The Gilded Path

Last night’s Darkstream was on the media’s made men, including Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro:

As evidence that I’m not simply conjuring these observations out of thin air, consider this graphic on Ben Shapiro’s “gilded path to prominence”.

Following his departure from Breitbart. Shapiro quickly founded the Daily Wire with funding from its owners, brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, Texas fracking billionaires who supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. The brothers and their wives combined to donate $15 million to a pro-Cruz super PAC in the early election season.

YAF has “Young Americans for Freedom” student chapters at colleges and universities around the country. The nonprofit helps organize and sponsor campus lectures, and Shapiro is one of YAF’s most prolific college speakers. Since 2015, YAF has organized over 35 Shapiro speaking gigs, according to the organization. In November 2017, YAF announced that it would be the “exclusive home” of Shapiro’s 2018–2019 college speaking tour, funded by Fred R. Allen. (It’s unclear who Fred Allen is, and YAF did not return an inquiry about his identity.) The group announced on July 25 that six universities will host Shapiro this fall with the headline, “LOOK OUT SNOWFLAKES.”

The chart below clearly demonstrates the difference between organic popularity and manufactured fake popularity. Or, as one commenter noted, the difference between those who have sold their souls and those who have not. Keep in mind that the yellow line represents Stefan Molyneaux, who has 889,759 YouTube subscribers compared to Ben Shapiro’s 444,386. It’s difficult to see from this graph, but note that for 11 years, from 2004 until early 2016, my Google Trends profile was reliably higher than Shapiro’s despite the best efforts of those propping him up.

And no, I’m not envious at all. I’ve been calling out Shapiro since 2005. Why would I ever envy a cowardly little creature who couldn’t compete with me without selling his soul? I know the price of “success” like that and it is not one that I would ever be willing to pay.