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Tipsheet

The Economist Just Stepped On A Rake Trying To Smear Ben Shapiro

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

So, apparently conservative commentator and founder of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro is a member of the alt-right. Yes, he’s a member of the far-right movement that is just as viciously anti-Semitic as the far left Democratic loons on the Hill, except that he’s not. The Economistpeddled that trash lie and got roasted for it. Yes, they made the correction, but seriously, how can you make that kind of mistake? This isn’t news that Shapiro isn’t an ally, friends, or peddler of alt-right politics. 

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And to make The Economist’serror even more embarrassing, Shapiro noted his past work that slammed this movement. A simple Google search could have been conducted that would’ve avoided this rake to the face. Shapiro was rightfully furious. Even members of CNN called The Economist out. Robby Soave of Reason has a reason for why the publication made this error. In short, the staffers at The Economist probably didn’t know what "alt-right" means. Also, he interviewed the generalissimo of the movement, Richard Spencer, and yeah—hard to make this mistake if you knew the cast of characters who peddle this trash (via Reason):

Thankfully, The Economist realized its error and quickly changed the headline. Shapiro is now called a "radical conservative," which is more defensible, in that it's not flat-out wrong.

My guess is that The Economist has no idea what the alt-right is and just wanted a headline that rhymed. Perhaps its editors presumed the term just refers to someone who is even more on the right than your standard conservative. But the alt-right is a very specific ideological group that is not really more or less conservative. Its members subscribe to an ideology that they believe should replace the mainstream right.

My forthcoming book ,Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump(pre-order here), includes an entire chapter on the alt-right. I covered some of their rallies and interviewed prominent members, including their best-known leader, Richard Spencer. In brief, the alt-right is a white nationalist movement that promotes an identitarian worldview: They think a person's worth is determined by his membership in a race-based group. The alt-right wants the U.S. to be a place for white Europeans and their descendants, and for the government to promote and protect the interests of white Europeans and their descendants. This is not a movement for black people, Hispanic immigrants, or Jews—all of whom represent a kind of "other" from the standpoint of the alt-right.

Needless to say, these are ugly and overtly racist beliefs. They are also at odds with what Shapiro, as a Jewish man, represents.

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So, Economist—head to the kid’s table. 

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