On his top-rated radio talk show Friday, "the Big Voice on the Right" Rush Limbaugh weighed in on Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro bringing the conservative message into "the belly of the beast" in Berkeley on Thursday night. Shapiro's experiences there, said Limbaugh, revealed how to handle the violence-embracing Antifa.
Limbaugh's comments were prompted by a caller who brought up left-leaning media outlets' attempts to somehow blame Shapiro for the UC Berkeley's exorbitant costs for security.
"I think it’s really disingenuous for everyone in the media to keep saying that Ben Shapiro 'cost the University of Berkeley $600,000' in keeper costs," said the caller.
Limbaugh corrected the caller, citing a much larger figure that has been reported by multiple outlets: $1.5 million.
"Yeah, but see, but Ben Shapiro didn’t cost them a nickel. Antifa cost them that money," said the caller.
"Right," said Limbaugh. The caller went on to stress that the only reason that the university felt it necessary to take such extreme security measures was the pattern of violence and property destruction of Antifa, which Berkeley has already experienced multiple times in response to other right-leaning events. "So why don’t they put the blame where it goes? Like, why can’t they put the blame on the people that are causing trouble instead of on an honest guy trying to give an honest speech about his position?"
"Because they think Antifa is justified," replied Limbaugh. "They think a conservative showing up at Berkeley needs to be shown his place." It's the same attitude, said Limbaugh, that leads the media to cover for other violent radical movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.
The host then provided some background on Shapiro, who he said deserves to be "applauded" for taking his message directly into the "liberal enclaves," including "the belly of the beast," Berkeley, which still prides itself on being the birthplace of the free speech movement despite its increasingly anti-free speech track record:
LIMBAUGH: If you’re not up to speed on this (most of you probably are) Ben Shapiro, 33 years old, is a brilliant young man, brilliant conservative. He is a Harvard graduate. But he is a thoroughbred conservative and can explain it. He runs and edits a website called The Daily Wire. And he tries to take his message to the belly of the beast. He goes to liberal enclaves to make speeches. So he was scheduled to go to the University of California, Berkeley — interestingly enough, the home of the free speech movement back in the 1960s. It was a multiple-week brouhaha to determine whether or not the cops would go into gear to protect him, whether or not the university would. None of those were givens. He decided to go anyway.
The media is portraying him as the problem for daring to go where he’s not wanted and where he won’t be listened to, and it’s just seen as Shapiro showing up to unnecessarily provoke a bunch of college snowflakes who don’t want to be hurt or damaged or injured by a message that they’ve never heard before, which is conservatism. I think Shapiro needs to be applauded for this. They’re treating the guy, as he said, like Godzilla. He’s about five seven, and he doesn’t weigh as much as one of Godzilla’s fingers.
Limbaugh ended the segment by highlighting a comment Shapiro made in the op-ed he wrote in response to his experience at Berkeley: "When the police are allowed to do their jobs, Antifa is powerless":
LIMBAUGH: Ben Shapiro got out of Berkeley alive and unharmed. And he’s written a piece about it. He said there’s five things that he learned. And the number one thing that he wrote in his column, number one thing he learned is that when the cops do their job, the Antifa people don’t matter. When the cops do their job, Antifa’s not a problem. Bingo! Bingo.
Partial transcript via RushLimbaugh.com.