|Born||Benjamin Aaron Shapiro
January 15, 1984
Los Angeles, California
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles, Harvard Law School|
Benjamin Aaron "Ben" Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, attorney, and media consultant. A native of Los Angeles, Shapiro graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Law School. He has written five books, starting with Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth in 2004, writes a column for Creators Syndicate, is editor-at-large of Breitbart News, and founder/editor-in-chief for the media watchdog group TruthRevolt.
Early life and education
Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, California. Skipping two grades, Shapiro graduated from Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles in 2000 at age 16. He then enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with a political science degree summa cum laude in 2004. He also wrote a column for the Daily Bruin student newspaper at UCLA from 2000 to 2002. Shapiro graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007. The Daily Bruin suspended Shapiro after he complained on radio talk shows that the newspaper refused to print his column accusing Muslim student groups of supporting terrorism.
Shapiro has written a book on his experiences in college, titled Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth, which was published in 2004 by a publisher. In Brainwashed, Shapiro accused professors of being "totalitarian" and of committing "indoctrination" through "[m]aking a case for one side and completely discarding the other side. He also criticized campus speech codes. In the Christian Science Monitor, Marjorie Kehe wrote: "Shapiro makes sweeping—and many would say absurd—charges that they promote atheism, absolute sexual freedom (including pedophilia and statutory rape, which are crimes), and rampant environmentalism." Reviewing Brainwashed for The Wall Street Journal, Russ Smith wrote that Shapiro's assertiveness was championed saying that the book was "[m]eticulously documented" in criticizing "an elite segment of American society that is far more doctrinaire in its liberalism than the country at large." UCLA professor Robert N. Watson accused Shapiro of personal attacks and fabrications.
His next book, Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, was published by another publisher in June 2005. In a summer reading feature by the conservative magazine National Review, Michelle Malkin recommended the book for advocating "valiantly on behalf of modesty in a flesh-baring world."
His third book, Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House, was published in 2008.
In 2011, HarperCollins published Shapiro's fourth book, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV, in which Shapiro argues that Hollywood has a left-wing agenda which it actively promotes through primetime entertainment programming. For the book, Shapiro interviewed many in the entertainment industry. In an interview with Thom Hartmann on RT's The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, Shapiro cited the children's show Sesame Street as an example of left-wing propaganda. Shapiro also interviewed several producers who said that Happy Days and M*A*S*H had an intended pro-pacifist orientation. Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times questioned Shapiro citing The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Simpsons as examples, and Goldstein argued that those shows have "gone over like gangbusters with middle America." The same year Primetime Propaganda came out, Shapiro became a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
In 2013, Threshold Editions published Shapiro's fifth book, Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans. Bullies is Shapiro's first book to be listed on The New York Times Best Seller List; the book debuted at #32 in the combined print and e-book nonfiction list on January 27.
On October 7, 2013, in association with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Ben launched the website for media watchdog group TruthRevolt in response to the left-leaning Media Matters for America. Periodically, Ben will write and post his own articles to the site.
"Friends of Hamas" controversy
On February 7, 2013, Shapiro published an article citing unspecified Senate sources who claimed that a group named "Friends of Hamas" was among foreign contributors to the political campaign of Chuck Hagel, a former US Senator awaiting confirmation as Secretary of Defense as a nominee of President Barack Obama. In the article, Shapiro castigated the Obama administration for ignoring his questions about Hagel's foreign associations and called for full disclosure of Hagel's foreign ties.
On February 20, Slate reporter David Weigel reported that he could not find any convincing evidence "Friends of Hamas" actually existed, based on personal interviews with Senate staffers, the conservative Center for Security Policy, and the US Treasury Department Terror Sponsors list. Weigel claimed to have directly contacted Shapiro over the allegation, with Shapiro responding that the story he published was "the entirety of the information [he] had."
Subsequently, New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman reported on February 20 that he may have been the unwitting source of the "Friends of Hamas" allegation. Friedman alleged that the story arose in the course of questioning Republican aides over Hagel's connections to foreign terrorist groups, presuming that one of the aides had interpreted his asking about such political connections as evidence of their existence. Shapiro responded by reporting that his source had averred that Friedman was not a source.
Perspective on Israel
In a column written for Townhall.com in 2003, Shapiro proposes to expel the Palestinian population from the West Bank. As Jeffrey Goldberg noted, "this was the position of the extremist Meir Kahane, who was banned by the Israeli Supreme Court from participating in Israeli politics because of his racist views.". In the article, Shapiro states that "if Germans, who had a centuries-old connection to the newly created Polish territory, could be expelled, then surely Palestinians, whose claim to Judea, Samaria and Gaza is dubious at best, can be expelled."
In an article published on March 13, 2013, Shapiro wrote, "Some on the right have proposed population transfer from the Gaza Strip or West Bank as a solution. This is both inhumane and impractical. Moving millions of Palestinians out of areas they have known for their entire lives will certainly not pave the way to peace" and while "both right and left agree that a population separation is necessary," he proposes that Israel "has no choice but to weather [the anti-Israel propaganda]" until a realistic solution comes to light.
Radio and television
Shapiro guest hosts regularly for major talk show hosts including nationally syndicated hosts Jerry Doyle and Rusty Humphries. From May 2, 2010 to 2011, he hosted The Ben Shapiro Show on the Orlando, Florida talk radio station WEUS. Shapiro currently co-hosts "The Morning Answer" on KRLA 870 Los Angeles and KTIE 590 San Bernardino along with Brian Whitman and Elisha Krauss. The show was listed as #80 on Talkers Heavy Hundred list of top 100 radio shows in the country.
Shapiro appears regularly on news channels including CNN and Fox News.
On January 10, 2013, Shapiro debated Piers Morgan on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight about gun politics. Shapiro argued that the purpose of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is for people to defend themselves against tyrannical governments and took out a pocket copy of the United States Constitution; Morgan then referred to the Constitution as a "little book." Shapiro received wide attention throughout the media after appearing on Piers Morgan Tonight. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post called Shapiro "a foe of extraordinary polemical agility," and Michelle Malkin-founded commentary site Twitchy described the debate as "a fantastic appearance" by Shapiro.
- Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth (ISBN 0785261486). WND Books: 2004.
- Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (ISBN 0895260166). Regnery: 2005.
- Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House (ISBN 159555100X). Thomas Nelson: 2008.
- Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV (ISBN 0062092103). HarperCollins: 2011.
- Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (ISBN 1476710015). Threshold Editions: 2013.
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- "Our Mission". Truth Revolt. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- Pope, Justin (June 10, 2004). "School liberalism blasted". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Ben Shapiro: Proud Torah- Observant Jew and Rising Star in America’s Conservative Movement". Zman Magazine. March 2012. p. 57. "In his early years in public school, he skipped from second grade into fourth...[Shapiro] skipped ninth grade..."
- Glazov, Jamie (May 13, 2004). "Brainwashed". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Kehe, Marjorie (May 24, 2004). "Brainwashing on campus?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Bookmarks". Wall Street Journal. June 4, 2004.
- Watson, Robert N. (May 11, 2004). "Shattered Shapiro: Author of flimsy exposé in league with Blair, Glass". Daily Bruin. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Bring a Book to The Beach". National Review. July 1, 2005. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Goldstein, Patrick (June 13, 2011). "'Propaganda' is hard to prove". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Hartmann, Thom (June 8, 2011). "Is Sesame Street subverting children with a liberal bias?". The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann. YouTube.
- Lawson, Mark (June 29, 2011). "Is US TV too leftwing?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Glazov, Jamie (May 31, 2011). "Primetime Propaganda". FrontPage Magazinee. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Weigel, David (March 21, 2012). "Meet the Breitbarts". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Combined print & e-book nonfiction". New York Times. January 27, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Ben Shapiro: TruthRevolt Will Make MSM 'Pay' for Lies, Change 'Nature of Media'". Big Journalism. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- Shapiro, Ben (February 7, 2013). "Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Spox Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas'". Big Peace. Breitbart.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Weigel, David (February 20, 2013). ""Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Christopher, Tommy (February 20, 2013). "Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Ducks Questions On ‘Fox And Friends Of Hamas’". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Friedman, Dan (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Christopher, Tommy (February 21, 2013). "The Young Turks Guest Catches Breitbart News’ Ben Shapiro In ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Lie". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Trotter, J.K. (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas' Rumor Debunked by Reporter Who Accidentally Started It". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (February 20, 2013). "Prominent Hagel Detractor Endorses Fascistic Vision of Israel". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "What Can Israel Do? - Ben Shapiro - Page 1". Townhall.com. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- "Ben Shapiro joins The Big 810 AM in Orlando". Radio Business Report. May 15, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
- "2013 Heavy Hundred 61-80". Talkers.Com. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- "Ben Shapiro schools Piers ‘Musket’ Morgan on Second Amendment; Morgan calls Constitution ‘your little book’; Update: Video added". Twitchy. January 10, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Wemple, Eri (January 11, 2013). "Piers Morgan accused of exploiting Newtown". WashingtonPost.com.
- "Ben Shapiro: Proud Torah- Observant Jew and Rising Star in America’s Conservative Movement". Zman Magazine. March 2012. p. 57. "He practiced law for a while at the Los Angeles office of Goodwin Procter LLP. Today he serves as an independent legal counsel for large media clients, running Benjamin Shapiro Legal Consulting in Los Angeles."
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