WATCH: ABC's 'Nightline' Profiles Ben Shapiro | The Daily Wire
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WATCH: ABC’s ‘Nightline’ Profiles Ben Shapiro

By  Daily Wire

On Thursday night, ABC Nightline’s lead segment focused on Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, whom interviewer Dan Harris calls “a man caught in the white-hot center of the madness that is American politics today.”

Harris begins the segment by noting, “College campuses have become the reflection of a divided country.” The segment continues by showing protesters at Shapiro’s recent University of Utah speech, with Harris remarking the police were out in force “all because of this baby-faced 33-year-old father of two.”

Interviewed before his Utah appearance, Shapiro quips to Harris, “I mean, let’s be real about this; look at me. Do I look like a physical threat to anybody? Do I seem like a physical threat to anybody? The last time I was in a fight I was 14 years old; I was two years younger than everybody else in my high school class and I was getting my ass kicked.”

Harris references the $600,000 the city of Berkeley spent to protect the public and Shapiro from violence when Shapiro spoke there on September 14, stating to Shapiro, “It’s amazing they had to essentially lock that place down for you.” Shapiro responds, “And the headlines were nuts. I mean, the headline was like, ‘Berkeley braces for Shapiro visit.’ Really? Was I the one who was going to be smashing ATMs?”

Only hours before his Utah appearance, Shapiro points out that there were rumors of possible violence, which Harris says were allegedly borne out in an undercover video from Steven Crowder that depicted alleged Antifa members allegedly hoping to lure Shapiro’s supporters into danger. Shapiro comments, “This is insanity.”

When Harris asks Shapiro whether he believes the violence is political correctness run amok, Shapiro replies, “It’s the furthest extension of political correctness, that when you say something it’s not just me disagreeing with you, it is me destroying your identity as a human being in a way that is akin to violence.”

Harris asks Shapiro if he stands by his statement that transgenderism is a mental illness; Shapiro, who has often spoken of his grandfather who suffered from mental illness, says he does, adding, “That’s not an insult to people who suffer from psychological disorders; you are not doing a service to people who are suffering from a mental disorder if you humor them by suggesting their mental disorder is reflected in objective reality.”

In a revealing moment, Harris interviews the leader of the group attempting to shut down Shapiro from speaking in Utah, eliciting a confession that the leader doesn’t want Shapiro to speak. When Harris remarks, “That doesn’t comport with the First Amendment,” the leader replies, “I don’t care.”

Harris segues to the fact that Shapiro has enemies on the Left, but also by the alt-right, which savagely targeted Shapiro in 2016. Shapiro tells Harris, “I’ve been very, very outspoken against the alt-right; I’ve said the alt-right is a garbage movement composed of garbage ideas, that it has nothing to do with constitutional conservatism.”

Harris outlines the circumstance that led to Shapiro’s departure from Breitbart in 2016, after he felt the site would not defend its own reporter because of the site’s unswerving loyalty to Donald Trump. Shapiro says, “I quit under very public circumstances, because Breitbart had been turning itself into a Trump propaganda army and the alt-right really liked President Trump, or then-candidate Trump.”

Shapiro delineates all the threats he has received from the alt-right, including death threats, and says he is bewildered by people who insist he is a white supremacist, saying, “I keep hearing this, and I keep wondering, was it the yarmulke that gave it away?”

Speaking of how long he has been interested in politics, Shapiro recalls, “I found a paper from when I was 10 or 11 talking about the Clinton impeachments; I assume that I was into it even then.”

After Harris notes that Shapiro takes on some of the most heated issues in current society, he asks Shapiro if racism is real. Shapiro replies:

Of course racism is real. But I don’t think institutional racism is necessarily real. So, yes, of course there are racists, and racist cops who shoot black guys for no reason should go to jail and they should throw away the key. But this idea that’s been put out there, these kinds of broad statements about America being a discriminatory, racist country, I don’t know how that helps anything and I don’t think it’s actually true … you want to talk about Jim Crow and slavery, of course. The question is, what is the remedy now?

When Harris claims that Shapiro’s message resonates primarily to white people, Shapiro answers, “I don’t think that that’s true. I wish I were invited to more crowds that were more racially diverse. That’d be great.”

At the end of the segment, Harris asks Shapiro if despite the rancor in politics today, he is optimistic, commenting, “You’re right in the middle of it. Do you have any optimism that it will get better any time soon?”

Shapiro offers a ray of hope: “Yeah, I think there’s going to be a backlash. I think there’s going to be a strong backlash for people who are tired of it and want to stand up for basic rights that we can all agree on.”

Video below:

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