- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2019

Author Ben Shapiro unleashed an impassioned speech against media bias on Monday in response to a slew of stories about last week’s March for Life.

The editor in chief of The Daily Wire used his popular podcast this week to address “outright false” stories that monopolized new cycles over roughly72 hours. At issue was scant coverage of the March for Life’s cultural and political relevance in favor of “manufactured” controversy on Friday over a group of boys from Covington Catholic High School.

“The media are terrible at their damn jobs,” Mr. Shapiro said. “I mean terrible at their jobs because it turns out that many of them are not interested in being honest. … The media is all about jumping to conclusions, about creating the clickable piece, about ensuring that they are the first on a story even if they are dead wrong on a story. We saw this over and over and over the last 72 hours. Multiple stories the media put out were outright false. At the very least they were biased, twisted, selectively edited. I haven’t seen a weekend this bad for the media in a long time, and it’s disgusting.”

The conservative pundit detailed coverage of Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips and his drum playing in the face of the Catholic school teenagers. Initial reports from major media outlets framed the group, some of them in red “Make America Great Again” caps, as racist for laughing and chanting.

Extended footage of the event showed that Mr. Phillips approached the teenagers after they were peppered with racial insults of “cracker” by Black Hebrew Israelite activists.

“They’re damn liars and they knew full well that they should wait for the full story to come out — and they did not wait for the full story to come out,” Mr. Shapiro said of reporters and pundits. “You wonder why President Trump is popular when he says the media suck at their job? It’s because they do suck at their jobs. Their pre-existing suckage was there long before President Trump came along. [Do] you want to know why so many people in the middle of the country resonate to President Trump when he rips on the media? [It’s] because they deserve every last iota for coverage like this.”

Mr. Shapiro then excoriated former DNC head Howard Dean, celebrity Kathy Griffin and others for running with the story.

Some widely shared tweets against the high school boys include:

  • Howard Dean: “#CovingtonCatholic High School seems like a hate factory to me. Why not just close it? Check out this thread.”
  • Kathy Griffin: Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f—ers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.
  • Reza Aslan: “Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?”

“The kids are doing nothing and then, you will see, there’s tape of it, Phillips walking into the middle of the crowd and banging his drum right in this kid’s face,” he continued. “Are we going to pretend that this is the great crime of the century? Are we going to pretend this wasn’t a manufactured media lie from the very outset? Is that what we’re going to pretend now? We’re going to pretend that these kids decided to mob a Native American guy when precisely the opposite is the case?”

Mr. Shapiro also delved into media coverage of his “baby Hitler” comments during The March for Life, which was framed as a moral failing or tacit support for genocidal maniacs.

The conservative’s actual argument was that abortion activists often resort to a “pre-crime”-like defense of the practice from the book “Freakonomics.”

“Is the idea from the left that you have to kill baby Hitler,” Mr. Shapiro asked. “I don’t even understand where the controversy is even here. Is the idea that logically speaking you must kill a baby who will grow up to be Hitler because we live in a Minority Report universe where you go back in time and determine what crimes people commit before they commit them?”

“I was not randomly discussing the idiotic Internet baby Hitler hypothetical. I was discussing it in the context of a very specific argument. It is an argument made in the book ‘Freakonomics’ and defended by the authors of that book that suggests that abortions in the 70s led to lower crime rates in the 80s and early 90s. … The entire argument [by abortion activists] is about the morality of killing the unborn because you think they will commit crimes in the future.”

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

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