Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro says in a new book that conservatives are getting bullied by the liberals — even by mild-mannered NBC news anchor Brian Williams.
“Brian Williams is an excellent example of how the media bullies the right,” said Shapiro, author of the new book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans,” in an email.
“He claims objectivity, but he’s obviously a leftist. I don’t mind bias – I’m biased. But I don’t lie about it. He sits atop NBC News, then allows his news outlet to slander George Zimmerman as a ‘white’ guy (he’s Hispanic), cut Zimmerman’s 911 tape to make him look racist, and broadcast repeated accusations of a racist cover-up in Sanford, Florida. He questions whether Sarah Palin should have run for vice president not because he questioned her credentials, but because she had a newborn child (imagine if he’d done that to any liberal woman).”
“NBC News is a disaster area, an unholstered weapon for the left,” he added. “Brian Williams heads it. Meanwhile, he pretends at sitting above the fray. It’s despicable.”
Shapiro’s book argues that liberal bullying occurs in many different arenas — not just the media — and it’s time for conservatives to fight back. But does he really believe that conservatives are so enfeebled?
“Not all conservatives are enfeebled,” he said. “But they are on the defensive. Instead of responding to accusations of racism by calling out their accusers as cheap smear artists who forward racism by watering down the term, conservatives try to explain why they aren’t racist. That’s a losing tactic.”
But more than “typical conservatives” being bullied, Shapiro argues “apolitical Americans who just want to keep their heads down and do their jobs” are being bullied by the left to keep their conservative opinions to themselves.
“They are cast as the bad guys, though, if they dare to question liberal policy,” he said of these apolitical Americans.
See TheDC’s full interview with Shapiro about his book, how conservatives should respond to the bullying he writes about and if any of his views have changed in the decade since he became the youngest conservative columnist in the country at 17.
Why did you decide to write the book?
In 2008, America was promised a new era in politics. Then-Senator Obama campaigned on the idea that he was a uniter, not a divider. He said he wanted not red states or blue states, but the United States. He was a liar. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, however, the left has shed all pretense of civility. They’re not interested in political conversation. They see it as an obstacle to their agenda. Why bother discussing the best solutions to America’s problems when you can simply label your opposition morally deficient in some way?
Now, that tactic is nothing new – the left has been playing the race card, the sexist card, the class warfare card for decades. But it has accelerated to the point where the President of the United States now uses the power of his office to cow his opposition by combining with forces outside government like Media Matters. That is something new. And it should be a troubling development for everyone who considers politics a business of solutions rather than a business of demagoguery.
What do you mean by bullying? How exactly do liberals bully conservatives?
There are many types of bullying. Obviously, the worst form is the sort of physical intimidation we see from union thugs in Michigan, or the New Black Panthers threatening voters with nightsticks in Philadelphia – and the Department of Justice ignoring all of it. But in general, by bullying I mean the tendency of those on the left to attempt to silence their opposition by driving them from the political square entirely. Republicans lost in 2012 because of this bullying. Conservatives are used to a generally civil debate; Mitt Romney attempted to define President Obama as a good man, a patriot who was largely incompetent. Barack Obama and the left defined Mitt Romney as an evil fellow who fired employees so that their wives would die of cancer, strapped dogs to the roof of his car, forcibly chopped the hair of gay kids, and carried around binders full of women because he hated them. Conservatives wanted to talk about policy; the left wanted to talk about character. Many conservatives shut up because of that. And we lost.