Columnist Ben Shapiro once praised Donald Trump but now with anti-Trump, pro-Cruz money for his venture on the line he’s allowing his judgment and his ethics to be corrupted.
That’s a shame but Shapiro has crossed a legal line that may call into question his law license and undermines his credibility by helping a known fabulist falsely accuse a rival campaign manager.
Shapiro wasn’t always as anti-Trump as he is today.
Shapiro praised the “Magic of Donald Trump” in 2011 writing the following approvingly (and rather presciently) of Trump the politician:
If Republicans were to construct an ideal candidate, he would have to be rich beyond belief… would have significant name recognition with the general public…[and] would have stage presence, an intimidation factor, and a willingness to play dirty.
The moment he declares in earnest and gets on the campaign stump, his numbers will rise dramatically.
Is Donald Trump the best Republican candidate for president out there? It would be tough to argue otherwise. He’s got all the makings of a breakout star; he’s got bravado and the cash to back it up. If he really runs, he won’t have any trouble finding supporters.
Shapiro has subsequently granted that while Trump isn’t a conservative in Shapiro’s eyes, he has mass appeal.
Here’s Shapiro praising Trump as recently as July of last year.
“The real reason why people support Donald Trump, the real reason is because he is capturing the moral narrative in the country right now…” Shapiro said at an Ann Coulter event in July 2015.
“What Republicans need to do is recognize is that what Trump does and what he is so incredibly effective at in his own kind of brusque and rough way is Donald Trump says there is a villain to this story,” Shapiro said.
Now, after an infusion of funds from anti-Donald Trump sources, Shapiro is shilling against Trump.
Shapiro knows that a video shows disgraced, repeatedly fired Michelle Fields lying about an assault but he went on Megyn Kelly’s show Friday and Monday and defended her.
He knows this because I reached out to him via text and email.
We finally have video footage proving Michelle Fields lied about what happened. It's over. https://t.co/odvF1a2Vz9
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) March 13, 2016
Instead of looking at the evidence dispassionately Shapiro criticized Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for a “sexist smear.”
This is what he said on Megyn Kelly’s show on Friday.
SHAPIRO: It is a sexist smear. I mean, the fact that the Corey Lewandowski was putting at reports from discredited websites, that he was accusing Michelle of being an attention seeker who had done this sort of thing in the past to gain attention to herself. And all that Corey Lewandowski had to do to stop this was apologize essentially and say that he didn’t mean to do it. That is basically although that would stop this. Instead he decided to lie and smear and Breitbart decided to go right along with that.
(Lewandowski only shared two articles from GotNews.com on Michelle Fields’s dishonesty so Shapiro was referencing this website.)
Shapiro has also falsely accused Breitbart News of being a pro-Trump Pravda given the perceived pro-Trump bias of the media organization..
That information may unfortunately come from me. Several years ago I told cat pornographer McKay Coppins that a New York-based billionaire had backed Breitbart. Coppins, who is a lazy reporter, apparently talked to other insiders who told him it was Trump. But the evidence of a financial relationship between Trump and Breitbart is spotty at best. Trump is notoriously cheap and does not advertise on Breitbart’s site. The relationship between Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Breitbart investigative reporter Matt Boyle isn’t particularly warm. Why would Trump pay Breitbart when he’s dominating all of the media all the time for free?
Shapiro, alas, didn’t disclose his own financial ties which kind of sort of make the Daily Wire an anti-Donald Trump Pravda. The Daily Wire has a seemingly obsessive fascination with stopping Trump but apparently not in doing the work necessary to research him.
The financial ties provide a clue. Shapiro’s new website, The Daily Wire, receives funding from the Wilks brothers, two Texas billionaires who are backing Ted Cruz for president. (A blogger named Eric Johnson first found the link, all credit to him!)
Shapiro’s partner Jeremy Boering is a Facebook friend of Jon Francis, the son-in-law of one of the Wilks brothers and their political gift-giving consigliere. We’re told that Boering has done deals with the reclusive billionaires. We asked Boering to comment on the claims that Shapiro and he received funding from the Wilks brothers and will update this when we hear. A source connected to the Wilks brothers confirms that Shapiro has been trying to raise money from them for at least six months.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Shapiro was caught in a pay to play scandal.
In 2013 Shapiro was implicated in a scandal involving writing pro-Ukranian government pieces. He says he wasn’t paid. We aren’t so sure.
Shapiro and GotNews.com editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson were contemporaries while they worked for Andrew Breitbart. Shapiro joined the company after Breitbart died but he ghostwrote Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation. The book, which was a flop despite a really hefty advance, essentially reads as two different books and Shapiro reportedly refused to make any changes to the book despite requests from the publisher.
Since Andrew’s death Shapiro has been allowed to use his affiliation with the online publication to go on TV and criticize the decisions of Breitbart management despite a rather tenuous current relationship with the publication today.
Shapiro was nearly fired in February 2014 but Breitbart and Shapiro worked out a deal thereafter. Shapiro was sidelined in the Breitbart organization after his “Friends of Hamas” screw up with Chuck Hagel was made public. He unquestionably harmed those of us who had been doing real research in Hagel’s disturbing ties to Iran just as he is harming those of us vetting all of the candidates for president.
No one seems to be looking at how Ben has a serious conflict of interest. It’s obvious that his financial backers have an interest in stopping Trump. And, in the spirit of full disclosure, so do I. Were Ted Cruz the nominee I would make about $250,000 thanks to the betting markets. I support Ted Cruz for president and have researched sometimes paid, sometimes not, all of the candidates running for office. (GotNews.com is reader supported. If you want to donate, please click here.)
But regrettably, Shapiro has decided to play the anti-Semitism card from the bottom of the deck against his adversaries. Shapiro, who has supported both Cruz and Rubio, has repeatedly called supporters of Trump – who has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, Jewish business parters and friends, etc.– anti-Semitic.
Shapiro has used his tenuous relationship with Breitbart and even called for the firing of investigative reporter Patrick Howley for doing his job and raising questions about the altercation. Fortunately Howley was promoted after a brief suspension.
Media Ethics, Fox News, and the California Bar
What’s more disturbing is that Shapiro’s financial interests weren’t disclosed in his two appearances with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and Michelle Fields.
Fox News and News Corp. have strict disclosure policies for its guests.
While it’s plausible that Shapiro felt so aghast about what happened to Fields — I doubt it but okay — that he resigned out of good faith it’s more than likely he had a financial interest. This is especially clear after video came forward showing Fields lying about her interaction with Corey Lewandowski.
Fields is now being investigated by the Jupiter police department for filing a fake police report thanks to video that was made public.
Shapiro has publicly claimed that he talked to Fields after the incident and he continues to support her false claims.
That he has done this publicly while violating his employment contract with Breitbart raises questions about Shapiro’s admittance to the California bar.
Conspiracy to file a false police report is a felony, after all.
A still larger legal consideration is whether or not Shapiro was paid for his anti-Trump advocacy through a Super PAC.
It’s unclear whether the Wilks brothers are funding him directly or through a cut out.
GotNews.com is offering a financial reward of $500 for those that can prove an even closer relationship.
We’re offering a $1000 for those who can prove criminality. If you’d like to donate to this or other bounties, here‘s the link.
Ben and I go back at least six years. For a long while I respected him but no longer.
While he calls me “discredited” today he’s used my material countless times in the past.
Indeed, in the aftermath of Andrew Breitbart’s death, Shapiro took a scoop I found — the Derrick Bell tapes — and used them to get on television.
(Shapiro will apparently do anything and everything to go on TV, including violating the terms of his contract with Breitbart. Which is odd for someone who always mentions he’s a Harvard trained lawyer.)
Normally I wouldn’t care but Shapiro’s claims about a close relationship with Breitbart are really tiresome.
I was Andrew Breitbart’s last employee to talk to him before he died. I loved the man with all of my heart. The man, not the myth. Fuck all of the people saying what Andrew would have done this or done that. He’s dead and buried four years ago March 1. You don’t get to tell me what he would have believed because, unless you have some new fangled way to commune with the dead, you have no clue what he would think about current events. I heard Breitbart say negative things about Trump and positive things about Trump. I heard him say a lot of stuff.
It’s telling that Shapiro never worked for Andrew Breitbart while he was alive.
Full disclosure: I reached out to Jon Francis, the advisor to the Wilks Brothers, to fund my successful legal fight against the National Abortion Federation compelling me to disclose my sources. Despite a stated commitment to fighting for pro-life causes, they declined to financially support that effort and I won without their help. I won without the backing of billionaires and with the support of people like you.