Ben Shapiro

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Ben Shapiro
Born Benjamin Aaron Shapiro
(1984-01-15) January 15, 1984 (age 31)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
(B.A., 2004)
Harvard Law School
(J.D., 2007)
Occupation Attorney
Political commentator
Radio talk show host
Media consultant
Political party Republican
Religion Orthodox Judaism
Spouse(s) Mor Toledano

Benjamin Aaron Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative libertarian political commentator, columnist, author, radio talk show host, attorney, and media consultant.

A native of Los Angeles, California, Shapiro graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Law School. He has written six books, the first of which was 2004's Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth, written when he was 17 years old. He currently writes a column for Creators Syndicate, is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire, an editor-at-large for Breitbart News, and founder/editor-in-chief for the media watchdog group TruthRevolt.

Early life[edit]

Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, California.[1] Skipping two grades (third and ninth), Shapiro switched between public and private elementary schools, and graduated from YULA in 2000 at age 16.[2][3] He then enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, initially majoring in philosophy but switching to political science; he graduated summa cum laude in 2004.[4] While at UCLA, Shapiro wrote a column for the student newspaper, Daily Bruin, from 2000 to 2002. He was suspended from The Bruin after appearing on radio talk shows claiming the newspaper refused to print his column, which accused Muslim student groups of supporting terrorism.[2] Shapiro graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007. He is a cousin of actress Mara Wilson.


His third book, Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House, was published by Thomas Nelson 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.[5] 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.[6] Shapiro also interviewed several producers who said that Happy Days and M*A*S*H had an intended pro-pacifist orientation.[7] 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."[5] The same year Primetime Propaganda came out, Shapiro became a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[8]

In 2012, Shapiro became editor-at-large of, a news and opinion website founded by Andrew Breitbart.[9]

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.[10]

Shapiro writes a column distributed by Creators Syndicate that appears on sites like and

On October 7, 2013, Shapiro launched a website for the media watchdog group TruthRevolt in association with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The site was intended to be a right-wing response to Media Matters for America.[11]

Gun control debate on Piers Morgan Live[edit]

In January and May of 2013, Shapiro was invited onto Piers Morgan Live to debate gun control.[12] Some media reports claimed that Morgan lost the debate,[13][14] going so far as to petulantly slam down a copy of the Constitution that Shapiro provided and calling it "your little book." Shapiro called out Morgan for being what he terms a "bully" by arguing that conservatives are heartless in the face of gun deaths as opposed to debating the statistics, and Morgan pointed to what he called Shapiro's paranoia that gun rights are meant to provide ordinary citizens the means to defend themselves against government tyranny.[15]

Following the debate, conservative news outlets slammed CNN for liberal bias for posting only a very small portion of the debate, leaving out many of Shapiro's critical conservative points.[16] Portions that were excised including Shapiro calling out Morgan's position on focusing on a ban for assault rifles when the majority of gun-related crime is perpetrated by those with handguns, as well as disproportionately attacking the National Rifle Association for its broad interpretation of second amendment rights without similarly attacking the American Civil Liberties Union for its broad interpretation of first amendment rights when it comes to citizens' rights to purchase and play with violent video games.

"Friends of Hamas" controversy[edit]

Ben Shapiro at the University of Missouri in November 2015.

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.[17]

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.[18] Shapiro told Weigel that the story he published was "the entirety of the information [he] had."[19]

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 said 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.[20] Shapiro responded by reporting that his source had averred that Friedman was not a source.[21][22]

In an interview with, Shapiro said the following in regards to the controversy: “We’re all striving for some semblance of truth, even if there’s angles to it. When people make corrections or find things that I do wrong, it doesn’t upset me. It urges me to do better.”[23]

Perspective on Israel[edit]

In a column written for in 2003, Shapiro proposed 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."[24] 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."

A decade later, however, Shapiro abandoned this position. 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.[25]

UCLA BDS proposal[edit]

On February 25, 2014, the UCLA Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) convened to consider a resolution for the university to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. Shapiro appeared at his alma mater to deliver counterarguments to the resolution that were embraced with wide acceptance from the crowd.[26] Shapiro pointed out the hypocrisy of the selective moral outrage in targeting Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, which was described as far less egregious as the human rights violations carries out by other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and by groups such as the Palestinians themselves. He pointed to the differences between Israel and the rest of the countries in the Middle East as it relates to the treatment of sexual and religious freedom and diversity, and made the claim that the BDS Movement is fueled not by true concern for human rights but instead by antisemitism.[27]

Radio and television[edit]

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.[28] Shapiro currently acts a co-host on "The Morning Answer" on KRLA 870 Los Angeles and KTIE 590 San Bernardino 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.[29]

Shapiro appears regularly on news channels including CNN, Fox News, and Sun News Network in Canada.[citation needed]

Between January 2014 and August 2015, Shapiro hosted a talk radio program in Seattle with a Bonneville Communications station, KTTH.[30] Shapiro split time in Los Angeles and continued to broadcast on "The Morning Answer."[31]


After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2007, Shapiro briefly practiced law at the Los Angeles office of Goodwin Procter LLP but now does independent legal consulting for major media clients.[32]

In July 2015, Shapiro and transgender rights activist Zoey Tur were on Dr. Drew On Call to discuss Caitlyn Jenner's receipt of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.[33][34] Shapiro announced publicly that he had filed a police report after Tur had threatened on air to send him "home in an ambulance."[35][36]

Personal life[edit]

Shapiro married Mor Toledano in 2008; both practice Orthodox Judaism.[37][38] Together, they have a daughter born in 2014.[39]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Justin Bieber a symptom of a big problem". KTTH. 
  2. ^ a b Pope, Justin (June 10, 2004). "School liberalism blasted". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ben Shapiro: Proud Torah-Observant Jew and Rising Star in America’s Conservative Movement" (PDF). Zman Magazine. March 2012. p. 57. In his early years in public school, he skipped from second grade into fourth...[Shapiro] skipped ninth grade... 
  4. ^ "Ben Shapiro". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (June 13, 2011). "'Propaganda' is hard to prove". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ Hartmann, Thom (June 8, 2011). "Is Sesame Street subverting children with a liberal bias?". The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann. YouTube. 
  7. ^ Lawson, Mark (June 29, 2011). "Is US TV too leftwing?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ Glazov, Jamie (May 31, 2011). "Primetime Propaganda". FrontPage Magazinee. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Weigel, David (March 21, 2012). "Meet the Breitbarts". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Combined print & e-book nonfiction". New York Times. January 27, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ben Shapiro: TruthRevolt Will Make MSM 'Pay' for Lies, Change 'Nature of Media'". Big Journalism. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  12. ^ Ben Shapiro vs. Piers Morgan
  13. ^ Mr. Piers Morgan Ben Shapiro Exchange Insults on Gun Ban, Shapiro Destroys Morgan, February 2013
  14. ^ CNN's Morgan Slams Down Constitution, Calls it "Your Little Book" January 10, 2013
  15. ^ Daily Piers Morgan Loses Gun Control Debate to Ben Shapiro, January 11, 2013
  16. ^ CNN slashes Piers Morgan Ben Shapiro Segments, January 15, 2013
  17. ^ Shapiro, Ben (February 7, 2013). "Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Spox Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas'". Big Peace. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ Weigel, David (February 20, 2013). ""Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ Christopher, Tommy (February 20, 2013). "Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Ducks Questions On ‘Fox And Friends Of Hamas’". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ Friedman, Dan (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ Christopher, Tommy (February 21, 2013). "The Young Turks Guest Catches Breitbart News’ Ben Shapiro In ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Lie". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ Trotter, J.K. (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas' Rumor Debunked by Reporter Who Accidentally Started It". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  23. ^ Alex Seitz-Wald. "Is this baby-faced blogger the next Andrew Breitbart?". 
  24. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey (February 20, 2013). "Prominent Hagel Detractor Endorses Fascistic Vision of Israel". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "What Can Israel Do? – Ben Shapiro". 2013-03-13. p. 1. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  26. ^ Ben Shapiro at UCLA USAC meeting on BDS proposal, February 28, 2014
  27. ^ Shapiro crashes UCLA hearing on BDS, February 26, 2014
  28. ^ "Ben Shapiro joins The Big 810 AM in Orlando". Radio Business Report. May 15, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  29. ^ "2013 Heavy Hundred 61–80". Talkers.Com. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  30. ^ "Ben Shapiro explains departure from AM 770 KTTH", (Bonneville Communications), August 20, 2015 
  31. ^ "Radio Ink Magazine". 
  32. ^ "Ben Shapiro: Proud Torah-Observant Jew and Rising Star in America’s Conservative Movement" (PDF). 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. 
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Jewish pundit, trans journalist in on-air spat". The Times of Israel. 
  36. ^ Andrew Tobin (21 July 2015). "WATCH: Trans journalist threatens right-wing Jewish pundit during on-air spat". 
  37. ^ Glazov, Jamie (May 13, 2004). "Brainwashed". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  38. ^ [1][dead link]
  39. ^ Shapirop, Ben (Feb 5, 2014). "Letter to My Newborn Daughter". Townhall. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 

External links[edit]