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Boston Globe Issues Correction After Smearing Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire As ‘Alt-Right Outpost’
Ben Shapiro speaks onstage at Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images)
Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

After some public shaming, the Boston Globe issued a correction Saturday in its “for the record” section expressing “regret” for a column’s “mischaracterization” of The Daily Wire.

“Because of a reporting error, the @Large column in today’s Arts section, which is printed in advance, mischaracterizes the conservative media outlet The Daily Wire.” The correction reads, “Its founder, Ben Shapiro, has spoken out against the alt-right. The Globe regrets the error.”

The correction follows backlash online after the Globe published a column ripping Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for defending his platform’s pro-free speech policies in front of Congress that goes out of its way to take an egregious shot at The Daily Wire — which the author describes as a “white supremacist-adjacent alt-right outpost.”

“Most recently we’ve seen Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stammering before a congressional committee as he tried to shove his proprietary cryptocurrency, Libra, into reality, but ended up hitting a wall as committee members grilled him over the company’s ‘say whatever’ to political advertising,” the hit-piece reads. “In response, we saw him launch a repurposed ‘News’ section that sets up partnerships between the networks and a ‘wide range’ of publishers (including white supremacist-adjacent alt-right outposts like The Daily Wire — because … news?).”

A study by the Anti-Defamation League found that Shapiro was the number one target of the Alt-Right in 2016. The Daily Wire was one of the first outlets on the right to come out in full-throated condemnation of the Alt-Right, publishing a piece in September 2016 unequivocally disavowing the racist and anti-Semitic movement (read: “An Actual Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right: 8 Things You Need To Know”) and consistently criticizing the movement and its supporters in its reports and op-eds.

Among those who slammed the Globe for the shameless smear was Daily Wire podcast host and columnist Matt Walsh.

“Boston Globe calls the Daily Wire an ‘alt-right outpost.’ Meanwhile the alt-right despises everyone who works at the Daily Wire, has targeted all of us with harassment and hate mail, and is planning to sabotage our events. [Boston Globe] needs to delete this bullsh** and apologize,” wrote Walsh in a pair of tweets. “Before you call any of us alt-right, why don’t you idiots actually ask the alt-right if we’re on their team. They’ll tell you, emphatically, no.”

Walsh also unloaded on the Globe on his podcast Monday.

The Globe is not the first left-leaning outlet to unfairly lump Shapiro and The Daily Wire with the racist “alt-right.” In March 2018, The Economist titled an article on Shapiro and his book “The Right Side of History” with the shameless title, “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt-right sage without the rage.”

“[The Economist], this is a vile lie,” Shapiro tweeted in response to the hit-piece. “Not only am I not alt-right, I am probably their leading critic on the right. I was the number one target of their hate in 2016 online according to ADL data. I demand a retraction.”

“You should be ashamed of yourselves for that garbage headline and description,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “To call yourselves a journalistic outlet and then botch this one so badly is astonishing. Here is me in 2016 in WaPo ripping Trump for flirting with the alt-right, e.g.”

Amid backlash from hundreds online, The Economist, like the Globe, was forced to issue a retraction and changed the title of the article to “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, a radical conservative.”

“We have deleted an earlier tweet for an article that mischaracterised Ben Shapiro, who has been strongly critical of the alt-right movement,” The Economist tweeted. “We apologise.”

“My initial thought was that the headline was patently insane and ridiculous, that I rip the alt-right throughout my book and have done so continuously for years in all my work,” Shapiro told the Washington Examiner in March. “My thoughts on the new headline: I’m not sure what makes me a ‘radical’ conservative as opposed to a mainstream conservative, but I’m glad they apologized for their defamatory label.”

In his September 2016 article condemning the Alt-Right, Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles stresses that “racism is not a fringe element of the Alt-Right; it’s the movement’s central premise.” In addition to a racist “white identity” ideology, Knowles writes, the movement is also “explicitly anti-Semitic.” The Daily Wire describes the Alt-Right as “not conservative; its leaders vociferously reject prominent conservative thinkers, ideas of human equality, core Judeo-Christian values, and the concept of America as a nation built on ideas, rather than racial or ethnic identity.”

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