Daily Wire co-founder and editor emeritus Ben Shapiro put to rest myths about his stature on Monday night when a college student challenged him, claiming that Shapiro is actually four inches shorter than he is.
Shapiro spoke at Florida State University (FSU) on “wokeness” infecting American institutions. After his planned remarks, Shapiro took questions from the audience, composed largely of college students.
During the question and answer period, one student accused Shapiro of lying about his height. Shapiro, who is 5 feet 9 inches, invited the student, who also happened to be 5 feet 9 inches, on stage to look him in the eye. The audience erupted in laughter as the conservative commentator and student stood next to each other.
“How come you claim to be 5’9” even though you’re, like, 5’5”?” the student asked.
The pundit, after raising his eyebrows, responded, “I don’t know. How tall are you?”
“I’m 5’9”. I’m actually 5’9”,” the student said.
“Okay, come over here, let’s see,” Shapiro said, inviting the student up on stage. The man hoisted himself up on the stage and stood shoulder to shoulder with Shapiro as the audience cheered and laughed. The student covered his mouth, apparently shocked, before shaking Shapiro’s hand and returning to the audience.
“I’ll be honest; I planted him. I’ve been waiting years to do that,” Shapiro joked.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) November 16, 2021
Afterward on Twitter, Shapiro said it was the “funniest part of a great evening at FSU.”
The incident was well-received on social media as numerous people joined in laughing at the spectacle.
“Greatest. Moment. Evah,” said Jeremy Boreing, co-founder and co-CEO of The Daily Wire.
“This truly is a perfect moment. The kid trying to troll Ben happens to be 5’9 himself. Happens to be a good sport. Is genuinely SHOCKED the meme he bought into isn’t reality. And he’s gracious enough to admit he was wrong,” he continued. “Life doesn’t give you many of these.”
British pundit Piers Morgan called the clip “brilliant.”
“Fantastic,” added conservative radio host Guy Benson.
“This is my favorite video ever now,” former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis said.
Shapiro spoke at FSU despite pressure from progressive campus groups to have the university ban him. As The Daily Wire reported:
Ahead of Shapiro’s speech, FSU’s branch of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a socialist college group, released a statement condemning Shapiro as “violently racist, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic.” The statement did not cite any examples to support its claims. SDS is also aiding another campus progressive group, Students for Justice in Palestine, plan a protest for the day Shapiro is scheduled to speak.
SDS called Shapiro as well as The Daily Wire “far-right” despite the conservative commentator being the top target of antisemitism on Twitter among journalists in 2016, according to the Anti-Defamation League. SDS also took issue with Shapiro’s stance against Critical Race Theory, which is rooted in Marxism and suggests that most U.S. institutions today are rooted in racism, being taught in schools.
SDS concluded its statement calling on FSU President Richard McCullough to cancel the event to prove the university’s commitment to “equity, diversity, and inclusion.”