While President Obama and the left like to pretend that they oppose bullying with all their hearts and souls, the truth is far darker: the left is the greatest purveyor of bullying in modern American history. Bullying has morphed into the left’s go-to tactic, as they attempt to quash their opponents through fear, threat of force, violence, and rhetorical intimidation on every major issue facing America today.
In Bullies, Ben Shapiro uncovers the simple strategy used by liberals and their friends in the media: bully the living hell out of conservatives. Play the race card, the class card, the sexism card. Use any and every means at your disposal to demonize your opposition—to shut them up. Then pretend that such bullying is justified, because, after all, conservatives are the true bullies, and need to be taught a lesson for their intolerance. Hidden beneath the left’s supposed hatred of bullying lies a passionate love of its vulgar tactics.
Dubbed by Glenn Beck “a warrior for conservatism, against those who use fear and intimidation to stifle honest debate,” Shapiro takes on the leftist bullies—the most despicable people in America. By exposing their hypocrisy, he offers conservatives a reality check in the face of what has become the gravest threat to American liberty: the left’s single-minded focus on ending political debate through bully tactics.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
For decades, the biggest problem for conservatives—and the biggest advantage for liberals—has been the fact that conservatives think individually, while liberals think institutionally. Think about politics in terms of religious outreach. Conservatives are like Jehovah’s Witnesses, going door to door, trying to convince people of the truth of their teachings. Liberals are like radical Muslims, toppling governments and installing shariah law, then forcibly converting enormous masses of the population.
That’s why all the major instruments of political persuasion are in the hands of liberals. And it’s also why liberalism, though almost invariably based on pernicious and dangerous misinterpretation at best, and outright falsehood at worst, has been ascendant in America for the last hundred years.
Look at every major bully move by the left over the past few decades and you’ll be able to spot the coordination between the left’s instruments. The politicians and regulators work with the unions; the unions work with the journalists; the journalists work with the Hollywood clique; the Hollywood clique works with the leftist charitable foundations; the leftist charitable foundations work with the university professors; the university professors work with the judges. And all of them work with each other.
There is only one way to make an institution conservativerein. It has to be purged.
Now, in America, we generally don’t look fondly on Soviet-style purges, complete with gulags and hastily dug graves. And so the American left has stayed away from that sort of thing. The left has taken advantage, however, of the American freedom to employ and work with whom you choose. The left doesn’t do anything illegal in preventing their ideological opponents from working. They just do something tremendously immoral—and unbelievably hypocritical, considering that they want private religious schools to have to employ transvestites who show up one day wearing a feather boa and a tutu.
To understand just how the system of bullying works, we need to explore how the left took over the institutions that enable that bullying—and we have to take a look at how the current system works.
On April 18, 2006, police arrested Duke University lacrosse players Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty for the alleged rape and kidnapping of stripper Crystal Mangum. Mangum had falsely accused three white lacrosse players of raping her at a March party; the entire 2006 Duke lacrosse season was ultimately canceled.
The media couldn’t get enough of the case. They quickly turned it into an example of white-on-black racism, brutal exploitation in the mold of pre–Civil War slavery. Amanda Marcotte, a feminist bully blogger, attacked CNN for not immediately condemning the accused: “Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.” A few months later, Marcotte was hired by the John Edwards presidential campaign as an official blogger.1 (As it turned out, there was actually a better shot that John Edwards had had sex with Crystal Mangum than that the Duke lacrosse players had.)
Marcotte may have been the loudest of the bunch, but she certainly wasn’t the only journalist preternaturally eager to beat Duke lacrosse with a stripper pole. USA Today tracked down a Duke graduate student to complain, “I’m still afraid that the people involved will just get a slap on the wrist. Because of Duke’s culture of privilege and superiority, they’ll get away with it.” That same reporter also lauded Duke students for distributing a flyer that “looked like a wanted poster: 40 faces of young men, smiling smugly for the camera. . . . These men are wanted on the Duke campus.” Janet Reitman of Rolling Stone “reported” on Duke’s “retro view of rape.”2 Reitman did not report on the strippers’ retro view of perjury.
Nancy Grace of CNN led the disgraceful posse looking to string up the Duke defendants sans evidence. On June 9, 2006, Grace interviewed a local North Carolina reporter, who expressed the widespread sentiment that the case was falling apart already. Grace quickly whipped a Hitler mustache out of her back pocket and stapled it to the guy’s upper lip: “Well I’m glad you have already decided the outcome of the case, based on all of the defense filings. Why don’t we just all move to Nazi Germany, where we don’t have a justice system and a jury of one’s peers? What about it, Joe Lawless?”3
The New York Times, too, worked to keep the case alive, even as it began to crumble. Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater penned a piece in August 2006 stating, “By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.”4
Except that there wasn’t a body of evidence to support it. As it turned out, the stripper accuser had told a second dancer at the lacrosse party to “put marks on me” to fake injury after the party; Nifong admitted he hadn’t talked to the alleged victim as late as October. DNA tests showed no DNA from the supposed rapists. Seligmann, it turned out, had a solid alibi. Nifong, who was running for reelection as he was pursuing the case, ended up dropping it and resigning his job. But not before the Times ran more than one hundred pieces on the case.5
Even after the Duke lacrosse rape case fell apart, the liberal media wouldn’t let it go. “As students of Duke University or other elite institutions, these young men will get on with their privileged lives,” wrote Terry Moran of ABCNews.com. “They are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.”6 The Rutgers basketball team had indeed been foolishly and nastily slandered as “nappy-headed hos” by radio host Don Imus, generating national headlines. But the Duke lacrosse team had been accused of a brutal lynch raping, which could have resulted in long prison sentences—and at the very least, would follow them the rest of their lives. But Terry Moran was comparing the two. Somehow, this didn’t pass the smell test.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse fiasco, those in the media held their noses and admitted culpability. “It was too delicious a story,” said former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent. “It conformed too well to too many preconceived notions of too many in the press: white over black, rich over poor, athletes over non-athletes, men over women, educated over non-educated. Wow. That’s a package of sins that really fit the preconceptions of a lot of us.”7
This was the crux of the matter. It wasn’t that the media was fooled. They have the same reasoning skills as the rest of us—and it was clear within days of the Duke lacrosse allegations that the case was somewhere between the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot on the truth scale. So why didn’t they catch on to the fact that all of this was less credible than Paris Hilton swearing chastity? Because they wanted it to be true. They needed it to be true. They had an agenda. And they were going to ensure that the story played out the way they wanted it to. The facts were irrelevant.
In the case of the Duke lacrosse faux rape, there was no real coordination between the media and other leftist power institutions. But often, that isn’t the case. In situations of national importance, there is clear and convincing evidence of collusion between the leftist media and leftist politicians, interest groups, and other power brokers. And the media is the tip of that spear. They’re the new IRS, sicced by the organized Democratic infrastructure to destroy anyone who dares defy them. While the much-derided blogosphere breaks virtually every big story these days—Weinergate, Rathergate, Trayvon Martin—the mainstream media lag behind. And snipes. Tina Brown of Newsweek, a formerly great publication recently sold for the bargain-basement price of one dollar, suggests that those in the blogosphere aren’t “real journalists.”
And she’s right. She’s right because all the real journalists are Democratic Party hacks.
In March 2009, Politico—a publication that used to play at objectivity, but has become an obviously key cog in the left-wing media—revealed the existence of “an off-the-record online meeting space called JournoList.” The list was formed by Ezra Klein, a blogger for the far-left American Prospect—and who later became a columnist for the Washington Post. “Basically,” he told Politico, “it’s just a list where journalists and policy wonks can discuss issues freely.” Which journalists? Eric Alterman of the Nation; Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker; Paul Krugman of the New York Times; writers from the Huffington Post, Politico, Newsweek. The list went on and on.
And they sure did coordinate. In April 2008, journalists suddenly began ripping ABC’s Democratic presidential debate coverage—particularly the focus on Barack Obama’s longtime mentor and pastor Jeremiah Wright. It seemed like a grassroots phenomenon. Not quite. Politico reported, “POLITICO contacted nearly three dozen current JList members for this story. The majority either declined to comment or didn’t respond to interview requests—and then returned to JList to post items on why they wouldn’t be talking to POLITICO about what goes on there.” But, said Toobin, “No one’s pushing an agenda.”8
In June 2009, Andrew Breitbart offered one hundred thousand dollars for a full emporium of all the JournoList emails. Nobody at JournoList took him up on the offer, though Ben Smith, then of Politico, played defense for JournoList: “This is a classic case in which secrecy produces wild imaginings. There aren’t many good conspiracies involving 400 people, some of them ideologues, some columnists, some mainstream media types like me who enjoyed access to that conversation, as I sometimes enjoy access to private conservative conversations at venues like New York’s off-record conservative Monday Meeting.”9 (Ben Smith, it’s worth noting, minimizes left-wing scandal so often that John Nolte, one of my Breitbart News colleagues, has coined a term for the tactic: Ben-Smithing.) The point, of course, wasn’t that every email in the JournoList chain was solid gold. The point was that these reporters were coordinating messages. Left-wing messages.
Klein, who organized the list, admitted it. “The membership would range from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left. I didn’t like that rule, but I thought it necessary. . . . What I didn’t expect was that a member of the list, or someone given access by a member of the list, would trawl through the archives to assemble a dossier of quotes from one particular member and then release them to an interested media outlet to embarrass him. But that’s what happened to David Weigel.”10
Weigel was, at the time, a Washington Post reporter. His job there was to report on conservatives.
You can guess what happened next.
On JournoList, it turned out, Weigel had been putting out one rabidly anti-conservative email after another. When Rush Limbaugh had chest pains, Weigel wrote, “I hope he fails. . . . Too soon?” Weigel wrote that conservatives used the media to “violently, angrily divide America,” mainly because they were racists protecting “white privilege.” And, of course, he went after the daddy of all right-wing influence wielders, Matt Drudge: “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.” As for Sarah Palin: “Let’s move the f—on already.” And on James O’Keefe, the man who broke ACORN, after O’Keefe’s runin with Louisiana authorities: “He’s either going to get a radio talk show or start a prison ministry. That’s was [sic] successful conservative ratf—ers do for their second acts.”11 Weigel had to step down from his job at the Post—and promptly began reporting for Slate. Had Weigel been a conservative masquerading at objectivity and unmasked politically, he would have found himself demonized by the mainstream media. But Weigel undoubtedly will at some point find himself serving in a Democratic administration. Then, after that, he can moderate presidential debates. After all, if it worked for George “the Keebler Elf” Stephanopoulos . . .
Now, none of this is to argue that conservative journalists don’t talk among themselves and with people on their side of the political aisle. Of course they do. But they also don’t hide behind the façade of objectivity. Michelle Malkin is conservative. So is Sean Hannity. Bill O’Reilly is a populist. Rush Limbaugh’s a conservative. Conservative journalists are opinion journalists—and that doesn’t stop them from breaking stories. In fact, it’s that nonobjectivity that makes them more honest than the supposedly above-it-all crowd at the New York Times, which secretly shills for the Obama administration.
But the left-wing journalistic establishment, which actively fights to keep right-wingers out, as Bernard Goldberg of CBS News pointed out in his book Bias, still pretends that they’re not biased. And that means that as their profit margins shrink, they call for aid from government. For the same reason that the government supports National Public Radio, they suggest, the government ought to support them.
Not surprisingly, President Obama thinks this is a great idea. “I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” he said of prospective bills that would grant tax breaks to failing newspapers to turn nonprofit. “I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking,” said Obama, “no serious attempts to put stories into context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.”12
Or you might get a variety of voices that report the news from different angles. You could even call it something creative . . . like the “blogosphere,” or something. You might end the hegemony of a Democratic journalistic establishment dedicated to upholding liberalism at all costs. And God knows, the media couldn’t allow that—the left couldn’t deal with the loss of control of viewpoint. The kind of control they had on the JournoList. And most of all, Obama couldn’t allow that. If he did, what would happen to him, and the movement that stands behind him?
In 2004, perverse former conservative David Brock, a highly paranoid alleged drug devotee, founded Media Matters for America. It was an offshoot of the John Podesta–run Center for American Progress (CAP). Podesta, of course, was the former chief of staff to President Clinton, and CAP was a liberal nonprofit designed to act as an outlet for leftist politicians and viewpoints. CAP originally granted office space to Media Matters; Hillary Clinton advised it, and one of her closest confidants received some $200,000 to help out.13 Clinton even explained, “I only wish that we had this active and fighting blogosphere about 15 years ago because we have certainly suffered over the last years from a real imbalance in the political world in our country. But we are righting that balance—or lefting that balance—not sure which, and we are certainly better prepared and more focused on taking our arguments and making them effective and disseminating them widely and really putting together a network in the blogosphere in a lot of the new progressive infrastructure—institutions that I helped to start and support like Media Matters and Center for American Progress. We’re beginning to match what I had said for years was the advantage of the other side.”14
The goal of Media Matters was simple: play defense for liberal politicians. And do it by attacking mercilessly all right-wing points of view.
Media Matters’ bias is so obvious that even wild leftists like NBC’s Chuck Todd, who has a shrine to President Obama complete with lubricants and scented candles, can’t deal with them. Back in 2007, he pointed out that Media Matters was shilling for its erstwhile ally, Hillary, with a list of don’ts suggested for debate moderators. “Their ‘don’ts’ read more like facetious attacks on Edwards and Obama—right out of the oppo shop of either the RNC or, say, opponents of Edwards and Obama. By repeating these things, isn’t Media Matters doing Clinton or other opponents of Edwards and Obama a favor?”15 Or, as David Folkenflik of NPR put it, “They’re looking at every dangling participle, every dependent clause, every semicolon, every quotation—to see if there’s some way it unfairly frames a cause, a party, a candidate, that they may have some feelings for.”16
It didn’t matter. The left loved it. As the New York Times reported, producers for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report coordinate regularly with Media Matters. James Carville, master Democrat strategist, says, “It was always kind of a dream, that we needed something like that.”17
The funding flowed in, especially from leftist bullies like George Soros and the Tides Foundation. By November 2008, the organization—which, remember, provided no actual services other than Alinskyite distortion of conservative words—had grown to more than one hundred employees and $8 million in budget. While its longtime boss, Eric Burns, insisted that the organization had “leveled the playing field and maybe given Barack Obama a fair shake,” he said, “I’m not the Obama campaign. We’re an independent organization not beholden to anybody. . . . It’s bigger than any one candidate, it’s bigger than any one election.”18
This is Media Matters’ favorite line. They constantly say they’re not coordinating with President Obama. That’s a lie.
As it turns out, Media Matters is in the back pocket of the Obama administration—and acts as their go-between for other media outlets. When Brock wasn’t too busy reportedly indulging in illicit substances,19 he raised $50,000 for Obama. What’s more shocking is that Brock’s organization coordinates on a weekly basis with the White House. They were planning to spend some $20 million in 2012 to help Obama. Anita Dunn, a high-ranking Obama administration member, used to visit the Media Matters headquarters regularly.
And they scored hit after hit against Obama enemy after Obama enemy. As the Daily Caller reported, they worked with other groups like ColorOfChange, Van Jones’s nonprofit, to organize astroturfed campaigns against figures like Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs.
But just as importantly, they were funneling White House talking points to media outlets, which were willingly taking them. “In ’08 it became pretty apparent MSNBC was going left,” one source told the Caller. “They were using our research to write their stories.” Media Matters staffers apparently called MSNBC president Phil Griffin regularly. They were also in touch with Greg Sargent of the Washington Post; Daily Kos; Sam Stein and Nico Pitney of Huffington Post; Jim Rainey at the Los Angeles Times; Eugene Robinson and E. J. Dionne at the Washington Post; and Brian Stelter at the New York Times. And, of course, Ben Smith. If a reporter didn’t work with Media Matters and published something Media Matters didn’t like, they’d get smacked by thousands of emails inundating them for bias.20
How close was the coordination between Media Matters and the White House? So close that Alan Dershowitz, no ardent right-winger, suggested that he’d support President Obama only if he disassociated from Media Matters. Why? Media Matters’ senior foreign policy reporter, M. J. Rosenberg, was a massive anti-Semite who routinely used the white supremacist phrase “Israel Firsters” when describing pro-Israel Jews.21
Within a few weeks, Rosenberg had stepped down at Media Matters. Rosenberg himself spelled out the rationale for his resignation: “The reason for this step is that it disturbed me greatly to see an organization to which I am devoted facing possible harm because of my critical writings about Israel. I have no doubt that the crowd that opposes any and all criticism of Israeli government policies will continue to turn its guns on Media Matters if I am associated with it. I could not live with myself if that happened—not only because I care deeply about the organization and my colleagues, but also because Media Matters does such important work confronting the lies that emanate from the far right and especially Fox News.”22
In other words, President Obama told Media Matters to toss Rosenberg under the bus. Rosenberg would still be able to use Media Matters resources, of course.
Now, all of this would be fine and dandy, except for one small problem: Media Matters is a charitable nonprofit organization. One element of that status: organizations can’t “attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities” or “participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” In particular, Media Matters is distinguished from its conservative counterparts by the fact that it actually engages in partisan training for Democratic campaigns—like the “Progressive Talent Initiative”—and the fact that it’s covertly coordinating with the White House regularly.23
It’s entirely possible that Media Matters isn’t violating its nonprofit status. But the 501(c)3 world has come to be dominated by liberal organizations that bully the living hell out of their opponents in a way no conservative organization does or would. Leading boycotts against Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Don Imus, and Lou Dobbs? Par for the course for Media Matters, Center for American Progress, and the myriad other leftist surrogates set up by Democratic Party hacks. The use of such organizations to bully conservatives into silence is just the latest tool in the liberal arsenal. They want fewer voices, not more. And they’ll work with their political allies to achieve their fascistic vision of politics.
There is no less tolerant place on the planet than the faculty lounges of America’s major universities. Not only is dissent not tolerated, it’s not even acknowledged to exist. Every poll of college faculty ever taken has shown an unhinged imbalance between conservatives and liberals on campuses. A recent 2012 poll showed that for every conservative professor, there were at least three liberals. And a full third openly admitted that ideology entered the classroom.24 Older polls show a full 72 percent of American university and college faculty identifying as liberal, with just 15 percent conservative. At top universities, that statistic is 87 percent to 13 percent.25
Big government is worshipped on campus. While 60 percent of professors said that Ronald Reagan wasn’t one of America’s top ten presidents, a full 54 percent of professors, polled in 2012, thought that Franklin Roosevelt was America’s best president ever—they must have missed those eight long years of the Great Depression prior to the start of World War II. If it weren’t for FDR, the Great Depression would have been a lot less Great, and a lot less Depressed. But according to college professors, FDR is God.26 If there were a God, that is. College professors are significantly less religious than the general public. Over half of professors say they never or rarely go to religious services; just 31 percent say they go to religious services regularly.27
Anti-Americanism runs rampant on college campuses. In fact, America’s campuses are the only places where these ne’er-do-wells can find a job that doesn’t involve a mop and a pail. Who else would employ former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman and Obama bestie Rashid Khalidi? Or pay a rapping racialist who preaches communist theory upward of six figures to travel around the country lamenting the fate of poor blacks, as Cornel West does? Or keep fake Native Americans who believe that the victims of September 11 were “little Eichmanns” employed, as University of Colorado did with Ward Churchill? Or pick up the tab on terrorist professor Sami Al-Arian, who supported Hamas financially? The list of unmentionably bad employees goes on and on. And all of them are employed by the universities.
The question isn’t why universities see fit to hand over six-figure salaries to unrepentant former terrorists Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. The question is why there’s nobody on the other side of the aisle. And the answer is simple: in order to become a professor, you need other professors to oversee your Ph.D. studies. You can’t hope to butt up against the liberal infrastructure and win. Conservatives are automatically weeded out of the system. Try getting a Ph.D. with a thesis about how FDR’s policies destroyed America’s fiscal health for the next century. Then get ready to distribute résumés to local fast-food joints.
So how did colleges become so liberal? Back in the 1940s and 1950s, colleges weren’t nearly as liberal as they are now. But in the 1960s, college faculty decided it was easier to appease rampaging leftist students than to deal with them. They came to an agreement with the wildebeests: stop taking over the buildings and locking the doors, and we’ll start teaching you about how America sucks. The professorial strategy on America’s college campuses was the same as the management style there: surrender. Even as idiot smelly hippies rioted and brought the National Guard down upon them, America’s leading leftist intellectual lights enabled them. “The present generation of young people in our universities are the best informed, the most intelligent and the most idealistic this country has ever known,” said Professor Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School, my alma mater. That same year, 1968, there were well over two hundred demonstrations at American universities. It was students who led the violence at the Democratic National Convention that same year. No wonder Professor Louis Kampf of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology admitted, “[T]he young go into the profession with dread, the old can scarcely wait for retirement, and those of the middle years yearn for sabbaticals.”28
Do colleges have an impact on the kids who attend them? You bet they do. Even though you thought you were ignoring your professor and chatting up the hot blonde in the back of your Philosophy 101 course, chances are that you had to take a final in that course. And chances are that if you wanted to do well in that final, citing Ayn Rand probably wasn’t the best strategy. There’s a reason studies show that people skew more liberal the longer they’re in school. As of 2010, just 25 percent of people who graduated from high school supported same-sex marriage; for college graduates, that was 39 percent; for master’s students, that was 46 percent. And students don’t get smarter over the same period—surveys also show that college seniors know just as little about basic civics as college freshmen do.29 However, they do know infinitely more about where to find free condoms, and what environmentalist lines work best on idealistic leftist coeds (hint: the answer is “I work with dolphins”).
The level of intolerance on college campuses for traditionally conservative thinking is astonishing. Religious people find themselves under assault from professors and administrations that despise their thinking. And meanwhile, those professors and administrators get paid substantial sums to generate white papers on behalf of liberal politicians. Want to be quoted in the New York Times about how evil George W. Bush is? Just grab a job at a top university. After all, the media’s always looking for someone they can tag an “expert.”
That’s why Barack Obama and his cronies are constantly seeking to put more people into the college system. In his 2012 State of the Union address, he referred to kids going to college as an element of the “basic American promise.” In February 2009, he said to a joint session of Congress, “Tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training . . . every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.” And in September 2011, he said, “Not only do you have to graduate from high school, but you’re going to have to continue education after you leave. You have to not only graduate, but you’ve got to keep going after you graduate.” And in May 2011: “I want every child . . . in America ready to graduate, ready to go to college. . . . ”30
To that end, Obama has pushed for government to increase subsidization of student loan rates, making it less expensive for your kid to get that crucial degree in Lesbian Dance Theory. And, not coincidentally, for your kid to imbibe the liberalism that has poisoned the body politic at the universities.
Hollywood is a liberal industry, and everybody knows it. Hollywood is full of bullies, and everybody knows it. Only in Hollywood are bullies like Harvey Weinstein—who reportedly is one of the nastiest people in Hollywood, a man who once headlocked and dragged New York Observer reporter Andrew Goldman out of an event, threatened to “beat the s—” out of director Julie Taymor’s dinner companion, and told Democratic politico Terry McAuliffe “You motherf—er! I’ll rip your balls off!”31—able to hypocritically produce movies like Bully. And then, of course, bully the ratings board to change the rating from R to PG-13.
Bullying in Hollywood is ubiquitous. It’s ubiquitous from people like Barbra Streisand, who thinks it’s ideological fascism to replace Robert Scheer with Jonah Goldberg in the pages of the Los Angeles Times32 but demands that members of the servant class elevate her bed a specific number of degrees in hotels and recarpet her bedroom.33 Mariah Carey requires an attendant to discard her gum.34 Michael Moore demands an enormous hock of ham, a beanbag filled with Jell-O, and a whoopee cushion with George W. Bush’s face. Okay, that last example isn’t real. But the other ones are.
Nobody treats people worse than the biggest stars in Hollywood. Personally, they’re bullies.
But ideologically, they’re even bigger bullies. These stars all live in beautiful homes off Sunset Boulevard, ensconced behind walls of leaves and enormous staffs of personal attendants. They walk into bars in New York City, leave them looking like outtakes from a Bosnian documentary, and never get prosecuted. They get married, divorced, married, divorced again, married, go to drug rehab, get divorced, get married . . . and then finally announce they’re gay, to the applause of the mainstream media. It’s a great life.
Hollywood routinely discriminates against people who refuse to be bullied, as many top-level Hollywood executives, writers, and producers admitted to me. If you’re a conservative in Hollywood, you stay underground for fear of firing. If you happen to have voted for California’s Proposition 8, upholding traditional marriage, you keep that buried behind NSA-level security—the moment your peers find you out, you’re out of a job. As Nicholas Meyer, director of The Day After, as well as writer of Star Trek II, IV, and VI, told me when asked about discrimination in Hollywood, “Well, I hope so.” Or as Vin DiBona, producer of MacGyver and America’s Funniest Home Videos, explained to me, “I think it’s probably accurate [that there’s anti-conservative discrimination] and I’m happy about it actually. . . . If the accusation is there, I’m okay with it.”
The point? Only liberal content will be produced if liberals can bully conservatives out of the industry.
The Hollywood crowd engages with the political and media crowd on a regular basis, crafting narrative for the left. It’s no surprise that President Obama and his regulatory friends have gone out of their way to focus on issues near and dear to Hollywood. They’re his palace guard, bullying on his behalf—and doing it to tremendous effect.
All of these bullies act as a phalanx, targeting their opposition for destruction. And their bullying works. It works so well, in fact, that even the most untouchable people and institutions feel the wrath of their thuggishness.
Take, for example, Obamacare.
Now, for years, the media and Hollywood had coordinated to attack the American health-care system. Movies like John Q suggested that America’s health-care system was massively discriminatory and required vigilante justice to set it straight. Every television show seemed to focus on some poor sap who lost his house because Grandma needed dialysis. The media, meanwhile, covered every bankruptcy, every sob story, from every person who developed a disease and didn’t get proper insurance. This isn’t to say that America’s health system is perfect—it isn’t. But by the time Barack Obama came to office, many Americans were under the impression that the American health-care system was worse than Zimbabwe’s.
Rather than recognizing the fact that America’s life-expectancy rate after cancer diagnosis was the best on the planet, rather than seeing that America’s surgeons set the global standard, rather than understanding that America is the global leader in research and development in the medical field—and most of all, rather than spotting the obvious truth that overregulation and oversuing of the medical industry had set up a thicket of red tape, raising costs and lowering quality of care—the media and Hollywood portrayed America’s health system as a paragon of failure. Not only that, they suggested that that failure was due to capitalism, not the forest of legal nonsense set up by well-meaning politicians (and politicians who’d been paid off).
By the time Obama took office, the ground was prepped.
Obama promptly created a faux groundswell in favor of complete overhaul of the health-care system in America. Nobody demanded it. In fact, most Americans wanted Obama focused on the economy. Mitt Romney ripped Obama for his failure to focus: “When you have an enterprise in trouble,” he said, “the Number One rule is this: Focus, focus, focus.”35 Even the leftist media wondered what Obama was doing. “President Obama’s goal of remaking the health care system was always going to be difficult to reach,” lamented the New York Times in March 2009. “But as he prepares to begin a campaign for universal coverage this week, the ailing economy has complicated his task.”36
But with the help of his friends—with the help of the folks at places like Center for American Progress, and his friends in the media, and his friends in Hollywood—Obama did what he wanted to do. He bullied the Tea Party; he suggested they were racist; he tore apart the insurance companies, denouncing them as greedy. He rammed his health-care plan down the throat of Americans. And Americans did what they wanted to do: they booted Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats from their perches of power in Congress in response.
That’s when the most shocking bullying of all began.
See, there was one little problem with President Obama’s health-care plan: it was blatantly unconstitutional. The Constitution of the United States does not allow the federal government to force people to buy health insurance, as Obamacare mandated. Certain specific taxes were okay under the Constitution, but this wasn’t one of them.
And the Supreme Court majority knew it.
That majority was composed of five justices: Justice Alito, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts, and the supposed swing voter, Justice Kennedy. All five of those justices were expected to vote to strike down the so-called Obamacare individual mandate; they were expected to strike down the law as a whole. They were expected to strike it down because it was one of the worst violations of individual liberty in American history—the federal government was claiming the authority to punish you for failing to buy something they wanted you to buy.
Instead, in a shocking turn of events, Chief Justice John Roberts, an appointee of President George W. Bush, voted with the liberals on the court to uphold Obamacare in its entirety. This was no surprise to me—I’d opposed Roberts’s nomination all the way back in 2005.37 But it was a surprise to virtually everyone else, mainly because Roberts had clearly signaled during oral arguments that he was against the Obamacare mandate. Now he ruled that the mandate wasn’t actually a mandate; it was a tax. As a tax, said Roberts, it was constitutional; as a mandate, it wasn’t. Therefore, it was constitutional.
This was, to put it bluntly, the worst kind of bullcrap ever put on Supreme Court paper.
As it turned out, Chief Justice Roberts had switched his vote. He didn’t switch his vote because he suddenly discovered a new legal theory that knocked his socks off. He did it because of external pressure. As CBS News observed, approvingly, “Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As chief justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the court, and he also is sensitive to how the court is perceived by the public. There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the court—and to Roberts’ reputation—if the court were to strike down the mandate.”38 President Obama himself led the bullying charge, stating in early April 2012 that if the Supreme Court saw fit to overturn his signature legislation, it would be “unprecedented.” “Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” he blathered, his ears quivering with rage.39
And Roberts caved.
Now, the Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be free of politics. That’s why these legalistic doofuses in silly-looking robes get a lifetime appointment and a free supply of arrogance to go with it. They’re not supposed to be susceptible to bullying—upholding the Constitution is supposed to be a bully-free job.
Clearly, it wasn’t.
And the American people paid the price.
The American people continue to pay the price exacted by the liberal bullies each and every day. Conservatives in particular face the mighty wrath of the leftist thugs—and they typically back down. That’s why America is on the verge of moral and economic bankruptcy, racial chaos, and loss of confidence in herself. The bullies are winning. And they won’t stop until we punch back.
Table of Contents
1 Institutional Bullies 17
2 Anti-Patriotic Bullies 37
3 Race Bullies 77
4 Class Bullies 123
5 Sex Bullies 159
6 Green Bullies 199
7 Secular Bullies 224
What People are Saying About This
“Ben Shapiro has a great new book out called “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.” Ben’s premise about the left’s silencing tactics is absolutely correct. Obviously I’ve witnessed the left’s bullying behavior up close and personal when it’s been directed at those so close to me…Please read Ben’s book and consider his advice about how we must stand up and push back twice as hard against this bullying. We must not allow ourselves to be frightened into silence.”
"Bullies is a rousing manifesto against liberal thuggery. Meticulously documented and deeply personal, this book will infuriate AND inspire you. Shapiro exposes all the Left's menaces...infused with the indomitable spirit of his friend and mentor Andrew Breitbart, Shapiro issues a passionate call to arms.
"In Bullies, Ben Shapiro shows once and for all that the left is the single greatest source of bullying in modern American life. Their goal: to shut down the political debate in the name of political correctness. Don't let them shut you up read Bullies, and learn how to fight back!
"Irresistibly readable... Ben Shapiro has nailed the left right where it lives.
"Bullies will shock you with its point-by-point, fiery deconstruction of the left's strong-arm strategy for silencing conservatives. You don't know the left until you've read Bullies. And you won't be able to beat them unless you do.
"Ben Shapiro is a warrior for conservatism, against those who use fear and intimidation to stifle honest debate. I’ve never known him to back down from a fight and, in Bullies, he shows us all exactly why that fight is necessary.”