- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2018

Ben Shapiro said the media’s latest outrage over President Trump’s immigration comments will do little to sway anyone’s opinion about the man.

The editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire asserted Friday that Mr. Trump’s alleged “sh—hole” comments during recent policy negotiations may give his critics another opportunity to howl, but the affair ultimately constitutes a “Rorschach test” for millions of Americans.

Mr. Shapiro sat down on “Fox & Friends” to explain the comment, which Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois blasted as “hate-filled” during a press conference.

“I think it requires a little bit of a jump, and that’s the idea that the president was saying we don’t want people from these ‘bleephole’ countries because they’re ‘bleephole’ people,” the conservative author said. “I think that the media are taking it that way.”

Mr. Shapiro said that coming to any concrete conclusions about the incident is difficult because Mr. Trump disputes Mr. Durbin’s claims of the backroom negotiations.

“I think that how you view this is a Rorschach test on how you view the president,” the author said. “If you want him to be seen as a bigot, if you think that he’s a bigot already, you’re going to jump to ‘He’s a bigot’ from these comments. If you don’t think he’s a bigot, you’re going to say, ‘That’s not what he meant by this at all.’ Now would I prefer that he’d not said this? Of course.”

Mr. Shapiro added that Mr. Trump shouldn’t shy away from calling certain countries “crappy” as long there is a distinction made between living conditions and individuals.

“To be fair to the president, some countries are really crappy: the Sudan, North Korea, Haiti is not a great place to live, it has a life expectancy of 63 years and an average annual GDP per capita of something like 730 bucks,” he said. “It’s not a great place to live. And the cursing, is it something that we love? No, but he said it behind closed doors unlike Joe Biden who actually said on a live mic that President Obama’s Obamacare deal was a big effing deal. So the vulgarity, I find the media’s jumping up and down over that, a little bit extreme considering that they’re happy to say the word that none is us are saying on air right now over and over on other networks.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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