While ‘Just Be Honest Ben Shapiro’ is the best Ben Shapiro, the far more prevalent ‘Virtue Signal’ and ‘Ride The Fence’ Ben Shapiros are how he’s best known and has been for several years.
‘Just Be Honest Ben Shapiro’ was a luxury afforded to the conservative publisher, author and commentator before he presided over the birth and death of now-defunct TruthRevolt.com; a failed conservative media venture funded primarily by David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, but led in every substantive way by the intellectually interesting and professionally inexperienced Shapiro.
With that truly unfortunate failure under his belt, critics say Shapiro became jaded with respect to the craft of and commitment to unafraid conservative media — and became more interested in branding himself and his ventures in what he perceived to be more durable ways.
As is the case with Charlie Sykes (Bulwark) and Jonah Goldberg (The Dispatch), their much smarter and better looking younger brother Ben Shapiro has taken the long view that Trump and “Trumpism” won’t be around forever, and they want to be on record as having consistently opposed it so when the legacy media and GOP take over again in 2025, they’re not cast aside as traitors to the swamp’s ways and means.
Unlike Sykes and Goldberg however, Shapiro’s persistent disdain for President Trump is hedged against his infrequent, cautiously tepid praise and/or defense of the president.
And thus was born “Ride The Fence Ben Shapiro,” who in pursuit of a durable and universal brand will never let Jonah Goldberg or Jake Tapper view him as some simpleton rube who’s capable of actually supporting President Trump, but still manages to squeeze in at least a shred of intellectually honest yeoman’s work in defense of Trump amid the vast sea of intellectually dishonest attacks that are so pervasive among virtually the entirety of the corporate media.
Way to go, Ben. Thanks so much for your help.
Far more awful however than “Ride The Fence Ben Shapiro,” is “Virtue Signal Ben Shapiro.”
“Virtue Signal Ben Shapiro” is what we get the vast majority of the time he’s attacking President Trump. And a great example of that came today when Shapiro pretended not to understand politics and political messaging and the way President Trump navigates both.
Pretending to be shaken to his core that President Trump would assert enthusiasm for the prospect of re-opening America and liberating citizens of the draconian and dictatorial orders we inexplicably allowed ourselves to fall victim to, Shapiro lashed out with snark at the president in what he packaged as a virtue signal-heavy assertion of his own appreciation for the gravity of the moment.
In an effort to rally and inspire the citizens of states such as Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota, President Trump did what he does: he packaged a big idea compelling meaningful change in a simple message that would inspire those who liked it just as effectively as it distracted the opposition who would hate it no matter how it was worded or delivered.
And “Virtue Signal Ben Shapiro” was having none of it…
Shapiro then proceeded to explain himself in more detail across 5 more equally virtue signal-happy tweets, all of which were roundly “ratioed” by a Twitter following that’s become very familiar with Shapiro’s intense need for approval from the Goldbergs and Tappers of the world.
In a rare rebuke to either “Ride The Fence” or “Virtue Signal” Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway called him out for what she first and most persistently identified among the media elites as being their feigned inability to understand President Trump’s communication style and meaning (ie, most of the time the media elites understand exactly what President Trump meant and why he said it, but they pretend not to because it makes it easier to attack him for it):
Shapiro then shot back, clinging to his “But I’m just here to help and I don’t understand his tweets and he’s an idiot!” defense:
I’m not sure if Mollie will reply again but you can follow her and see for yourself any time. For my part, I just wanted to document that “Ride The Fence” and “Virtue Signal” Ben Shapiro are the most pervasive Ben Shapiros you’ll find these days, and I wanted to articulate what I observe to be the reason why, and to give you at least one recent example that merited some exposure.
For his part, Shapiro would no doubt read a piece like this and scoff: “Just another uneducated Trump cultist who doesn’t appreciate my brain and can’t handle my strikes-and-balls straight talk!”
But that’s not reality. It’s not even close. And just like leftists who truly believe they’re “helping” when they say it’s a virtue to judge people by color instead of character, and who say that unless you’re willing to completely absolve women of the thousands of choices they freely make before getting pregnant then you’re a Nazi who thinks women should have no choice at all, and who claim that academia isn’t part of the Institutional Left’s 3-legged stool in conjunction with Hollywood and the media, and that combined they push hysterical claims about things like climate crises and coronaviruses that all will kill us tomorrow unless we submit to a massively big government solution — just like all of them, Shapiro no doubt thinks what he’s doing is noble and just.
He believes that if he plays his cards right and can somehow balance not falling in the dreaded “Trump supporter” camp while simultaneously not completely revealing his utter disdain for the man who demoted and/or fired virtually the entire conservative media and messaging community that Shapiro grew up in, that he’ll be able to do more good later than harm now.
And who knows. In his case, unlike the aggressively regressive leftists with whom I suggested he maintains at least some congruency, he may be right. In the long run, if we get a “Just Be Honest Ben Shapiro” back, that’ll be a really good thing.
But in the mean time his “Ride The Fence” and “Virtue Signal” personas are the most glaring, and without question the “Virtue Signal” version is the far more grating of the two. Especially right now when we just saw more than 20 million Americans lose their jobs, virtually all of us who aren’t millionaires lose much of our retirement and life savings, and all of us incur trillions more in debt that we’re now on the hook for — amid all of that, which happened thanks to the ill-informed virtue signaling of every key player involved, watching “Virtue Signal Ben Shapiro” angrily pretend he doesn’t understand and sees only detriment stemming from Trump’s communication style and goals, is particularly painful. And it was worth getting that down paper because Ben if you’re listening: We all miss “Just Be Honest Ben Shapiro” very much, and wish you’d reconnect with that version of yourself even if means Jonah Goldberg and Jake Tapper won’t respect you as much.
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