- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Economist magazine apologized Thursday for an article that labeled Jewish conservative firebrand Ben Shapiro a “pop idol of the alt right.”

“This article has been changed,” an editor’s note now reads at the top of the article. “A previous version mistakenly described Mr. Shapiro as an ‘alt-right sage’ and ‘a pop idol of the alt right.’ In fact, he has been strongly critical of the alt-right movement. We apologize.”

The piece, which was originally titled, “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt right sage without the rage,” was changed to read, “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, a radical conservative.”

A now-deleted tweet by The Economist of the original title was widely rebuked and heavily ratioed, meaning it received more responses than likes and retweets.

Mr. Shapiro, founder and editor of conservative news outlet The Daily Wire, tweeted several examples of himself criticizing the alt right and said he is often the target of anti-Semitism that’s prevalent in the movement.

“This is a vile lie,” Mr. Shapiro wrote. “Not only am I not alt-right, I am probably their leading critic on the right. I was the number one target of their hate in 2016 online according to ADL data. I demand a retraction.

“The ratio on this piece is merely a fraction of what it should be. Because f*** this bulls***,” he wrote.

Economist senior editor Anne McElvoy came under fire after she responded to Mr. Shapiro’s tweets, writing, “Hello Ben - in fairness I think we said sth [sic] like a figure in Alt-right thinking, but not really a ‘label.’”

“In fairness, your headline literally reads ‘the alt-right sage without the rage,’” Mr. Shapiro fired back. “So spare me the ‘in fairness’ bulls***.’”

After the piece was amended, Mr. Shapiro said the “radical conservative” label was more defensible.

It’s the second time this month The Economist has outraged readers, The Wrap reported. Last week, the London-based magazine asked in a tweet, without context, whether transgender people should be “sterilized before they are recognized.” The magazine later explained that the question was in reference to an article that explored a decision handed down by Japan’s Supreme Court, The Wrap reported.

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