The Daily Wire co-founder and editor emeritus Ben Shapiro appeared to nudge the outlet’s host Candace Owens to quit over recent posts to X regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In the wake of Hamas’ attack against Israel on Oct. 7, Owens has posted comments on X, formerly Twitter, that were critical of pro-Israel advocates.
“No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever,” Owens said in a Nov. 3 post. “There is no justification for genocide. I can’t believe this even needs to be said or is even considered the least bit controversial to state.”
The same day, she quoted a post from Dave Rubin in which the podcaster sarcastically told her “thank you for taking a strong stand against Hamas’ stated genocide of the Jews, which is in their charter.”
She replied, “In short—if the blanket statement that genocide is wrong upsets you in any way, then you need to check yourself. I said exactly what I meant and I won’t be backing down or apologizing or further clarifying this statement.”
In short— If the blanket statement that genocide is wrong upsets you in any way, then you need to check yourself.
I said exactly what I meant and I won’t be backing down or apologizing or further clarifying this statement. https://t.co/raqOptaqIc
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) November 3, 2023
In another post responding to Rubin, she wrote, “What’s amazing about this is that I did not name any country in this tweet. I simply stated that genocide is wrong—ALWAYS. This is not a controversial stance.”
The apparent disconnect in outlook between Owens and Shapiro reached a flashpoint when a video of The Daily Wire co-founder calling the Candace host’s comments “disgraceful” and “disreputable” went viral.
“She still works for my company,” he said. “And I think she’s been absolutely disgraceful. I think that her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous.”
Ben Shapiro slams colleague @RealCandaceO for her “absolutely disgraceful behavior” in front of a visibly shocked audience.
Shapiro goes on, saying “her faux-sophistication on this issue is ridiculous.”
Tensions rising at Daily Wire? pic.twitter.com/ao5pWbuWfj
— autumn groyper (@autumngroyper) November 14, 2023
In a Nov. 14 post, Owens quoted the following scripture from the New Testament:
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
She added, in a subsequent post, “Christ is King.”
In a Wednesday evening quote post, Shapiro responded: “Candace, if you feel that taking money from The Daily Wire somehow comes between you and God, by all means quit.”
Candace, if you feel that taking money from The Daily Wire somehow comes between you and God, by all means quit. https://t.co/qachKhAuHo
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 15, 2023
Owens fired back: “You have been acting unprofessional and emotionally unhinged for weeks now. And we have all had to sit back and allow it and have all tried to exercise exceeding understanding for your raw emotion.”
She added: “But you cross a certain line when you come for scripture and read yourself into it. I will not tolerate it.”
Pundits on X swiftly weighed in on the exchange.
I am genuinely confused why asking questions and quoting Bible verses about peace warrants a call to resign from Dailywire. There should be more room in the conservative movement for disagreement. We can do better than this. https://t.co/crFLcM2Atg
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 15, 2023
He’s become indistinguishable from a far left wing identity politics woke psycho. He’s working the soft cancel culture angle now. “I didn’t fire Candace, she quit!” But he should also look up what a constructive termination is.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) November 15, 2023
Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro in the ultimate Grifter vs. Grifter showdown. pic.twitter.com/Oy5P6bQLLB
— Marvin Shackelford (@WorderFarmer) November 16, 2023
All of us watching Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro right now pic.twitter.com/PPrgIEiAKm
— Eric Spracklen🇺🇸 (@EricSpracklen) November 16, 2023
The real battle isn’t between Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro, it’s between all of the censored people that lost their jobs and accounts that no one stood up for at all, and all of the establishment gatekeepers, many of whom cheered in secret when the former were banned from social… https://t.co/XY9Nc2ehaz
— Craig R. Brittain (@RealBrittain) November 16, 2023
On Wednesday evening, Tucker posted an interview with Owens on X where they touched on the issue.
“I saw the video when everybody else saw it when I woke up,” she said, referencing the viral video featuring Shapiro. “It looks like maybe he didn’t know he was being recorded. … I can’t respond to it beyond what he’s saying because it’s just ad hominem attacks.”
Ep. 39 Candace Owens responds to Ben Shapiro.
(00:00) Candace is attacked – even when she’s right
(4:27) Ben Shapiro’s comments
(12:50) The emotional response to news out of Israel
(23:05) Nikki Haley vs. free speech
(30:34) 2024 predictions pic.twitter.com/VOThqpQQ48
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 15, 2023
Leftist pundit Brian Krassenstein said, in response to the interview, “I have to give Owens credit for remaining above the petty tit-for-tat attacks. I disagree with her on many issues, but she showed character here.”
I have to give Owens credit for remaining above the petty tit-for-tat attacks. I disagree with her on many issues, but she showed character here.
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) November 15, 2023
Owens thanked Krassenstein for his response.
“Genuinely chooses to pause and read the Bible has calmed me in times when I normally choose to be emotionally reactive,” she wrote. “I am glad you enjoyed the interview and I hope that even if you don’t agree with my viewpoints, you can respect the differences we might have,”