would never have played in the league again. (James had said in the video that Trump doesn’t care about “the people,” using an expletive.)
She also mocked Pompeo’s tweet about her, asking jokingly if Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air.
“The left and the media attack dogs can dish it out, but they can’t take it,” Ingraham said.
While she didn’t back off her original comments, Ingraham pointed out that she had made a mistake by saying that James and fellow NBA player Kevin Durant had criticized the president on an ESPN podcast, rather than on an unconnected video.
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