Ben Shapiro

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Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro june 26 2016 cropped retouched.jpg
Shapiro in 2016
Born Benjamin Aaron Shapiro
(1984-01-15) January 15, 1984 (age 32)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Political commentator, columnist, author, radio talk show host, attorney
Religion Orthodox Judaism
Spouse(s) Mor Toledano (m. 2008)
Children 2
Relatives Mara Wilson (cousin)

Benjamin Aaron "Ben" Shapiro (born January 15, 1984) is an American conservative political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and attorney.

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, which he started writing when he was 20 years old. He currently writes a column for Creators Syndicate and is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire. He is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of the media watchdog group TruthRevolt.[1]

Early life[edit]

Of partial Russian Jewish[2] descent, Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, California.[3] Skipping two grades (third and ninth), Shapiro then went from Walter Reed Middle School[4] to Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles where he graduated in 2000 at age 16.[5][6] Shapiro graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 2004 and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007.[7]

Career[edit]

Ben Shapiro at the University of Missouri in November 2015.

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.[8] 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.[9] Shapiro also interviewed several producers who said that Happy Days and M*A*S*H had an intended pro-pacifist orientation.[10] 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."[8] The same year Primetime Propaganda came out, Shapiro became a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[11]

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.[12]

On October 7, 2013, Shapiro co-founded the TruthRevolt media watchdog website in association with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The site was intended to be a conservative counterpart to Media Matters for America.[13] Shapiro resigned as the site's editor-in-chief in April 2015.[1]

Breitbart.com[edit]

In 2012, Shapiro became editor-at-large of Breitbart.com, a news and opinion website founded by Andrew Breitbart.[14] In March 2016, Shapiro resigned from his position as editor-at-large of Breitbart.com following what he characterized as the website's lack of support for reporter Michelle Fields in response to her alleged assault by Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager.[15][16]

Gun control debate on Piers Morgan Live[edit]

In January and May 2013, Shapiro was invited onto Piers Morgan Live to debate gun control.[17] Some media reports said that Morgan lost the debate,[18][19] in which Morgan slammed down a copy of the United States Constitution that Shapiro provided and calling it "your little book." Shapiro called Morgan a "bully" for arguing that conservatives are heartless in the face of gun deaths as opposed to debating the statistics, and Morgan said Shapiro believed that gun rights are meant to provide ordinary citizens the means to defend themselves against government tyranny.[20][21]

Following the debate, NewsBusters, a conservative website, criticized CNN for liberal bias for posting only a very small portion of the debate, leaving out many of Shapiro's critical conservative points.[22]

"Friends of Hamas" story[edit]

On February 7, 2013, Shapiro published an article citing unspecified Senate sources who said 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 criticized the Obama administration for ignoring his questions about Hagel's foreign associations and called for full disclosure of Hagel's foreign ties.[23]

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.[24] Shapiro told Weigel that the story he published was "the entirety of the information [he] had."[25]

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.[26] Shapiro responded by reporting that his source had averred that Friedman was not a source.[27][28]

Perspective on Israel[edit]

In a column written for Townhall.com in 2003, Shapiro proposed to expel the Palestinian population from the West Bank. In the article, Shapiro states that "The Jews don't realize that expelling a hostile population is a commonly used and generally effective way of preventing violent entanglements. There are no gas chambers here. It's not genocide; it's transfer. It's not Hitler; it's Churchill. After World War II, Poland was recreated by the Allied Powers. In doing so, the Allies sliced off a chunk of Germany and extended Poland west to the Oder-Neisse line. Anywhere from 3.5 million to 9 million Germans were forcibly expelled from the new Polish territory and relocated in Germany... The Germans accepted the new border, and decades of conflict between Poles and Germans ended...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."[29] Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg said, "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."[30]

A decade later, however, Shapiro reversed his 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-Israeli propaganda]" until a realistic solution comes to light.[31] More recently, Mr. Shapiro publicly tweeted "using the word 'Palestine' is silly, since it doesn't exist."[32] In August 2016, Shapiro explicitly disavowed his earlier article, writing in a tweet: "That column came out when I was 19 years old, in 2003. Some of us outgrow our moral and philosophical errors." [33]

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. Shapiro argued that the resolution constituted hypocrisy and selective moral outrage in targeting Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, which he described as far less egregious than the human rights violations carried 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.[34]

Legal[edit]

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.[35]

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.[36][37] Shapiro repeatedly called Tur by male terminology, which Tur viewed as a provocation and replied aggressively. Shapiro announced publicly that he had filed a police report after Tur had grabbed his neck and threatened on air to send him "home in an ambulance."[38][39]

Campus lectures[edit]

Shapiro frequently speaks at a number of college campuses across the country, often to present his conservative viewpoint on more controversial subjects.

In November 2015, in the wake of the protests at the University of Missouri, Shapiro was invited by the campus's chapter of the College Republicans, in conjunction with Young America's Foundation, to speak at the university. The speech, entitled "The Truth is a Microaggression," was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, safe spaces, microaggressions, and other aspects of American college campuses and the behavior of modern college students.[40] The theater in which he spoke was filled to capacity as over 400 people attended, and the live-stream of the event was viewed by over 130,000 people.[41]

On February 25, 2016, Shapiro gave a speech at California State University, Los Angeles, entitled "When Diversity Becomes a Problem." Shapiro's speech focused on how the concepts of microaggressions and safe spaces were being used to suppress free speech in the name of diversity of skin color, while ignoring the value of diversity of thought.[42] In response to the announcement of the speech, hosted by the campus's chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, student protesters demanded that the speech be cancelled, labeling it as "hate speech." The university's president, William Covino, eventually announced the cancellation of the speech three days before it was to take place, with the intention of rescheduling it so that the event could feature Shapiro debating someone with opposing viewpoints.[43] In response to the cancellation, Shapiro said he would be attending the event anyway, and several lawsuits were threatened against the university for canceling the speech. As a result, Covino ultimately backed down and allowed the speech to go on as planned.[44] The day of the speech, hundreds of student protesters formed human chains to block the doors to the theater where the event was to be held, shoving away anyone who attempted to enter and starting several fights in the crowded lobby. Some students were ultimately able to enter the theater by being sneaked in through back doors, though the protesters soon found out and barricaded those doors as well. Shapiro eventually made it into the theater and began his speech, only for a fire alarm to be pulled by one of the protesters; Shapiro continued speaking regardless, calling Covino "cowardly" and referring to the protesters as "spoiled brat snowflakes" and "fascists."[45] After the speech ended, Shapiro had to be escorted out a secret exit by police and his own bodyguards, while those inside the theater were told that they could not leave since the protesters were preventing anyone from leaving. Only after Shapiro left did the protesters eventually disperse, and those inside the theater were allowed to exit.[46]

Three months after the CSULA incident, Young America's Foundation announced on May 19 that it was filing a lawsuit against the university (with Shapiro as one of the plaintiffs), claiming that the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the students were violated by Covino's attempted cancelation of the event, as well as the physical barricading of students from entering or leaving the event, and the encouragement of such actions by several campus professors.[47][48][49]

Personal life[edit]

Shapiro married Israeli-Moroccan[50] Mor Toledano in 2008; both practice Orthodox Judaism.[51][52] Together, they have a daughter born in 2014,[53] and a son born in 2016.[54] His cousin is former child actress Mara Wilson, who is remembered for starring in the film Matilda in 1996.[55]

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Adams, T. Becket (April 30, 2015). "Ben Shapiro out, TruthRevolt in turmoil as Horowitz denies shutdown reports". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Sam Whitfield (2 December 2014). "Ben Shapiro discusses Chris Rock and Modern Day White Guilt" – via YouTube. 
  3. ^ "Justin Bieber a symptom of a big problem". KTTH. 
  4. ^ The Adam Carolla Show - August 8, 2016. The Adam Carolla Show. August 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Pope, Justin (June 10, 2004). "School liberalism blasted". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ "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... 
  7. ^ "Ben Shapiro". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  8. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (June 13, 2011). "'Propaganda' is hard to prove". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ Hartmann, Thom (June 8, 2011). "Is Sesame Street subverting children with a liberal bias?". The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann. YouTube. 
  10. ^ Lawson, Mark (June 29, 2011). "Is US TV too leftwing?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Glazov, Jamie (May 31, 2011). "Primetime Propaganda". FrontPage Magazinee. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Combined print & e-book nonfiction". New York Times. January 27, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ben Shapiro: TruthRevolt Will Make MSM 'Pay' for Lies, Change 'Nature of Media'". Big Journalism. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  14. ^ Weigel, David (March 21, 2012). "Meet the Breitbarts". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Cassandra Vinograd. "Breitbart's Michelle Fields, Ben Shapiro Resign Over Trump Incident". NBC News. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "Breitbart reporter, editor resign over response to alleged assault by Trump campaign manager". Fox News. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  17. ^ YouTube.com Ben Shapiro vs. Piers Morgan
  18. ^ Mr. Conservative.com Piers Morgan Ben Shapiro Exchange Insults on Gun Ban, Shapiro Destroys Morgan, February 2013
  19. ^ Breitbart.com CNN's Morgan Slams Down Constitution, Calls it "Your Little Book" January 10, 2013
  20. ^ Daily Caller.com Piers Morgan Loses Gun Control Debate to Ben Shapiro, January 11, 2013
  21. ^ "Right to Bear Arms Quotes". www.revolutionary-war.net. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  22. ^ Newsbusters.com CNN slashes Piers Morgan Ben Shapiro Segments, January 15, 2013
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ Weigel, David (February 20, 2013). ""Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist". Slate. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  25. ^ Christopher, Tommy (February 20, 2013). "Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Ducks Questions On 'Fox And Friends Of Hamas'". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  26. ^ Friedman, Dan (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  27. ^ Christopher, Tommy (February 21, 2013). "The Young Turks Guest Catches Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro In 'Friends Of Hamas' Lie". Mediaite. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ Trotter, J.K. (February 20, 2013). "'Friends of Hamas' Rumor Debunked by Reporter Who Accidentally Started It". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  29. ^ Shapiro, Ben. "Ben Shapiro - Transfer is not a dirty word". 
  30. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey (February 20, 2013). "Prominent Hagel Detractor Endorses Fascistic Vision of Israel". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ "What Can Israel Do? – Ben Shapiro". Townhall.com. 2013-03-13. p. 1. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  32. ^ Shapiro, Ben. Twitter. Ben Shapiro https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/712047311287877632. Retrieved 29 March 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Ben Shapiro on Twitter". 
  34. ^ Breitbart.com Shapiro crashes UCLA hearing on BDS, February 26, 2014
  35. ^ "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. 
  36. ^ "Ben Shapiro files complaint against transgender reporter Tur". 
  37. ^ "Editor Ben Shapiro Files Police Report Against Transgender Reporter After Heated TV Exchange". 21 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "Jewish pundit, trans journalist in on-air spat". The Times of Israel. 
  39. ^ Andrew Tobin (21 July 2015). "WATCH: Trans journalist threatens right-wing Jewish pundit during on-air spat". Haaretz.com. 
  40. ^ "University of Missouri Audience Applauds as Ben Shapiro Rips Aggressive Professor". Breitbart.com. 
  41. ^ "Conservative Commentator Crashes Mizzou Safe Space". The Daily Signal. 
  42. ^ "Ben Shapiro Torches Cal State LA Faculty in 'Diversity' Speech". Breitbart.com. 
  43. ^ "University President Shuts Down Conservative Journalist's Speech, Citing "Free Exchange of Ideas"". Mediaite. 
  44. ^ "In Reversal, Cal State LA President Allows Conservative Pundit Ben Shapiro to Speak at Campus Event". KTLA 5. 
  45. ^ "Shapiro Speech at Cal State Marred by Blockaded Doors". The Daily Caller. 
  46. ^ "Ben Shapiro escorted by police from CSULA due to angry protesters". ABC 7. 
  47. ^ "YAF files lawsuit against CSULA over canceling Ben Shapiro event". Red Alert Politics. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  48. ^ "Calif. University Sued for Violating Conservatives' Freedom of Speech". Mediaite.com. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  49. ^ "CSULA sued over conservative author's protest-ridden speech". MyNewsLA.com. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  50. ^ Shapiro, Ben, Twitter .
  51. ^ Glazov, Jamie (May 13, 2004). "Brainwashed". Front Page Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  52. ^ Mor Toledo, first in class to find perfect match, HSJ . Archived January 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^ Shapiro, Ben (Feb 5, 2014). "Letter to My Newborn Daughter". Townhall. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  54. ^ Shapiro, Ben. "Twitter". 
  55. ^ Shapiro, Ben. "Twitter". 

External links[edit]