Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript of the Truth Revolt panel discussion at the Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat, held at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California from March 21-23, 2014:
Ben Shapiro: Without David and his vision and his way of viewing the world and without the resources that he’s been so generous to put at our disposal, none of this would be happening, and in a minute I’m gonna talk about all the different victories that we’ve won. They’ve been pretty stunning. We’ll bring up some members of Truth Revolt to talk about exactly what we do on a day-in, day-out basis, and I think that you’ll all be pleased to hear about the victories that we’ve been having and the fights that we continue to fight.
But I want to start with something that happened on March 8th. On March 8th a miracle occurred. A true miracle. Nancy Pelosi’s face moved and her face opened and sound emerged from it and here’s what she said. She said – I can’t really do a Nancy Pelosi impression because I don’t have dentures and it doesn’t really work – she says I asked a Republic friend why his party remains so opposed to extending the vital lifelines for struggling families and really hungry children. First of all, she doesn’t have any Republican friends. It’s Harvey, the bunny. This colleague’s response was telling in its blunt nature and its stunning honesty. What he says was to the Republican caucus, these people you’re talking about are invisible, and the Republican caucus is indifferent to them.
Now all of us know, well, or should know that, I mean, look, it’s true. We all hate children. I mean as you know, you’ve been seeing me walk around all weekend long with a child that I hate. I hate her more than anything in the world. She’s despicable and horrible, and I can’t wait to starve her, but the point of what Pelosi’s saying is very effective and very real, and it’s about the narrative. What the right does wrong, the reason that conservatives continue to lose is because instead of discussing things in terms of morality, instead of discussing things in terms of ethics, in terms of right and wrong, in terms of good and evil, the right tends to discuss things in terms of policy, in terms of efficiency, in terms of what works and what doesn’t.
So for example, when Barack Obama talks about raising the minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents, the right simply says oh, well, that’s not going to work. That’s gonna make people lose their jobs, and Barack Obama says well, don’t you care about poor people? Barack Obama wins that argument. It’s why even a majority of Republicans believe in raising the minimum wage. The argument against raising the minimum wage is actually not on an efficiency basis. The argument against raising the minimum wage is you do not have a right to tell somebody what they are going to pay you, in the same way that you don’t have the right to tell somebody that they’re going to work for you for a given amount of pay. That’s against the Fourteenth Amendment. We abolished – the Thirteenth Amendment. We abolished slavery in this country in the same way. The converse is that you cannot force or should not be able to force a business to pay a given wage.
Everything needs to be discussed in terms of morality on the right. Instead it’s being discussed again in terms of policy and efficiency. It’s why Mitt Romney lost. It’s why Republicans continue to lose, and it’s true on issue after issue after issue, ranging for foreign policy to domestic policy. It’s even is true with regard to Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu is a wonderful prime minister. He’s doing a tremendous job, and Bibi gave a very good speech at AIPAC. I don’t know how many of you saw his speech at AIPAC this year. It was really a pretty good speech, and in the speech he did this. He drew kind of the moral gap between Israel and its enemies, for example. And he said that Israel is a wonderful country. It’s a democracy. It has human rights. It has women’s rights. It has gay rights. And then if you look at its opponents, if you look at places like Iran, if you look at places like Turkey, if you look at places like Sudan, these are all places where they don’t have any of these things and they’re evil. Israel’s enemies are evil. The problem with what Bibi said is that he missed one country in this entire list. He missed one territory that’s being occupied by certain people on this entire list. He didn’t mention the Palestinians, and by failing to do that, what he did is he left the door open to President Obama continuing to maintain that the Palestinians and the Jews are actually on an equal playing field when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The morality gap has to be the focus of everything we do. The morality gap is the focus of everything we do. It’s true on foreign policy. It’s true on domestic policy. It’s true with regard to minimum wage. It’s true with regard to the environment. It’s true with regard to everything, and so that’s why what we’ve done at Truth Revolt is we’ve turned everything into a moral conflict, and this is straight from the David Horowitz playbook. It really is. Everything is a moral conflict, and it has to be approached in moral terms, and in order to really fight that battle, what we’ve done is we’ve come up with basically a three-pronged strategy that’s been very effective thus far.
The first strategy was to build a base. We’ve done that pretty successfully at Truth Revolt. At Truth Revolt we went from a web site that literally did not exist as of October 7th. We turned on the spigot October 8th. Right now we have two million unique visitors every month. We have four million page views every month. By way of comparison, it’s about twice the size of Front Page Mag in about five months as opposed to Front Page, which has been around for about 16 years. We built that base. We get people to sign petitions, and then the next thing we do is we activate that base. And activating the base is really the key, so we’re gonna talk on the panel about a lot of the victories that we’ve won, and it’s been a pretty stunning run of success. You saw there Martin Bashir didn’t show the entire clip because it’s about a minute and a half long, but Martin Bashir, when he mentions Thomas Thistlewood, that was the famous clip, infamous clip in which Martin Bashir suggested that someone should, forgive the language, piss and shit in Sarah Palin’s mouth. Right? He said that on the air on MSNBC, and so we went into action and we called up all of the different advertisers and we stayed on it for weeks at a time until Martin Bashir was forced off the air by his own company.
You saw Alec Baldwin, that tape of him walking around saying something that rhymes with clock-sucking flag, and you saw Alec Baldwin do that and we immediately called up the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who was loath to condemn him, by the way. We called up Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays. We got them to condemn Alec Baldwin, and within a week he was off MSNBC.
You saw the LA Jewish Journal cartoon. We hit them with over a thousand phone calls and emails. Within 24 hours they issued the only apology they have ever issued in the history of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal for running that and Rob Eshman, who’s the editor, then ran a shocking editorial the next week in which he flattered the Tea Party as a wonderful group, and us in particular, as standing out from the pack as a good journalistic organization.
When CNBC Steve Liesman, you saw the clip from CNBC, when he asked that Mexican music be pulled up for Ted Cruz, we hit all of his advertisers. We began calling his advertisers and within literally about five hours he’d come out on Twitter and apologized for the whole thing.
This is what we do. We hit them between the eyes as hard as humanly possible. That’s all we’re focused on, because the only thing that matters is victory, and the only way to win victory is to speak in these moral terms, is to find areas where they step out of line and to club them as hard as you can in the head until they stop moving. It is the only way to win victories. Scalps matter. Victories matter. And we can talk about all the intellect that the Center is rife with, and it is. It’s a rich, diverse group of people at the center who provide the intellectual capital for the movement. There’s no question about it. But what we are at Truth Revolt is we’re the tanks. We’re the front lines. It’s our job to go out and do the dirty work that nobody else wants to do. We’ll do all the things that get us condemned in the press. We’ll do all the things that have our own side condemning us. We don’t care, because somebody has to stick the knife in.
Now one of the things that we’ve been doing in terms of activating our army is we’ve hired on Daniel Mael. You’ll meet him in just a second. He’s a Brandeis student, 21 years old, and he’ll be telling you about a victory that we won just this week. It really is fun that we get to win a victory every week ’cause whenever we do these events, we get to say we won a victory this week. We actually did win a pretty big victory this week, and you’ll get to see what that is when we bring him up, and he has been fighting against the Divest From Israel Movement, as you saw on the tape. We’ve been fighting pretty hard against the Divest From Israel Movement. Again, everything in moral terms. Not just in terms of Israel’s a nice company, but in terms of Israel’s opposition is evil, anti-Semitic Jew haters period. And if you stand with them, you stand with evil, and it’s that simple, and that has an impact.
When I did that speech at UCLA where I stood up for a couple of minutes and went there at 10:30 in the middle of the night and left my wife and baby at home, and I can tell you my baby has not forgiven me yet, when we did that, the whole point of that was to go there and not to speak. Not to speak in defense of Israel. Everybody said this is the greatest defense of Israel we’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful defense. It had about 200,000 hits on You Tube. Has about 70,000 in Hebrew. The Israeli economics minister translated it into Hebrew, posted it on his page. It really made the rounds. I was invited to meet Bibi because of it. The whole point of it though was not defense of Israel. The point of it was attacking Israel’s opponents. If you’re not on the attack, you’re losing. If you’re not on the attack, you’re losing.
And the fact is that unfortunately the conservative movement is not on the attack. They’re always on the defense. We spend our lives on the defense because, after all, we all know, if we’re unlucky enough to have liberal friends and relatives, we know that on Thanksgiving it gets awkward. It always gets awkward. There’s always somebody there who is going to be complaining about how you’re a racist, sexist, bigot homophobe for what you do, and then you find yourself on the defensive. Well, I’m not a racist. I’m not a sexist. I’m not a bigot. You lose the argument by doing that. They need to be on the defensive.
It’s why in the fall we’re planning on launching a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Saudi Arabia on campuses. It’s why we’re going hard against the evil and despicable organization J Street, which is using a fake pro-Israel message in order to infiltrate the pro-Israel movement and destroy it from within. It’s why we are going after the media itself and destroying the media where it stands, and the point of that is going after all of their base. It’s going after their donors. It’s going after their funders. It’s getting mean, it’s getting nasty, and it’s getting fun. So that’s Aspect No. 2.
So Aspect No. 1 is you build the base. That’s what the web site has been for. Again, we’ve driven tremendous traffic. We have petitions with tens of thousands of signatures on them. The whole point was to drive an enormous number of people to join us in our fight. The second was to activate that base, and the third was to broaden that base. And to that end, this is where Jeremy Boring, who’s again gonna be on the panel with us, is really an expert in doing this.
We are going to be moving into the business of attracting young people. And when we say the word attracting young people, we are actually young people. The oldest person at the organization is the Old Man Boreing, who’s 35. Right? Sorry, Jeremy. The fact is that we are a bunch of young people. We know what young people like. We know what young people want to view, and the fact is what young people like and what they want to view is not politics. Most young people are never gonna read a David Horowitz Freedom Center pamphlet. They’re not. Most of them are too busy drinking and partying and watching cat videos on You Tube, and so that’s what we’re gonna get in the business of, which should be fun. We’re going to actually be doing material that appeals to young people and is not overtly political but it’s going to draw them in. We’re going to be putting up material like BuzzFeed does. I don’t know how many of you have seen BuzzFeed, but I promise you your kids and your grandkids have absolutely seen BuzzFeed and they read it on a regular basis. BuzzFeed is about twice the size, for example, of Breitbart. It has enormous traffic, and the reason it has enormous traffic is because of it’s listicles. It’s ten things that you miss about the 1990s. Right? And then you go there and right next to ten things that you miss about the 1990s are ten things that are wonderful about Hillary Clinton, and I understand only one out of every ten people who are reading the list about the 1990s are gonna click on Hillary Clinton, but that’s a hell of a lot more than would just go and read a piece about how Hillary Clinton’s wonderful.
We’re gonna be doing exactly the same thing. We’re going to be forging into new arenas. Jeremy’s gonna talk about some of those, and he can do it much more eloquently than I can because Jeremy is an incredible film director. He’s also the head of an organization recently outed by the New York Times called Friends of Abe, which is the underground Hollywood organization. Jeremy is well-connected and intensely qualified in the business of crafting narrative that appeals to people without them even knowing that they’re watching a narrative that comes from our side of the aisle. So that’s the business that we’re going to be getting into.
So we did the first step. We built the base. We’re gonna always continue to build the base. We’ve done the second step, which is activate the base. We’re always gonna continue to activate the base. To that end we have to hire a grassroots director which will, of course, take money. We’re gonna need a grassroots director to handle our 45,000-person email list, which has been built in four months, and 1,000-person special ops list, so we’re gonna have to hire a grassroots director to handle it. That’s a full-time job. So we’re gonna be doing that too. And then the third thing we’re gonna be doing is reaching out to new audiences, to young people, to people in the minority community, but not through overt political activity. Through drawing them in the way that everybody gets drawn in.
Because here’s the fact: You have to convince people to see a documentary. No one ever had to convince anybody to see Avatar. People just go and see it. We’re gonna be creating entertaining and interesting content that nobody else is creating and creative content that nobody else is, so we’re very excited about everything that we’ve been able to do thus far. Thank you so much for all of your help, and all that we care about, again, is victory. And if that means that we have to use methods that the left has been using for years, good. If it means that we have to drop this pretense that we are above the fray, good. There’s no such thing as the high road in politics. There’s just the winning road. So we either can win or we can lose, and it’s up to us whether we wanna win or lose. And you’ve heard a lot about how we need to win. I think we all understand from all the other panels how much we need to win. The way to win is by punching these folks back in the face twice as hard as they are attempting to punch us. Thanks so much.
And now I wanna bring up the rest of, I wanna bring up some of the other folks at Truth Revolt. Jeremy Boreing, the managing editor, has done a stellar job, and Elisha Krauss, who you’ll remember from – Elisha and I do a show in the morning on KRLA, the Morning Answer on KRLA at 7:00 every morning, and Daniel Mael, who’s the newest member of the Truth Revolt team, only about a week and a half in and already winning big victories. He’s the head of the Israel Project, particularly with regard to students. He’s going after J Street and he’s going after – Hillel.
Daniel Mael: So I think it was Wednesday morning I woke up and I was searching Twitter hashtag Israel, and a picture of Harvard college students at Yasser Arafat’s grave – if we could show that. So this trip was sponsored by Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies. It was sponsored and endorsed by Harvard Hillel. It was sponsored by Harvard, sorry, rather, Hillel International. I wrote a piece saying that Harvard University students had honored Yasser Arafat. They took a photo next to his tombstone. I received a message from someone involved with the trip and it said Daniel, please stop your unfounded, irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegations
There was a picture; pretty remarkable. So we asked Combined Jewish Philanthropies for a statement. We asked Harvard, sorry, Hillel International for a statement. The Hillel, sorry, Harvard students actually responded with an article titled quote No Apologies for Visiting Yasser Arafat’s Grave. They then changed the title to Yes, We Visited Arafat’s Grave, and within it they said that we attempted to smear them and it was bad journalism. Hillel International condemned the out-of-context photo, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies said that it was vicious attacks from the extreme edge of the Jewish community. If I’m on the extreme edge, we’re doomed. So eventually the Combined Jewish Philanthropies actually apologized. They listed us by name, Truth Revolt, and said that they are sorry and that they deeply apologize. And we were all –
Ben Shapiro: They knew that we were also gonna go after their donors. We’d made clear to them that this was not going to stop with them. We had a full list of their board of directors. We had a full list of their donors, and we were going to start calling them and suggesting that they get on the record as to whether they like or dislike this particular picture.
Daniel Mael: Yeah, but funny enough though is that we asked Hillel International for a second statement. They declined comment. They’ve yet to condemn the student visit to Yasser Arafat’s tombstone. This is the mass murderer who killed Jews and non-Jews, and they’re claiming that it was, the students at least are saying it’s the Palestinian Narrative, so my question is why does the Palestinian Narrative require going to the grave of a mass murder? Why can’t you go to the grave of a 15 year old who is indoctrinated and forced to blow himself up in the center of Tel Aviv? Why does it have to be Yasser Arafat? And Combined Jewish Philanthropies said that the students were sorry and that they deeply regret everything that happened and that everyone is basically sorry, yet just an hour ago, the leader of the Harvard Israel Trek 2014 posted this on Facebook in response to a rabbi who had spoken up against the visit. “I hope that somebody whom I respect as an educator and a teacher would understand the need to engage in these issues in a sophisticated and nuanced way. Sadly the Jewish people can often be our own worst enemy, and your hurtful and irresponsible attacks have caused great harm to the Jewish community, to the best Harvard student leaders working to promote Israel on campus and to me.”
So the question is why do these students and organizations think that it’s necessary to visit the grave of a mass murder? Especially on a trip that’s supposed to promote pro-Israel content. They actually gave a quote to another news source saying that it was an understanding that in order to work with and meet with Palestinian leaders, they needed to visit the Mukata, the home for the Palestinian authority. So my question is if the visit to Arafat’s grave is a prerequisite for visiting the Mukata, what does that say about the organization? It shouldn’t be us. It needs to be, as Ben pointed out, the immoral requirements of the Palestinian authority. It’s absolutely unacceptable and it shouldn’t be tolerated. I don’t know why the Jewish community is conversing with people that object to Israel’s existence.
Ben Shapiro: So when Daniel showed me this picture, I got very excited because it’s very rare that somebody on the other side hands you what I would like to call a perfect hammer to smack them with. This is a perfect hammer. In other words, there is no defense of visiting Yasser Arafat’s grave clearly. And so again, what we began to do is we began to contact folks at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Daniel did it as a journalist, which he is, and he began asking a simple question. Why are you there? Why are you defending this? And within 48 hours of Daniel beginning to call these people, Combined Jewish Philanthropies had backed down. The head of the organization had backed down. He’d issued a full apology. He apologized to Daniel personally. He apologized to Truth Revolt as a group, and we’re not going to stop there. The next step is that we’re going directly after Hillel International. They’re going to be forced to apologize. They’re gonna be forced to provide a list of procedures that will be taken in the future that will never allow anything like this to happen ever again, and if they don’t do it, then Daniel and Paul Blau who works with us and a couple of other of our reporters, we’re going to call every major donor to Hillel International and we will put a news story up on each and every one of them individually as to whether they continue to support an organization that is happy to have kids, Jewish and non-Jewish, visiting the grave of a mass murderer. This is what we do.
Daniel Mael: I like that you go to the grave of Yasser Arafat and then say Jews are their own worst enemies.
Elisha Krauss: Jeremy, Ben kind of touched on what you’re doing with FOA and the good editor, allow me to suck upfor a second since you’re one of my bosses at Truth Revolt. How do you think that movies and what is being done in Hollywood really drives the culture? And what can we, as a conservative movement, get involved to be a part of that? What can we do?
Jeremy Boreing: Well, there’s two things that have interests of Ben and I that I think give us the ability to have a good collaboration, and it’s – we’ve talked about this before, Ben, but it’s almost like the thing that you’re the best at and the most interested in is the thing that I’m the second-most interested in and vice versa. Ben understands political warfare because he studied at the feet of great masters like David Horowitz and Andrew Breitbart, and he understands that you can’t have a successful political movement when you allow your opposition to frame you as racist, bigoted, homophobic, warmongering, greedy people who want to strap dogs to the hoods of cars and fire people so that their wives will eventually die of cancer and then you respond with policy arguments. Right?
First you say, “No, we don’t actually want women to die of cancer, and here’s a sixpoint plan.” My focus is on something that happens before the political battle ever begins and that’s the cultural landscape, and specifically, it’s about story, and sort of my core argument, and I think you see it on display in the work that we’ve been doing at TruthRevolt and will be doing going forward, is that the human animal is a storytelling being. I mean, that’s what sets us apart. That’s how we understand who we are and our place in the world, our relationship with each other, our relationship with God. That’s how we understand the things that we believe and the things that we oppose. The unfortunate reality is that conservatives are the worst storytellers, not only in the world but in the history of the world. And I can actually prove that. That’s not a personal opinion. In Western literature, there’s a thing called the Hero’s Journey, and it’s the most prolific story in history. And the Hero’s Journey is about the young every man. It’s King Arthur, and it’s Luke Skywalker, and it’s –
Mr. Smith goes to Washington.
It’s Mr. Smith goes to Washington. It’s the young every man whose father sinned, and because of their sin, the great republic was lost, the kingdom of old where people had wealth and prosperity and freedom and lived in harmony with their fellow men. The only way to get that back is for the young hero to come in contact with an ancient wisdom. In Star Wars, it’s the Force, right? Luke Skywalker hears about. It’s just this vague concept in the first movie, this beautiful hint of something that used to be, and as he comes more and more in contact with that ancient wisdom, he’s given the power to literally destroy the instruments of the state.
At the end of Star Wars, that’s what he does, right? He literally blows up the Death Star, the tool of government. That story, from pulling the sword out of the stone to blowing up the Death Star, is the most prolific story in Western literature, and only the world’s worst storytellers could fail when armed with that story, but we don’t tell that story. We talk about policy and deny that we’re racist. By the way, we are racist. I want to be clear about this. See, this is another place that conservatives don’t understand storytelling. We don’t understand language. You are racist. You spend a lot of time trying to say you’re not racist when the left accuses you of racism because you still think that the word racism means judges people on the basis of race and believes that people should be treated differently on the basis of race. That’s not what the word racism means.
There’s only one movement in America that believes people should be treated differently on the basis of race, and that’s progressivism. Racism means you don’t think people should be treated differently on the basis of race. That’s what racism means to everyone in the world who ever levels the charge against you, and when you deny it, you’re lying. They say, “You think people should be treated equally,” and you say, “No, I don’t,” but you do. But we don’t understand language. We use the word conservative to describe ourselves, but there’s nothing to conserve, my friends. The left fought a war. We didn’t even know it was going on, and we lost. I mean, do you want to conserve 50 million abortions since Roe v. Wade? Maybe it’s the loss of habeas corpus that you want to conserve or maybe it’s the fact that they put filmmakers in prison now when they embarrass the President of the United States or go after Dinesh D’Souza because his movie embarrassed the President of the United States. Maybe you want to conserve an IRS that won’t grant my organization their 501(c)(3) status for three years because we have the word conservative in our legal description. Or maybe you want to conserve the fact that we’re now not even supporting our allies in the State of Israel. Of course we don’t want to conserve any of that. We’re rebels. We’ve always been rebels. We’ve been rebels since the rebellion that founded the country.
Our idea is always outside of the mainstream. It’s an idea that requires fighters and it requires storytellers. America came into being, as Glen Beck said when he was here, because people like Thomas Paine were scrawling down ideas, and people like Thomas Jefferson were scrawling down ideas. Thank God they were better storytellers than we are, and what a shame that we can’t tell the great story that they bequeathed to us. I think that the only way for us to have long-term success in this county – listen, politicians act in accordance with their self-interest, like any other person in the world. At the end of the day, even the most ideologically pure politician is going to have to make decisions based on his self-interest. It’s the job of storytellers to ensure that what is in the self-interest of politicians is to do the things that we know are true and good, and we don’t do that, so we need to start. So in addition to our political warfare techniques that we’re trying to employ at TruthRevolt, we’re also starting, going into this next phase of our existence, to really focus on the culture, to focus on storytelling. One of the things that we want to show you is this still penned by a terrific artist who also happens to be a Shapiro, Ben’s sister Rebecca. Not bad. She did not draw this.
This is it. This is for a new thing that we’re launching. It’s novel. They were invented in the 1930s, so a lot of conservatives haven’t heard about them yet, but they’re called comic books, and they’re read by the youth of America, and you know how conservatives are always trying to reach the youth.
Elisha Krauss: Sometimes, there’s movies made about ‘em, like Superman, Ironman.
Jeremy Boreing: Superman, yeah. I’ve heard of a few of those.They have both image and sound, in color. We’re gonna make a comic book about the American Revolution. Every other conservative organization in America thinks that the way that you teach young people about the Revolution is to have them sit down and read – what are those things? They have a cover, there’s –
Yeah. Just like Ben said, you have to talk people into seeing documents. They go to see fiction movies all on their own, and it’s amazing to me that party of entrepreneurs, the party of businessmen, the party that understands free trade and the free exchange of ideas, that we think that the only way to communicate our values is to force people to engage in product that they don’t want. What an entrepreneur is supposed to do is analyze the market for inefficiencies and give people what they do want. Young people read comic books, and young people watch movies.
Ben Shapiro: By the way, this is why conservatives started Hollywood. All of the people who started Hollywood were actually conservative. It was only in the 1950s and 60s that it actually converted to liberalism, and all of the people who were the big people behind Hollywood originally, they were big Republican donors. I mean, they gave lots of money to Republican candidates.
It’s only over the last 50 years that we’ve lost all this.
Jeremy Boreing: Well, we have to actually do it. Right? You don’t get it back by thinking about it or waxing philosophical about it. You have to make some movies and make some comic books. You know, the Freedom Center has done an amazing job over the last 20 years of producing these remarkable pamphlets, and we’ve all been the beneficiaries of these wonderful pamphlets. No one under 30 reads those pamphlets, though, and instead of taking the approach that so many in the movement take, which is, “How do we find a way to get young people to read our tract?” That’s not the right answer. The right answer is how do we take the wonderful ideas that we produced for this tract and put it in something that young people are already buying, something they actually want, and that’s our job. We have to take this beautiful story, the Hero’s Journey, the story of human freedom, and we have to put it into a product that people are already buying, a product that they want, not a product that we have to talk them into engaging, and so TruthRevolt is gonna do just that.
We’re producing a graphic novel on the American Revolution, and we’re gonna produce, coming in the next few months, a short film, and it’s gonna be a short film about the suffering of Jewish civilians at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. You know, every year – thank you. Every year, the Academy Awards nominates a short film for best picture that explores the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Jews. There’s another side to that story. Somebody ought to tell it. Well, we’re gonna tell it, and that’s in service of a long-term vision of actually making feature films, not just short films. The short film is to get us some attention and to get us some hands-on experience, but it’s in service of a long-term agenda of making actual fiction movies, and this is a hard pill, I think, for conservatives to swallow ’cause we pride ourselves on telling the truth, and it’s hard to imagine that you can tell the truth through a lie because, obviously, that’s what fiction is, right? Fiction is it didn’t actually happen. There is no Superman. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were not real. But you can tell profound truth through art. People have been doing it ever since the first caveman painted on a wall and Michelangelo walked into the Sistine Chapel, right? That’s what we’re going to do. We’re gonna take the great ideas of human freedom, the great ideas that the Freedom Center has been championing all along, and we’re gonna find a way to tell that as a story, and that’s Phase 2.
Ben Shapiro: And this is all in the service of victory. That’s all that matters.
It’s not just because we like movies and wanna make movies, and it’s not just because we dislike Combined Jewish Philanthropies and wanna slap them, and it’s not just because all the –
Yeah. It’s not just because MSNBC is a – I’m looking for a clean word I can use here. The bottom line is that all of this is in the service of broad victory.
Because the left has done all of these things. You hear it on talk radio all the time, people complaining about, for example, the movie Noah. Right? I mean, they’re gonna be complaining all week about the new movie Noah which has turned biblical sin into overpopulation and degradation of the environment.
Because they haven’t read two chapters earlier in the Bible where God explicitly says, “Tame the earth and be fruitful and multiply.” We’re gonna complain about it. You’re gonna hear on it all week, people complaining about the evils of the movie Noah, and that doesn’t accomplish anything.
Jeremy Boreing: No, the conservative solution will be, “That movie Noah with a $100 million budget that was seen by 35 million people in its opening weekend really hurts our cause. Somebody should make a good documentary that tells the truth about Noah or maybe write a tract.”
Ben Shapiro: Exactly, and literally tens of millions of people will go see this movie. And five people will see the documentary.
The fact is that we have to engage them on every battlefield where they have engaged. We cannot leave a battlefield open because, if you think of this tactically, the fact is that they are running around us, they’re flanking us using Hollywood. We’re busy with a full frontal assault on the political sphere, and even there, we’re holding back. Even there, we’re not releasing all of our troops, which is what we’re doing now with Hillel, with J Street, with the media. That’s our frontal assault, but we need to be countering this flanking motion that’s happening on the part of the left, using culture, using Hollywood. I promise you that there are more young people who are being convinced about politics by watching movies like Noah and watching movies like Avatar than are ever going to be convinced, because people vote at an intellectual level. People think as a – I’m sorry, an emotional level. It’s all emotion. And the truth is that people react emotionally against something. You wanna know why all the liberal, they’re not liberals, why all the leftists out there hate you? They hate you and have a visceral emotional reaction to you not because they know you, they don’t know you; not because they know your ideas, they don’t know your ideas; but because they saw a movie about you once where you were the guy who wouldn’t allow your daughter to go dancing with Kevin Bacon.
Or you run a corporation, and corporations, as we all know, are evil, and it’s always evil white men who are actually – if there are Islamic terrorists, as in Season 4 of 24, it’s actually because there’s some evil, vicious, white corporation standing behind the Islamic terrorists.
And see, they hate you because they do know about you. They know about you because they have an emotional reaction to things that they’ve heard about you. And so if we wanna create emotional reactions – you know, we showed in the early part of that video, there was a clip of that UCLA girl weeping openly and babbling nonsensically after the BDS motion was defeated by one vote, and we did know from people on the inside that one vote that allowed us to win at UCLA was shifted by the speech that I made at UCLA. The fact that she is crying that way, the fact that she’s reacting emotionally that way, is a testament to the strength of the emotions on the other side.
And so instead of looking at her like she’s crazy, we have to look at her like she is, first of all, standing up for evil, but second of all, emotionally invested in it. Are we as emotionally invested? I think we are. That’s the thing. I think we all area. I think that we’ve spent the last 5 years, 6 years, 20, 30 years getting pissed. Honestly, whenever I go around the country, the overwhelming feeling I get from people is frustration and anger. What can we do to help? What can we do? And the answer is we can fight them wherever they appear.
And we can’t ignore them appearing on the cultural battlefield, just as it would be foolish to ignore them appearing in the media or appearing on the political battlefield. You don’t ignore the elections. You don’t ignore when it comes to, you’re not going to ignore when it comes to the media. Ignoring the cultural battlefield is particularly stupid considering that the only thing that young people engage in is the culture and not either of the other two. And so all of these steps are necessary, and this is why we’re building what we really feel is a full army here. I mean, the goal was to build an army that’s a distribution mechanism for product. The goal here is to build an army. That’s it. That’s a group of people who are gonna do everything that we need them and want them to do. The goal is to build an army to feed us information because we’re a tiny organization. I mean literally, the two full-time employees at TruthRevolt are me and Jeremy. Everybody else at TruthRevolt is a part-timer. Everybody.
Daniel Mael: I work during class, so.
Ben Shapiro: And that’s a, that, that’s what we do, and we’ve been able to do all of this on a shoestring. So when we really are able to rev up, I mean, look, Heritage Foundation is wonderful organization. They do a lot of good work. We don’t need more white papers. Okay? We don’t need more white papers. Just puttin’ it out there. A white paper that’s read by five people in Congress and may contribute to one provision in a 1,000 page bill, that is significantly less valuable than the fact that we are losing the entire base of the country.
The reason that the conservatives have, have been losing in America is because you lose the culture and then you lose the law. You lose the culture and then you lose the politics, not the other way around. Barack Obama isn’t making movies. Movies are making Barack Obama.
And so this is, and this is why we’re engaging and, and, ya’ know, there are folks that say well, you can’t do all these things. You’re right, I can’t. That’s why Jeremy is here. You’re right, I can’t. That’s why Daniel’s here. You’re right, I can’t watch MSNBC. That’s why Alicia’s here. Alicia monitors, I mean, I’m sorry for her. We had to pay her to do this. She monitors, she monitors several MSNBC shows every single day. She suffers so you don’t have to.
She watches MSNBC for your sins. That’s why, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s why Paul Bois is here. Paul, stand up. Paul’s our administrator over, over at TR. And we’ve built this team to do all of these things, and we’ve, and we’ve only signed up people who want to fight.
We are an organization of fighters. There, there’s nobody on this boat who’s not gonna be pulling at the oar, and, and if I have to call them and ask them what they’re doing, then they’re not gonna be at the organization. And everybody knows that, and everybody is a self-starter. We only hire self-starters. We only work with self-starters because guess what, on the other side they’re all self-starters.
On the other side they’re emotional invested in the defeat of evil, namely us.
So we have to be just as emotionally invested in the defeat of true evil, and I mean that, namely them because they’re the ones who wanna destroy the foundations of the country. They’re the ones who wanna destroy our allies. They’re the ones who wanna destroy everything that we stand for. They wanna destroy the basic, fundamental principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are the things they want to destroy. And now that I do have a daughter, and now that I look at, at the country that she’s going to be growing up in, it only redoubles my determination that these people must be stopped. They must be stopped, and the only way to stop them is to fight them everywhere they stand, not just here, not just there, not just in white papers, not in just dropping $300 million worth of, worth of 30,000 foot ads in battle ground states that accomplish nothing.
Jeremy Boreing: Yeah. The $300 million, uh, making commercials that there’s a little invention came out recently called the DVR. Nobody watches commercials.Meanwhile they’re spending money actually making the TV show. Barack Obama is literally putting money into putting Obamacare messaging not into commercials that play between segments of episodes of your favorite television shows, no, it’s built into the actual story lines of your favorite television shows.
Ben Shapiro: Michelle Obama is going to be on the season finale of Parks and Recreation.
This is what they do, and they do it very cleverly, and it’s messaged in every single, every single thing that they do. I mean, it was, recently I saw, how many of you saw the movie Frozen with a kid or a grandkid, ya’ know, this, the, the new Disney film? Um, so I took my wife to see it because we love Disney films, and there’s a line in this song which has now become wildly popular, it has 150,000 million hits on YouTube, the song Let it Go. Right? There’s a line in that song, right, tailored for children this song, and the line is no right, no wrong, no rules, I’m free. Right? That is the definition of leftism, the definition of leftism, and it’s being spoon fed, I mean, it’s the same stuff Lady Gaga’s saying except it’s being spoon fed for kiddies. Right? They’re very clever in how they do it. We have to be twice as clever and twice as hard hitting, because they have a head start.
Daniel Mael: On campus people ask me, are you conservative, are you pro-Israel. I said I’m not proIsrael, I’m pro-truth. And as a function of being pro-truth, I’m pro-Israel. And that’s how we have to message.
Elisha Krauss: You touched a little bit on Michelle Obama and how we see the administration kind of accepted and glorified by Hollywood. I mean recently even Kobe Bryant came out and we joked about this on air about oh, why doesn’t Obama just take Kobe’s spot for the Lakers because he spends so much time talking about March madness and stuff. And then Kobe Bryant comes out and says, “Yeah, I think Obama would be a great NBA player.” So when you have –
Ben Shapiro: Can’t you convert him into Tiny Archibald –
Yeah, no, he did. Like the NBA hall of famer, Tiny Archibald, as opposed to the guy who sat on the bench for Punahou High School in Hawaii.
Elisha Krauss: Which, I mean, I have family in Hawaii. Punahou is like all white, very expensive high school. So how are we supposed to come back, because then I think I know how you feel about this. But how do we appeal to people’s emotions or humor when there’s conservative politicians or Republican politicians? Should they be appearing on Between Two Friends? Should they be appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmie Fallon – to appeal to the younger generation?
Ben Shapiro: This is a tactical thing. You have to scope out the audience. Mitt Romney appearing on Between Two Friends would go very differently than Barack Obama appearing on Between Two Friends, because the person interviewing is not pro Mitt Romney. The right tends to walk into these bear traps and then be surprised when it’s a bear trap. But go on Jon Stewart and they’re surprised when they don’t get tossed softballs the same way that President Obama does. The answer is not to, you can’t co-op, or you can; it’s rare. It’s very rare to co-op somebody’s own show and use it against them.
Jeremy Boreing: Piers Morgan?
Ben Shaprio: But, it happens and it’s fun when it does. But it’s a rarity. This is why we have to get in the business. We’ve done this on every other front, right? They create something and we do it better. Right, they create a machine and we make a better machine. This is something that, and it’s astonishing that the right has decided that they can’t do it and they’re so risk-adverse that they won’t do it. This is the beauty by the way of a 501(c)(3) organization is that, as opposed to somebody who’s going to come to you and pitch you on a Ronald Reagan biopic and you have to now make a profit on a Ronald Reagan biopic. I mean, what we’re talking about here is an informational campaign, which is really what movies are. And so it’s actually, this is why the DHFC, this is why TruthRevolt is the perfect forum for doing this sort of stuff. Because what you’re investing in is not profit that you’re going to make from a movie. You’re investing in the fact that there are gonna be 2 million people who watch this move. Stoning of Soraya M. is a beautiful example of this. I mentioned this as I was speaking to some folks the other day and I said this. Stoning of Soraya M., which is actually a very good film and a very effective film, was probably seen by 150,000-200,000 people total. Now, it was not a box office success, but if it’s done at a 501(c)(3) level, if it’s done for informational purposes, it takes tremendous messaging success.
Jeremy Boreing: By the way, it’s shown underground in Iran all the time now.
Ben Shapiro: Exactly, so we have to understand that, yes, we have to sacrifice to get into this business and no, we’re not going to come out immediately with $150 million block blusters with Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson. Chris Evans hates me by the way, which is odd. He Tweeted that the other day.
Elisha Krauss: So sad, Captain America hates Ben Shapiro.
Ben Shapiro: Yeah, he does. But, we can get into the business of messaging and that’s true whether we’re going to be punching people in the face in the media, or whether we’re going to be making new contents. It’s all part of the same bell. It’s all part of the same battle plan and that’s why we’re so grateful for all the support that we get from folks like you, because without it we really could not have the ability to build out.
Our growth has been so fast. Jeremy and I talked about this before we even started was, at a certain point we’re gonna get to the point where now we can move into the space where we can really change hearts and minds; where we’ve built our base and now we can really change hearts and minds. We just didn’t it would take four months, and after four months we’re there, and that’s a testament to the desire in the country for something different, something hard-hitting, and something that really is looking to make a change as opposed to more and more and more of the same. Because we can keep funneling dollars down the same rat holes over and over. We can go to the same experts who own huge houses and have wonderful collections of memorabilia and we can keep giving them lots of money and we can keep losing, or we can begin changing things.
Jeremy Boreing: Yeah. I’ve said this before, but when Stalin saw his first movie – it may be Apocryphal – but when Stalin saw his first movie he said, “No greater instrument has ever been conceived for the controlling of the minds of man.” When Barack Obama said that he was first Black President, Morgan Freeman, the famous actor, objected and said, “I was the first Black President” and Morgan Freeman’s right. There is no Barack Obama without Morgan Freeman
Ben Shapiro: Obama wasn’t even the second Black President. Dennis Haysbert was the second Black President in 24.
Jeremy Shapiro: That’s exactly right, on 24. The reason Hillary Clinton is almost certainly going to be our next President, and I know it’s a painful thing to say, but it’s because they have a story. Hillary Clinton is the first female President. It almost doesn’t matter if she’s elected in 2016. You know this, she’s already the first female President. She’s been the first female President for 20 years now. That’s a story 60 years in the making and we have no story to counter it. Our best hope is to find the least defensive, least conservative, most moderate heavy-set guy we can and run him against her. You’re gonna stand against a 60-year narrative with nothing? This is what you’re saying, Ben, it’s that ultimately the cultural landscape determines the political landscape
I think the beauty – you just hit on this. The beauty of what TruthRevolt demonstrates, which should really resonate with anyone who’s made a living in this country, is that there is actually a market for this product and no one is trying to step in and fill that market in efficiency. Heritage Foundation with $80 million a year is not trying to fill this market in efficiency. There is an amazing opportunity for whoever is willing to seize it and we’re very grateful, yes, to the people in this room and also to David and to Mike Finch for having the vision to try to step in.
Elisha Krauss: Are there some questions?
Audience Member: Here’s a thought I’d like you to respond to. It seems to me the perfect scenario is that within a few years you guys are making entertainment products or participating in making them that are hits by themselves. They’re hits without regard to the content and the content is just implicit in these smash hits that millions of people see. Is that the goal?
Ben Shapiro: Yeah. I mean one of the things that we’re doing, and this has been one of our goals all along, is not just to create good content but to create the distribution platform. I mean one of the questions that we get all the time is, okay, so who’s your list, right? How are you getting this stuff out? Well the answer is that every day that’s what we’re building. I mean that’s why we’ve built an email list of 45,000 people. That’s why the Center has an email list of 150,000 people. It’s why we’ve created partnerships with groups ranging from Young Americans Foundation to, yes, groups like Heritage Foundation where we’re going to be working with a lot of these groups. It’s why we’ve built partnerships with news organizations like Right Guard. It’s why we do what we do to gain a broader distribution mechanism.
Look, we understand we can’t rely on – let’s put it this way, 2016 was independently distributed. The second time around it’s gonna be distributed by Lion’s Gate, because now the left understands, okay this was a success and now we’re gonna have to get in the business of getting into this. The goal is to build a distribution platform so strong – this is where Glenn Beck is very smart. It’s to build a distribution platform so strong and so resonant that you can distribute product and it almost doesn’t matter what product you distribute at a certain point if you have enough people who like it. I think that our goal today is to say to the people in this room and people around the country who are patriots, we want to say, please give us some money so that we can take this message and give it to young people.
Our goal ten years from now is to say to young people, give me $10 bucks and I’ll give you our lesson. I mean that’s what Hollywood does. People pay $10.00 to get indoctrinated by Avatar. So yeah, ultimately we want to create work that stands on its own two legs. That’s the fundamental shift and that’s where they connect. First, as I was saying, our whole goal at the beginning was build the base, grow the base, and then use that base to push out, word of mouth and distribution. Then, eventually you’ve got enough people who are in your wheelhouse or visiting your web site to see the nine stupid reasons that you hated Titanic. You have enough people who are visiting your web site and on your email list and engaging with your content, that now when you release a piece of content that they’re not doing it just on a whim. They’re desperate to see it. They want to see it. I can promise you that aside from 2016, the number of people who are desperate to see documentaries is very, very low. I mean that’s just the reality of it. The most successful documentaries of all time are about as successful as a C-level movie in Hollywood.
I’m not a fan – I said this to Jeremy and other folks so many times – I’m not a fan of trying to draw the audience to me. I wanna go where the audience is. This is why, for example, we now have a relationship with the Young Americans Foundation, where instead of us setting up events on college campuses and trying to draw students to come watch David or me to speak, we’re going to have them funneling us information about events that are already going on. We’re going to go and crash the party.
Jeremy Boreing: Let the left draw the crowd and then we’ll send Ben to tell them they’re all Jew haters.
Audience Member: I wanna preface my remark by saying I think this is an extremely interesting and innovative entrepreneurial thing that you’re trying to do. You’ve inculcated Andrew Breitbart’s view that politics is downstream of culture. But, we’ve all been picked off in this room and other places and conservatives about David Brock and Media Matters for many, many years. What do you say to the charge that you’re our David Brock and this is a shoestring version of Media Matters?
Ben Shapiro: Good, F that guy. I said good, F that guy. Look, these are tactics that we wish we didn’t have to use. We wish that the other side didn’t have nuclear weapons. They do have nuclear weapons, so we can sit here and whine about it, or we can have mutually issued destruction; which is you come after our guys and we’ll come after your guys.
Elisha Krauss: For too long conservatism has kind of backed off of fighting that battle.
Ben Shapiro: Right, I mean we wanna be the nice guys in the room. We don’t wanna be the guy who calls up the donor and bothers them. We don’t wanna be the guy who calls up the advertiser. I mean they’re just trying to run a business after all. Yeah, but they’re funding the bad guys.
Jeremy Boreing: That’s right. Listen, Ben and I when we first started had this conversation, which is, is it a problem that we believe in free speech, but part of our mandate is going to be to curtail speech on the left. What we came to is the mutual issue destruction concept. The only thing less moral than using nuclear weapons is letting nuclear weapons be used against you. Ben said this on the day that we launched and it’s very important to us, because we do believe – listen, I love Martin Bashir having a TV show. This is another Andrew Breitbart point of view. I want the left to talk. I want people to hear what the left has to say, because I think in an actual marketplace of ideas when people hear their ideas and they hear our ideas they’re gonna pick our ideas but we don’t have a fair marketplace of ideas. Like everything else in the country the marketplace has been regulated by the left and it’s been regulated to a place where the left gets to say what they wanna say and we get to shut up and go home. So Ben said this on the day we launched and we stand by it, “The day the Media Matters hangs up their spurs we’ll hang ours up right next to them and we can all go back to having a fair conversation.”
Daniel Mael: I’ll just add on campus they often hide behind the free speech issue. It’s never an issue about free speech. You have a right to free speech. You don’t have a right to your own facts. Oftentimes, you’re just manipulating facts, so again, that’s also an emphasis.
Audience Member: I just wanna say you are what America has been looking for. Thank you.
Ben Shapiro: Thank you, that’s very kind of you.
Ben Shapiro: Then, I also wanna ask you a quick question. You may not tell us, but give us a teaser of what your first major motion picture would be about.
Jeremy Boreing: The end of the world.
Audience Member: No seriously, what would you attack in that first – where would you go with the mental imaging?
Jeremy Boreing: than specific ideas and this is what the left does so well. In fact, when they try to get too specific, their movies start to fall apart. You wind up with Redacted or the 13 other anti-Iraq ones.
The beautiful thing about Redacted, Redacted cost $25 million to make. At the domestic box office it made $25,000.00. By the way, that’s a hit for Hollywood. I mean it accomplished what they wanted it to accomplish, right. It wasn’t a business decision. But the lesson from that is that when you try to use a movie to do a very specific – a movie is not the job for a scalpel. It’s the job for a hammer. So, we want to make and we have three concepts right now at the feature level, and they may sound frivolous, but they’re actually the most important things we can do. We want to make a sci-fi horror movie that’s about the surveillance state and about the fact that you have no freedom of information anymore. We want to make a superhero movie that’s about free will versus forcing your will on other people. We wanna make a specific movie about the terrorism of Palestinians against Jewish civilians. That’s the most specific we wanna get, but it’s to answer a very specific weapon that being used against us.
Ben Shapiro: Right and I’ve been talking with folks –
Jeremy Boreing: The third one in particular.
Ben Shapiro: Exactly, there’s actually a movie out. I don’t know how many of you have seen it now. It’s called Little Town of Bethlehem and it’s actually funded by the Hobby Lobby guy and it’s a dramatically anti-Israel film. I’ve talked to folks inside the Israeli government and they say it’s one of the most damaging things to the State of Israel that’s happened in a very long time. It’s a fiction film that is based around the idea of the suffering of Palestinians. So this is a direct response to that. But the goal is, we have to take baby steps. We have to walk before we can run.
So we are testing the waters. We’re gonna start just like we’ve done here. I said to Mike when we first started TruthRevolt that we did not want one day where we were operating in the red in terms of our costs exceeding the amount that people were giving to us, because we don’t want to be Democrats and we don’t wanna be Leftists. The same thing is true here. We’re going to gradually attune people to what we’re doing. Because let’s face it, you get in a room like this with a lot of people who are really politically motivated and you say, the most important thing you can do is the superhero movie. And they say what? Hillary Clinton is running in 2016. The answer is we’re right and, yes, Hillary Clinton is running in 2016. Those two things are not mutually exclusive and so we have to drive on all levels. This is why, it’s not we’re abandoning our core mission, far from it. We’re using our core mission to service in an even more broad and important part of that core mission.
Jeremy Boreing: The generational struggle, and the reason you make sci-fi action horror movies and action movies and superhero movies is because those are the movies people actually go see.
Ben Shapiro: Do you wanna know how to reach young people? Why don’t you ask a young person once in a while instead of asking 75-year-old consultant? Really, ask somebody who’s 17. I swear to god the number of people who I’ve talked to say, the way to reach young people – and the person hasn’t been young since Steve McQueen was starring in Great Escape. The way to reach young people and then they’re struggling with an iPad. Is the “I” capitalized or is it lower case?
You wanna know what young people think, talk to some people who are young and go where the young people are and it ain’t hard to figure out. You can see what young people want, because we see the Nielsen ratings. We see which movies they watch. We see what they do on a cultural level. We see that they watch 40 hours of TV every single week. How many hours do they spend reading Friedrich Hayek or pamphlets about Friedrich Hayek? We’ve got to go where the – this is pure – what’s the name of the bank robber?
Audience Member: Willie Sutton.
Ben Shapiro: Willie Sutton, we go where the money is. You rob the banks. Why does he rob banks, because that’s where the money is? Why are we gonna go into Willie Sutton? Why are we gonna go into this business, because it’s where the young people are. We don’t wanna have to search them out. We don’t have to go out there with a mag – by the way if you can locate me the one 18 year old who would prefer, prefer, to sit there reading Friedrich Hayek to watching the movie 300, I will pay you $1 million right now. That person does not exist. So let’s deal with realities, not realities we wish it to be. That’s a Leftist thing to do, realities as we wish it to be. Vladimir Putin is a nice guy who just has everybody’s best interests at heart. Reality as we wish it to be. Young people love, desperately love reading the collective works of Winston Churchill. Okay, let’s be real now. The only thing that may have seen, may have seen with Winston Churchill and that is the King speech where he’s a peripheral character and even then the chances that they saw are really low.
Elisha Krauss: I think that’s one of the things that’s so great about TruthRevolt is a lot of the pieces that are features on the site also are in correlation with video or imagery. I mean for not even young people, but my mother’s ADD and she’s 56 years old and she’s like, “I love going there because I can read a quote. I can read the 1,000 words or less and get the information that is also in the video.
Ben Shapiro: Right and this is what FrontPage, TruthRevolt do differently. FrontPage is a place for thinking. FrontPage is a place where you have 1,500 word articles that give you the full perspective on what Vladimir Putin is doing in Crimea. TruthRevolt is here’s what happened in the last 5 minutes, here’s why it’s important, 250 words or less. It should take you 5 minutes to view every article on TR and that’s what we see. I mean the time spent on site for us is significantly lower than FrontPage Mag, but our traffic is significantly higher than FrontPage Mag. That’s because people are coming and they’re seeing what they wanna see and then they’re leaving and that’s fine.
Jeremy Boreing: It’s our job to bring them back 5 minutes later and tell them what happened while they were gone.
Ben Shapiro: Correct. By the way, it’s worthwhile saying this because we haven’t said it yet and this is off the point but it’s worth saying. When it comes to fundraising, we are very project-specific. This is not sign us a blank check and we’ll come back to you later and tell you where it went. I mean it really is – we try to be as transparent as possible. When I say “try to be” we are transparent. Not like Barack Obama, like if there is foyer request we’ll actually answer it and we will not restrict media access. Everything is project specific because people should know where the money and their time and their effort is going. They should always know that, because again, we are not Communists.
Jeremy Boreing: If we stop winning victories, don’t give us any money.
Ben Shapiro: There was a guy who called in who’s a businessman. He does business all of Eastern Europe. He was saying exactly the same thing. There’s no substitute for voice of America, but I’m gonna use the Rand Paul line here, which is a rarity for me for a variety of reasons. The Rand Paul line is that when it comes to this particular battle, nation building at home. Meaning that, yes, we hope to expand globally, but right now the problem in America is that Americans have forgotten what it means to American. Americans don’t know what it means to be an American. It used to be this is a country founded on an ideal. Everybody who joined here – the reason that Jeremy’s folks who have been here longer than my peeps; my peeps came over here in 1907. When did your people get here?
Jeremy Boreing: The late 1600s, there’ve been from Boreings as long as there’s been an America. You might call us the chosen people of America.
Ben Shapiro: The reason that Jeremy and I can do something like this and the reason that my great-great-grandfather could come here and join in is because this was a country founded on a philosophy and an ideal. There are people who are born in America who frankly don’t belong here, because they don’t buy into the ideal, and they are people who are trying to get in who do belong here because they do believe in the ideal. When we became a nation that was not founded on an ideal, but a nation founded on birthplace, you won the gene lottery. Congratulations, you’re born here and now you get all the benefits, then we lost our way.
Americans need to be reminded in every way possible from cultural to political to browbeating people and, yes, we’re not afraid to do that, and shaming people that there is a philosophy in this country worth fighting for and that it’s a philosophy that must stand up. If you don’t believe in that philosophy, you’re standing against good period. It doesn’t matter if you’re born here. It doesn’t matter if you’re born elsewhere. If you are standing against that philosophy, you are standing against what is good and what is just and what is right and I don’t care if your people have been here since the 1600s or 1500s and I don’t care if you’re descended from Native Americans and they’ve been here since the land bridge collapsed. It doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that if you don’t buy in to the philosophy of what it means to be an American, then you are fighting against what America stands for. You’re not a patriot and that’s a battle that we ought to be fighting every day and that’s a cultural battle, an emotional battle and an intellectual battle and an activist battle, which is why we’re trying to take it on, on all of those fronts.
Audience Member: I just wanna say first of all you guys might not be wielding guns in Afghanistan, but you sure are fighting on the frontlines and I know you take a lot of hits, so thank you for what you’re doing. My question is not exactly about what you’re doing now, but I think it’s in your wheelhouse. It has to do with the fact that 100 percent, not just young people, but everybody is compelled by compassion and fairness. Not everybody is compelled by some of the arguments we tend to make, which have to do with law and order and patriotism.
This was born in the 2012 election. We know that exit polls that Romney won three out of the four having to do with policy and leadership, but he lost 81 to 19 who cares about people like me, which means that a lot of Republicans thought Obama cared more about them. So I’d like to know your response to – it’s more of a downstream question we wanna win in an election. How do we use the culture? How could we capture that?
Ben Shapiro: This is exactly right. It’s the exact right question and the answer is, not exactly what people think it is. So people think that Mitt Romney, that Barack Obama won the poll question, which person cares more about people like you. That’s not exactly correct. Mitt Romney actually lost the poll question, which person of these two cares less about people like you. In other words the negative, the other side of that coin is the one that matters. Nobody believes that Barack Obama is compassionate. Nobody believes that Barack Obama is a nice human, okay because he’s not. Nobody believes that all of the people on the left are wonderful compassionate and deeply caring people. They aren’t. What they believe is that we’re evil and this is what movies are good for. This is what entertainment and culture are good for. They’re good for creating a villain.
Now I am going to steal something that Jeremy says, so tough, deal with it.
Jeremy Boreing: Well, when you get to be my age …
Ben Shapiro: Jeremy, who cites Star Wars as though he actually had stock in the movie, he’s fond of saying that, “Luke Skywalker is the most boring character in the history of film.” Which is true, Luke Skywalker is a deeply-boring character. If he were to say, I want to destroy the Death Star and I want to kill 100,000 innocent people aboard the Death Star, you would say, who are you? You’re boring and why do I care? The movie doesn’t start with Luke Skywalker. The movie starts with Darth Vader, a giant ship overtaking a small ship, which obviously power and victim. Then, the door bursting open after being blowtorched open and a 7-foot-tall guy in a black death mask walks in and chokes somebody to death, holding him off the floor while crushing his larynx. That’s how you know Luke Skywalker is the good guy and you haven’t met him yet. This is what movies are good for. Movies are significantly better at creating villains than heroes. Villains are very important. This is why when we say we wanna create a short film about how the Palestinians terrorists are the villains and it doesn’t even matter who the heroes are. The victims are the heroes in this case, but people get it wrong. The dichotomy is actually not in storytelling today between heroes and villains, it’s actually between victims and villains. Do you want to create compassion, find a victimizer.
Do you want to make people feel like they care about you? Then you need to make them feel like the other guy does not care about you and doesn’t give a damn about you and actually wants to harm you. That’s why I read that Nancy Pelosi quote. Anyway in there did you hear her say, we care about kids? No, all she said was, you don’t care about kids.
Daniel Mael: On campus, this is exactly where we’re getting defeated. Because J Street, your president, this is a quote you gave. “There’s an oppressor and there’s an oppressed. Israel is the oppressor and the Gazans are the oppressed.” This quote was given in 2011. Israeli Apartheid League, the Anti-Semitic League that actually supports the VDS that Ben actually spoke out against, J Street your president gave a quote. “The oppression that SJP is seeking to highlight this week is legitimate and is the same suffering that J Street is seeking to end.” So, more than ever TruthRevolt is needed.
Jeremy Boreing: That’s the genius of David’s go for the heart tracking.
Ben Shapiro: I mean all of this is straight from the mouth of David. I mean I grew up with two mentors basically, Andrew Breitbart and David. Everybody who works at TR inculcates the basic philosophy, which is that it is about the heart. It’s not about the head. Nobody is going to – people make up their decisions. Science chose this. People make up their decisions whether they like you or hate in literally a split second. They meet you and they decide whether they like you or hate you and that sits their entire life. It is almost impossible to change perceptions once that has been decided. Hollywood is in the business of creating people that you like and they having them do things that you hate, but you already like them so you accept the things that they’re doing. We need to be in the business of creating people that you hate, who happen to be aligned with philosophies that should be hated.
Elisha Krauss: Last question.
Audience Member: Hey, so what’s next for the comics?
Ben Shapiro: Oh yeah, so with the comics we’re really excited about this. We’re getting ready to – we have to commission it and then we’re gonna launch it. The goal would be to get it in all of the home schooling networks all around the country. We wanna make it – this is what’s great about it. We’re gonna make it nonpartisan. It’s just the true story of American history. There are not gonna be any sucker punches, because American history happens to be deeply conservative. It happens to be deeply in favor of liberty and freedom, so you don’t have to twist it. The left has to twist the story.
Actually this is really interesting. I was browsing Twitter the other day, because I have it open all the time. It’s a good source of news and an historical pic pops up. There’s a Twitter account called Historical Pics. It pops up and it’s a picture from 1939 of a Bund rally. What do you think is at the front of the Bund rally? American Nazi Party. What do you think is at the front of the Bund rally. They have big rafters. They have big pictures. Who is it of? It’s not Hitler.
Next Speaker: It’s George Washington; a big picture of George Washington and the American flag. The left has to co-op the images that are natural to us. The left has to pervert the images that are natural to us. As far as this graphic novel, we are going to be using the images that are natural to us. Our goal is not to use one on the Revolutionary War. Our goal is to carry it forward from Boston Massacre through present, and tell the true story of what’s happening. So when you’re done there should be 50 graphic novels on your shelf that tell the full story. By the way, these are the predicate for movies, right? That’s the goal of a graphic novel, 300 becomes a movie. A huge number of the movies that are now successful started off as graphic novels. That’s the goal.
We’re creating a marketplace. We’re creating our own market and we’re doing it through the educational means and we’re doing it in a way that I think folks can understand. Because while people here may not be used to funding movies, they are used to funding books and pamphlets; this is just a different type of book or pamphlet that actually gets across to young people. We start with that. That’s the baby steps and then soon we’re walking and soon we’re running. So that’s the goal is to create a full series, a full series starring all of American history; Civil War, World II, Civil Rights Movement, all the through using the graphic novel techniques that people actually accept.
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