Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro tore into National Public Radio after the outlet published a story accusing him and The Daily Wire of purposefully stoking outrage and political division as a means of building a brand online.
In a series of tweets Monday, Shapiro mocked the public broadcasting company and cited the article focusing on him and some of his colleagues as an example of mainstream media outlets attacking or suppressing alternate viewpoints.
"The establishment media's deep desire to keep people from clicking on stories they want to read, and to re-establish their traditional informational monopoly -- now an effort funded by US taxpayer dollars via NPR -- is truly authoritarian garbage," Shapiro said. "I just wrote about this in my new book coming out next week. This is a clear and present danger to American freedom to access information outside the media they correctly distrust."
I just wrote about this in my new book coming out next week. This is a clear and present danger to American freedom to access information outside the media they correctly distrust. https://t.co/buwKDXCxmj— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 19, 2021
In the NPR piece, published Monday and titled "Outrage as a Business Model: How Ben Shapiro Is Using Facebook To Build An Empire," NPR found the Daily Wire's Facebook page has one of the largest and most interactive followings of any publisher on the social networking site.
The website, which does little original reporting and largely relies instead on aggregating national and local news stories repackaged for a conservative audience, is home to several other prominent right-wing pundits such as Candace Owens and Michael Knowles.
"The Daily Wire has turned anger into an art form and recycled content into a business model," the NPR story reported, noting the outlet has published misleading information about the coronavirus and rare side effects from vaccines, which the nation's leading scientists have repeatedly said are safe and proven to protect against the virus.
NPR's review of stories on The Daily Wire about the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two months found numerous stories about potential side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, the outlet reported, but none "that portrayed the scientifically demonstrated efficacy of the vaccines or that focused explicitly on the hesitancy that has slowed the U.S. rollout."
On his podcasts, blog entries and personal social media postings, Shapiro specifically, NPR noted, "has carved out a rare niche within the conservative media world" by embracing many of the culture war issues former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE championed for conservatives while often stopping short of praising Trump and occasionally criticizing him directly.
NPR has long drawn criticism from conservatives who see its coverage as too far to the left of the political spectrum.
Most recently, the outlet was attacked by right-of-center pundits and commenters for publishing a piece describing the Declaration of Independence as flawed and containing racist language.
"I enjoy the establishment media accusing Daily Wire of using outrage as a business model after spending years building their subscriptions by selling rabid, hysterical outrage over everything Trump-related," Shapiro said in a separate Twitter post. "So much so that they're STILL printing Trump stories for the clicks."