On Tuesday's episode of "The Ben Shapiro Show," Shapiro talks about how upset The New York Times is now that a group of conservatives is using their tactics against them. Video and partial transcript below:
Yesterday, we saw the most bizarre, strange response by The New York Times to a story that I've seen in a very long time. Here's what happened. There's a fellow named Arthur Schwartz. Arthur Schwartz is good friends with Donald Trump Jr. He is close with the Trump administration, and he and some of his minions online, some of his friends online, started to go through all of the old tweets of various journalists at institutions like The New York Times, at institutions like CNN, dig those up, archive them, and use them for the possibility of deploying against these institutions. And The New York Times is really hot and bothered about this.
There's an article by Kenneth Vogel and Jeremy Peters that came out yesterday called "Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House," and The New York Times is very upset about this — resurfacing old tweets from journalists. That's verboten. You can't do that. It's one thing for The New York Times to go dig up private information on citizens and then distribute it widely. It's one thing for The New York Times to go after people who are sort of fringe characters in politics and try and destroy their life with old tweets. It's one thing for the entire media to go after Kevin Hart and try and knock him off the Oscars, and succeed, by quoting tweets from 2009. It's another thing if somebody digs up a tweet from a New York Times editor's college days. That's very, very bad. That's the opinion of The New York Times. So in this article, [Kenneth] Vogel and Jeremy Peters write:
A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile for President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.
Ooh, ooh! Terrible stuff, except for the fact of course that The New York Times has been doing this for literally years.
The New York Times has been going after the past of anyone they deemed to be politically incorrect. They've been doing this for decades. I'm old enough to remember when they did this to Joe the Plumber. There's a piece by Larry Rohter back from October of 2008, in the middle of the election. Remember Joe the Plumber? He's this guy who just lived in Toledo, Ohio, and Barack Obama was walking around his neighborhood and he stopped Obama during a visit to complain about taxes. And suddenly he was this big story.
Well, The New York Times then went and dug up everything they could on this guy and basically ruined his life. [They] made him into a sort of temporary celebrity, his lines when he was speaking to Obama, but they turned him into a national level celebrity and they tried to discredit him as a human being. They ran an entire story that was all about Joe the Plumber, it said "Real Deal On 'Joe the Plumber' Reveals New Slant." As though the question that he asked Obama was illegitimate, because Joe the Plumber was not actually named Joe the Plumber. And The New York Times says, "As it turns out, Joe the Plumber, as he became nationally known when Senator John McCain made him a theme at Wednesday's final presidential debate, may work in the plumbing business, but he is not a licensed plumber."
They actually went and did this. I don't know if you remember this. For my younger listeners, this is a thing that happened in real-life eleven years ago. The New York Times went and dug up every piece of information they could on a dude who asked Barack Obama a question. [They] said,
Thomas Joseph, the business manager of Local 50 of the United Association of Plumbers, Steam Fitters and Service Mechanics, based in Toledo, said Thursday that Mr. Wurzelbacher had never held a plumber's license, which is required in Toledo and several surrounding municipalities...
His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. He owes back taxes, too, public records show. The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts. Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted, neither his personal taxes nor those of his business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama's tax plan were to go into effect.
So they went and dug up all this information on Joe the Plumber, to talk about his own personal tax records, because he had the temerity to ask Barack Obama a question — and that has continued apace. That process has continued apace. Just a couple of years ago Jared Yates Sexton a "writer, academic, and journalist" whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, and elsewhere, went and dug up information about a figure online named Han [expletive] Solo. Hey really, just a Twitter troll. Why? Because that person had created an animated GIF of President Trump Wrestle Mania where he's tackling a CNN logo. Just a couple years ago, and it was a big thing.
How could President Trump do such a terrible thing? And of course it wasn't very presidential. But the guy who created the drivel, just some dude online, and this dude online it turns out we had to go through all of his tweets to find out that he was a vicious racist so that we could then tie President Trump to vicious racism. So they dug up all this guy's old tweets and then they suggested that because Trump had retweeted these silly GIF of himself tackling a person with a CNN logo for a face, then this guy's life should basically be ruined. And that it is definitely necessary to dig up every old thing that the guy ever said. ... And then this reporter Jared Sexton, he started whining about it in Politico, he said:
Before the hour was up, I was receiving messages from the usual customers: anonymous accounts with Pepe avatars and bios declaring themselves "ethno-nationalists" and "white identitarians."
Yes, I'm sure that there are lots of jokes out there — I know because they have targeted me. That's one of the reasons why I have full-time security. But does that mean that it is a great idea for the media to start uncovering every bit of information about people they disagree with politically?
The New York Times was jumping on the "Kyle Kashuv shouldn't be able to go to Harvard University" bandwagon, because some of his old friends had resurfaced crap that he said in a private chat two and a half years ago, before the Parkland shooting. So the media are all in on the "We can uncover nasty information about people we don't like, or we can resurface old tweets that are 10 years old in order ruin people's careers," but when it comes around for The New York Times, then they're very sad about it. Then it's completely inappropriate.