By Jonathon Van Maren
Every so often, the left-wing media provides a perfect example of why they should not be taken seriously—and showcases, for all to see, their willingness to engage in nasty smears for the purpose of scoring cheap political points. North99, a Toronto non-profit that creates “progressive content and opinion with the goal of shifting opinion and making Canada a more fair, equal, and inclusive country,” actually claims that a key reason for their decision to join the media scene is the fact that “Canada is becoming swamped with right-wing media,” which will be news to those of us who are right-wing and consume media.
While the volunteer activists—they most certainly are neither writers or researchers—at North99 are familiar with scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to twist events to suit their narrative (Example of a recent headline: “Stephen Harper defends Donald Trump’s nationalism days after Trump skips Remembrance ceremony due to rain”), one of their anonymous content-providers dipped across the line into slander with coverage of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s sit-down with Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro over the weekend, in which they discussed populism and Harper’s new book Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption.
North99 announced this interview with the following headline: “Stephen Harper grants interview to ex-Breitbart writer accused of influencing Quebec City mosque shooter.” In the few hundred words that follow that impressively tortured description, North99 accuses Shapiro of being an inspiration to a mosque bomber because the terrorist was one of his 1.73 million Twitter followers (indicating that the content provider is unaware of how Twitter works) and—even more notably—does not bother to mention that Shapiro is an “ex-Breitbart” writer because he had a public falling out with Steve Bannon and disliked the platform’s dog-whistles to the alt-right and their uncritical allegiance to Donald Trump.
Ben Shapiro is the most articulate defender of establishment Republican conservatism as well as a staunch social conservative: He is a free-market capitalist, strict constitutionalist, very pro-life, and dismisses gender ideology as, well, an ideology. As a religious Jew, he is a believer in traditional marriage (although he thinks the government should simply stay out of the marriage business altogether.) Those facts give most left-wing writers more than enough legitimate disagreements to yowl about, and so to see some progressive content-provider attempt to smear Shapiro by accusing him of inspiring mass murderers while connecting him to the organization he quit working for over ideological disagreements is equal parts tiresome and disgusting.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.