July 15, 2024

Is Candace Owens on the way out over at The Daily Wire? I can’t answer that question, but if Ben Shapiro’s latest commentary is any indication, there’s trouble in paradise. 

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Owens has faced recent criticism for flirting with right-wing antisemites throughout Israel’s war against Hamas. For example, in a November 7th interview, she claimed that Israel forces Muslims within its borders to live in “Muslim quarters,” using that as supposed evidence of apartheid. In reality, Israeli Muslims have full rights and benefits and can live wherever they want. 

More recently, Owens took to her show claiming that those who support Israel do so because they are being paid off, mimicking an antisemitic trope Rep. Ilhan Omar infamously repeated some years prior. Further, she claimed that support for Israel has “virtually collapsed socially,” saying that the pro-Hamas “protests” prove that. In reality, support for Israel remains above a super-majority within the United States.

For context, Owens has a close relationship with Kanye West (or whatever his proper name is now), who had a months-long antisemitic breakdown in late 2022. Her decision to platform and praise Andrew Tate back in July, a proven abuser of women, both physically and emotionally, also said nothing good about her credibility.

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Apparently, Shapiro, one of the founders of The Daily Wire and an Orthodox Jew, has had enough. Speaking on Monday evening, he was asked about his host’s behavior and he didn’t hold back. 

SHAPIRO: Yes, the question was about Candace Owens. I think her behavior during this has been disgraceful. Without a doubt.

She still works for my company, and I think she’s been absolutely disgraceful. I think that her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous. It’s not her sophistication. It’s ridiculous. Everyone can see the moves that she’s making and the things that she’s saying, and I find them disreputable.

To say that’s shocking is an understatement. As Shapiro mentions, Owens is still a part of his company or was at the time that video was made (we don’t know the exact situation as of mid-day Tuesday). Certainly, it is unusual to see that kind of animosity spill out into the open when dealing with a media company. 

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Is Shapiro wrong for doing so, though? I don’t think so because I think you can reasonably expect that he made private attempts at reconciliation prior to finally blasting her in public. Owens has instead doubled down and accelerated her repetition of antisemitic tropes and outright lies about Israel and Hamas. 

I know many on the right like Owens. Why they do aside from simplistic ideas of “owning the libs,” I have no idea. If you want a thorough breakdown of some of the issues, be sure to read Kira Davis’ excellent critique of Owens, which was published almost four years ago. Davis was way ahead of the curve in understanding what was happening and why it was a problem for the conservative movement. 

Regardless, we’ll see where this goes. It’s hard to see how Owens remaining in a business relationship with Shapiro is sustainable, but that’ll be up to The Daily Wire to decide.

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