During the July 8, 2020 episode of her #MalkinLive YouTube show, far-right blogger Michelle Malkin and her guest Steven Franssen lashed out at conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. The pair accused the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire of unfairly maligning far-right and white nationalist figures such as podcaster Nick Fuentes.
Malkin and Franssen are both key figures in the racist “groyper” movement that seeks to push the Republican Party to the right on issues like immigration. Franssen himself has espoused white nationalist and antisemitic beliefs and was once a fixture on the podcast This Week on the Alt-Right before rebranding as an “America First” conservative.
“You know, you did such an amazing job analyzing Ben Shapiro’s UCLA speech,” Malkin told Franssen. “And you really have this sharp, incredibly perceptive, and trenchant understanding of people.” She asked Franssen for a “condensed, CliffNotes [sic] version of Ben Shapiro.”
Shapiro had recently defended Vox columnist Matthew Yglesias after the latter signed onto a widely maligned open letter condemning so-called “cancel culture.” Franssen was angry that Shapiro not only didn’t extend that same courtesy to other, more extreme figures, but has worked to keep them out of the mainstream conservative movement.
“[E]ssentially what [Shapiro’s] done is he’s gotten a lot of people cancelled over the years,” Franssen claimed, including white supremacist and presidential also-ran Pat Buchanan. “He slandered [VDARE founder] Peter Brimelow as a white nationalist; he’s gone after Chuck Johnson, calling him extreme alt-right,” Franssen said.
Peter Brimelow once proclaimed that “There is no quote-unquote ‘diverse America.’ There’s only white America.” His anti-immigrant website VDARE — which Malkin writes for — has advocated for the creation of a white ethnostate. Far-right figure Chuck Johnson has denied the Holocaust and called Black people “dumber” than whites on a fascist podcast.
He pointed out that Shapiro “spoke in glowing terms” of John Derbyshire’s firing from the the National Review, and has “gone after the Proud Boys.” Derbyshire had authored an article for Taki’s Magazine which advised people to “[a]void concentrations of blacks not known to you personally.” The Proud Boys are a violent, neo-fascist hate group.
And Shapiro also gave a thinly veiled criticism of antisemitic podcaster Nick Fuentes, another major figure in the groyper movement. During a speech at Stanford last November, Shapiro “unloaded on far-right figures who traffic in white supremacy and anti-Semitism” without mentioning Fuentes by name, according to the Washington Post.
In a November 8, 2019 tweet Fuentes accused Shapiro of spending “45 minutes insulting & slandering me,” and called for a public debate between the two of them.
“That speech, it was 42 minutes, 45 minutes and slander, slander, slander, mischaracterization, non-argument, non-argument for like 45 minutes but he doesn’t name Nick Fuentes,” Franssen complained. “I don’t know that there are words for that level of treachery.” Fuentes is a Holocaust denier who called Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh a “shabbos goy race traitor” who “work[s] for Jews.”
According to Franssen, Shapiro “went after [Stefan] Molyneux,” a white nationalist and antisemite who was recently banned from SoundCloud, YouTube, and Twitter. Shapiro allegedly accused Molyneux of holding “race theory ideas.” Molyneux has repeatedly expressed his belief that Black and Hispanic people are less intelligent than whites on average.
“So he’s gone after everyone that basically says, with good arguments, that demographics is destiny,” Franssen said. “Demographics is destiny” is a slogan that has become popular with white nationalists who believe white people will become a minority in the U.S. and that this will indelibly change the nation’s politics.
VDARE has posted multiple articles proclaiming variations on this slogan, including one from 2012 titled “Get The Message, People! Demography Is Destiny!” In 2005 white nationalist Jared Taylor of the publication American Renaissance gave a speech titled “Demography is Destiny.” In it he called the belief that it is “desirable to supplement or even replace one’s own people with aliens” the “greatest threat the West faces.”
Franssen continued, saying, “And if you can crowd that out, if you can get that off the table, then [Shapiro] prevents America from cutting ties with certain allegiances, and cutting some programs, and getting rid of things that really have been hampering America First, and middle Americans, for a long time.”
Malkin, in turn, criticized Shapiro for his “silencing of critics of mass migration, his targeting of the America First movement from Pat Buchanan through the current generation, and then of course his very duplicitous embrace of ethnic identities for he but not for anybody else.” Franssen smiled and nodded in agreement on this point.
Malkin then praised Franssen for what she called his “physiognomy checks” of people. Physiognomy is the long discredited practice of using one’s facial features to assess their character traits. Franssen then began assessing Shapiro’s appearance and mannerisms, claiming that from looking at him he can tell Shapiro “wants to lie” to him.
He also claimed that Shapiro’s immorality was taking a toll on his physical appearance, and compared it to other figures like George Soros whom, he said, has “drooping” eyes. Or Jewish presidential adviser Jared Kushner, whom Franssen said looks like he’s “ready to stick a knife in you.” Malkin added that Kushner looks like he wants to “suck your blood.”
This combination of dog whistles and overt racism was not lost on the live stream viewers, however.
Viewers in the live chat referred to Shapiro as a “Gatekeeper heeb,” a “little grabbler” (a reference to a sketch from the satirical outlet The Onion), and a “communist piece of shit.” One told other viewers to read The Culture of Critique by antisemitic academic Kevin MacDonald. Another wrote “the ONLY solution is the final one” — a reference to the Holocaust.
[The following clips are from an hour long episode of #MalkinLive.]