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Shapiro the Shrill

Syndicated right-wing columnist Ben Shapiro not only has a full-blown case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, he also pushes false and misleading claims in his column -- dishonesty that the subjects of his new book know all too well.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/15/2011

Ben Shapiro began as a garden-variety conservative columnist whose initial gimmick was his youth; at age 17, he became the youngest syndicated columnist in America. In between, he wrote a couple of books and graduated from Harvard Law School.

But when Barack Obama was elected president, Shapiro's writing took a hostile turn. He developed a full-blown case of Obama Derangement Syndrome and began cranking out some of the most shrill attacks on the president.

Ben Shapiro

Shapiro has smeared Obama as a "racist"; called him a "bad dog" who "runs from intruders when danger's in the air" and has "has never been housebroken"; likened him to "an unattractive high school girl desperately looking for a date to the prom"; asserted that he "embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader"; claimed that God doesn't have to damn America because "Obama's doing it for him"; insisted that Obama "is the 'Girls Gone Wild' president: Stick a lens in front of him and he'll take off his shirt, mince about like a coed, and babble nonsensical nothings to an audience oddly fascinated by his antics"; and declared his reaction to an Obama TV appearance was "Get the hell off my TV'. ... Why can’t you leave me the hell alone?!"

Needless to say, the ConWeb eats up this kind of Obama-hate. regularly runs Shapiro's weekly column, while WorldNetDaily published it until April 2010.

Shapiro also seems to think that he is the ultimate Jew (albeit in a hateful, Jackie Mason-esque way) who can apply litmus tests on the personal faith of others. In his April 28, 2010, column, presented as an "open letter to American Jews," Shapiro begins by declaring himself to be "a charter member of the tribe. I'm not only Jewish, I'm religious." But that word does not mean what Shapiro thinks it means; unless he was born several thousand years ago, Shapiro is not "a charter member of the tribe."

Then the hate begins: "American Jews, I have one request of you: please pull your heads out of your posteriors." Shapiro goes on to smear the Obama administration as "openly anti-Semitic" and assert that Obama "seeks the destruction of your co-religionists." Most offensively, Shapiro declared that then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel "is a kapo."

What is a kapo? defines it as "a Nazi concentration camp prisoner who was given privileges in return for supervising prisoner work gangs: often a common criminal and frequently brutal to fellow inmates."

That's right: Shapiro called Emanuel -- a Jew -- a Nazi thug.

(As ConWebWatch has previously noted, the Media Research Center-owned CNS published this insult without comment while the MRC's NewsBusters attacked a guest on CNN who used the same word to describe black tea party activists.")

That wasn't the only sleazy attack by Shapiro on his fellow Jews. He screeched in a May 26 column:

In 2008, Obama grabbed 78 percent of the Jewish vote. Even the most wildly optimistic polling today shows that Obama's support remains high among Jews. It's a result that Republicans simply can't understand – why do so many Jews continue to support a president who has shown time and again that he stands against the State of Israel?

Why the reflexive lever-pulling on behalf of a man who appoints anti-Semites to positions of high power, attends a virulently anti-Semitic church for 20 years, and sees Israel as the cause of the West's conflict with the Muslim world?

The answer is deceptively simple: the Jews who vote for Obama are, by and large, Jews In Name Only (JINOs). They eat bagels and lox; they watch "Schindler's List"; they visit temple on Yom Kippur – sometimes. But they do not care about Israel. Or if they do, they care about it less than abortion, gay marriage and global warming.


Being Jewish is not like being black or Asian or Hispanic. It comes with certain attendant ideological responsibilities. There is no logical or inherent connection between skin color and liberalism or conservatism – melanin has no political playbook. Jewish identity, however, does. There is more to being truly Jewish than being born into a Jewish family, just as there is more to being Christian than being baptized.

Being truly Jewish requires allegiance to basic Judaic principles; the first and foremost of which is identity with the Jewish people and its enlightened national aspirations. In the Tanach (the Jewish canon, including the Old Testament, the Prophets and the Writings), when Ruth converts to Judaism, she states, "Your people will be my people and your God my God."
The connection between Jews and the land of Israel is the running theme of the Old Testament. Any Jew who does not take these principles seriously – more seriously than global warming or affirmative action, for example – is a JINO.

And voting for Obama is a violation of those principles.


Simply put, Obama is an enemy of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. And any Jew who votes for him betrays his or her brothers and sisters at home and abroad. By definition, a vote for Obama is a vote against the truly Jewish part of Jewish identity. There is a reason that the observant Jewish community votes overwhelmingly Republican – they vote on Jewish principle.

Shapiro added some homophobia to his Obama-hate repertoire in his Dec. 23, 2010, column, insisting that Obama thinks "Lady Gaga is the de facto secretary of defense" because this "bisexual, drug-addled talentless Auto-Tune creation with a relentlessly annoying fan base -- full of faux-profound morons who think that fashioning one's hair into a telephone qualifies as high art" opposes the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Shapiro continued:

Ms. Gaga -- a noxiously androgynous combination of Madonna, HAL 9000 and the worst of Salvador Dali -- had made it her personal mission to stump for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." On Sept. 20, 2010, Gaga made a speech in Maine replete with idiotic misconstructions of the Constitution and vicious slander about our troops (she compared them to the murderers of Matthew Shepard). Worst, she offered not a single argument as to how the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" would help the military.

In essence, her position was this: she likes homosexuals -- as she should, since she makes her living off of them. All those who feel uncomfortable about showering with homosexuals, being hit on by homosexuals or serving alongside gay couples, who will obviously defend each other before their comrades, are mean and nasty and brutish. Therefore, the military should throw out all of the soldiers who have such legitimate concerns (including 58 percent of front-line troops) in favor of the approximately 0.000188 percent of soldiers who have been discharged for homosexual behavior and/or self-identification.

If this seems like a troubling argument to you, you're sane. If it seems like a strong argument, you're Harry Reid.

In between all the hate, Shapiro has used his column to peddle false and misleading claims. For instance, he wrote in his Dec. 16, 2009, column:

If you were president of the United States, would you hire an alleged former spy for Fidel Castro to be ambassador to El Salvador, a country teetering on the brink of hard-core socialism? President Obama just did.

On Dec. 9, Obama nominated Mari Del Carmen Aponte to be ambassador to El Salvador, despite the fact that in the late 1990s, the FBI discovered that she was working with Cuban intelligence officers. According to Insight Magazine, "When the FBI eventually questioned her about her involvement with Cuban intelligence, she reportedly refused to cooperate."

Why would Aponte escape the Obama administration's scrutiny? Because she is a former board member of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest Hispanic advocacy organization in the United States, with 300 affiliated community-based organizations, many of which run like local ACORN offices.

In fact, the FBI cleared Aponte of "rumors" of Cuban recruitment, and even the publication he cited as claiming that Aponte "reportedly refused to cooperate" with authorities noted that it "could not confirm" the allegation.

Shapiro used his July 29, 2010, column to attack Shirley Sherrod as a "Marxist" as well as a "racial separatist and quasi-shakedown artist." He continued:

Along with her racist husband Charles Sherrod (“We must stop the white man and his Uncle Tom from stealing our elections”), Shirley founded New Communities, Inc. in 1969 with money from the Office of Economic Opportunity. New Communities was essentially a commune-style black farm that failed to turn any sort of profit. The USDA didn’t give it further loans. So, the Sherrods sued as part of the Pigford v. Glickman class action suit, an enormous lawsuit against the USDA by black farmers. The government settled the case for billions of dollars, awarding New Communities $13 million, including $150,000 each for Charles and Shirley for “pain and suffering.” It was the single largest payout in the settlement.

Pigford itself is, at least in large part, a scam. According to Rep. Steve King, who I interviewed on my radio show, the vast majority of payouts under Pigford are fraudulent. In excess of 80,000 “black farmers” have taken advantage of the Pigford settlement, despite the fact that during the period the lawsuit covers, there were only 16,000 black farmers in the entire country.

Shapiro misleads about the number of farmers involved. The 16,000 number is the number of black farmers that received money under the original Pigford settlement -- not the number of "black farmers in the entire country." But notification and communication errors kept some farmers from being included under that settlement, so the Obama administration announced a $1.25 billion settlement to cover those farmers.

Approximately 80,000 farmers have applied for money under this settlement, known as Pigford II -- where Shapiro is presumably getting his latter number from -- but even the head of the National Black Farmers Association has said that only about half of that 80,000 will receive money, presumably because claims will be investigated before money is paid out.

Shapiro used his Dec. 2, 2010, column to invoke the Media Research Center's manufactured outrage over a gay-themed art exhibit as a way to cut the federal budget:

This week alone, for example, the federally-funded Smithsonian Institution spent cash stocking its National Portrait Gallery with pictures of Ellen DeGeneres clutching her naked bosom, penises, and nude brothers making out—all of this in order to show America how gays and lesbians “struggle for justice ... [attempting to] claim their full inheritance in America’s promise of equality, inclusion and social dignity.”

But the federal government paid nothing to obtain the exhibit -- that cost was borne by private sponsors. The Smithsonian would still spend the same amount of money maintaining an exhibition space no matter what was exhibited there, so banning this particular exhibit saves no money.

Shapiro also suggested that "$1.25 billion in funding for black farmers who were supposedly discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture" in the Pigford case could be cut. As Media Matters pointed out, that money is not an earmark but part of a lawsuit settlement, so paying it isn't optional.

In his April 7 column, Shapiro falsely attacked Obama adviser Samantha Power, asserting that she was "channeling the conspiratorial ruminations of anti-Semitic scholars the world over" by purportedly saying that "America should put military forces on the ground in Israel to prevent Israeli 'human rights abuses.'" In fact, Power was discussing how to react to a hypothetical move toward genocide by "one party or another" in the Middle East, not Israel alone. Power pointed out that United Nations peacekeeping forces were insufficient to stop genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia, and her reference to "put[ting] something on the line," in its proper context, is to a force sufficient to stop a genocide, not, as Shapiro claimed, imposing a "solution" on Israel only.

This high level of fundamental dishonesty extends to Shapiro's latest book, "Primetime Propaganda." Shapiro admitted deceiving the people he interviewed for the book by refusing to explain to them that he was a conservative out to make them look bad: "When I showed up for the interviews, I wore my Harvard Law baseball cap — my name is Ben Shapiro and I attended Harvard, so there’s a 98.7 percent chance I’m a liberal. Except I happen not to be.”

When producer Vin de Bona pointed out that Shapiro “misrepresented the nature of that interview and subject matter of his book,” Shapiro didn't apologize; instead, he justified his deception by repeating the vagaries he told de Bona, that his book would be about “the social content of television.”

So Shapiro demonstrates once again how he is willing to lie to forward his right-wing agenda -- seemingly oblivious to the fact that those very same lies undermine him.

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