Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to the panel discussion “Digital Media and the War for the Culture,” which took place at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat. The event was held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA.
Jeremy Boreing: For those of you who don’t know, everyone seated at this table is from Truth Revolt, and really, our mission at Truth Revolt was best defined by the Obama administration when they said, “Punch back twice as hard.” I don’t think that they knew when they were saying that, that a virulent right-wing organization like us would co-op their slogan, but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We call it plagiarism in our business, but really, the whole Internet runs on it.
What we do at Truth Revolt is we think of ourselves as both the activism wing of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and also as the marketing wing of the Freedom Center. We’re going to talk about both of those things as we get started. But the people who are at this table, at the moment, are all people who were involved in our Truth Revolt Original Videos program. Many of you may have seen the videos that we’re releasing. Andrew Klavan does a video series called “The Revolting Truth.” Bill does a series called “Firewall.” It’s impossible for the record to know which one of the two they were clapping for and I don’t want to start any fights, so I’m not even going to speculate.
Bill Whittle: Oh, we know.
Jeremy Boreing: And Ben has a video series that’s called “Reality Check.” We’re very pleased with our video series. To date, we’ve been viewed by more than 14 million people in the 11, 12 months that we’ve been doing the videos, which is an extraordinary number. One of the things that we like to say about the numbers, if you were to compare those to television, our average video does 150,000 views. Very regularly we do 300,000, 400,000, and some of our breakaway videos are over a million. Bill has the record right now with a video about the riots in Ferguson, which is at 1.2 million views.
Bill Whittle: Four million for “Number One With A Bullet.”
Jeremy Boreing: This is absolutely true. We have a video called “Number One With A Bullet,” which, on a different platform on Facebook, was viewed by 4 million people. And for context, the entire primetime lineup of MSNBC is viewed by fewer than 1 million people. So, it’s fair to say that our videos are reaching more people in many instances than engage MSNBC. More people watch the average Bill Whittle video than watch Al Sharpton on any given night, and we think that’s a damn good thing.
Andrew Klavan: I think more people are in this room than watch Al Sharpton.
Jeremy Boreing: We’re trying to make it seem impressive though. What we like to think of ourselves really at Truth Revolt Originals is that we’re storytellers. And storytelling — as anyone who was at the dinner last night and got to hear Bill’s excellent speech — as you know, storytelling is something that’s severely missing from our movement as a whole. And we all basically share the view that that’s a real tragedy because the greatest story ever told really is the story that conservatives can claim as their own. It’s a story that in literature is called “the hero’s journey,” and it’s basically the idea that one man who has noble blood running through his veins can correct the mistakes of his father’s and can bring about the sort of peace, prosperity and justice that once used to reign.
And that’s why we’re here. We’re here to perhaps help take some of these great values that our movement has and put them into a form where people engage them. A New York Times best-selling nonfiction book in the political space will sell fewer than 50,000 copies. And, they’ve done studies that say fewer than 10 percent of the people who purchase those books actually read them, which means the New York Times’ best-selling political book is read by 5,000 people. And you compare that to 150,000 people watching each one of these men’s videos every single week, and it’ll begin to paint for you a picture of just what kind of reach we have.
And it’s a work that David has given us the power to do over the last year. We’re going to talk a little bit about what it means to us, about what it means to the greater cultural battle space, and about how we might continue to grow and reach ever larger audiences as this panel goes on. And so with that, once again, I’ll introduce the guys, Andrew Klavan, Bill Whittle, Ben Shapiro, I’m Jeremy Boreing, and we’ll have a nice conversation now.
You’re really moving beyond just speaking openly, talking head format about various pieces of policy, and you’re using satire and sort of entertainment as a means to carry that message forward. Could you talk to us a little bit through your perspective on that, and why you think that adds value to the conversation?
Andrew Klavan: Well, because so much of what leftists say not only is untrue — even they don’t believe it — and so it’s based on the idea that somehow convincing yourself of a lie is virtuous. I always think a lot of leftism is based on moral relativism that becomes multi-culturalism, that one culture is just as good as another. And I always think that was most eloquently stated by Hamlet when he said, “There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And Hamlet said that when he was pretending to be insane. And what Shakespeare was saying is not only is moral relativism insane, it’s only pretend-insane because nobody really believes it.
And so the humor, the comedy of leftism is right there waiting to be picked up. It’s like fruit lying on the ground, and since I don’t like to work very hard, it’s easy for me to pick it up. I mean we live in a culture where basically Jon Stewart is a talented guy, but if Jon Stewart goes on TV, as he so often does, and says, “Screw Dick Cheney,” the next day he’s on the cover of Time Magazine with “the comic genius,” oh, “the comic stylings” and “the genius.” Whereas, if you come out and say, “Screw Barack Obama,” it’s like you’re a racist. That’s a terrible thing to say.
Jeremy Boreing: Not funny.
Andrew Klavan: Not funny. One of the chief writers for Saturday Night Live said he just couldn’t satirize Barack Obama because he was like a smooth wall of obsidian. There was nothing to cling to as he climbed up toward humor. And I’m thinking, you have got to be kidding me. This Choom Gang graduate, who is now the President of the United States after having achieving nothing? So, all I’m doing really is just pointing out what they’re saying. Sometimes I only have to repeat what they’re saying and it’s funny. It’s funny because even they know it’s untrue and that’s just the comic situation.
Jeremy Boreing: Well, it’s interesting that you use mockery to assault the left, which is something that they’ve sort of pioneered using against us. You don’t see anyone on our side using it the other way. Bill, you do something similar, although with a slightly different slant, in that you use one of the tools of the left, which is their sort of moral indignation. They call us names. You may be the only guy in the movement who routinely, actually takes that fight to them; actually challenges them at the moral level. Could you talk a little bit about that and how you identified that as a tactic, and how you think it might be used by others?
Bill Whittle: Well, that’s really it, right? I mean their political philosophy is predicated on one thing only and that is that we’re better people than you are. Their policies don’t make any sense. Just as an example, the destruction of black America over the last 40 years, as we’ve engaged in these progressive policies, is self-evident to anybody. And, they’re dependent upon this sense of utter and moral superiority to not win an argument because they can’t win an argument. They’re dependent on their sense of utter and moral superiority to make sure that there is no argument. In other words, if you disagree with the President’s spending, you’re a racist, so shut up. Or if you have a problem with talking about Hillary Clinton, then you’re a misogynist, so shut up, and you’re an evil person, so shut up, and so we don’t have to listen to you.
And so this is the only weapon they have. It’s all they’ve got. It’s all there is. And it occurred to me not too long ago that every time we go directly at that unearned moral superiority, once that is destroyed it is game over, because unlike them, we have the ammunition. We have the rhetorical ammunition. We have the factual ammunition. Our policies make sense. Our policies work. We don’t have to start off by saying, “Well, I’m a Socialist.” Any time anybody says to me at all, “I’m a Socialist,” the first thing I go to is: Let’s talk about the 150 million people killed by Socialists. Before we have another word out of your mouth about anything, let’s talk about the 150 million men, women and children who were shot in the back of the head in camps in National Socialism, or in the basement of the Louvre Bianca. Let’s talk about the 150 million people who have been killed in order for you to feel better about yourself.
We’re not going to talk about anything else until we deal with these people. These people are as real as the people in this room today. They were individuals. They were executed in cold blood because of collectivism. So if you want to make a collectivist argument about cell phone usage, that’s fine. We’re going to talk about 150 million corpses on the side of your particular political philosophy. You don’t get to walk away from them.
Oh, well that’s different. Why is it different? Well, that was bad Socialism. Why was it bad? Well, Stalin took over and Stalin was an evil guy. Stalin took over the apparatus built by Lenin. Lenin built the apparatus. Lenin sent innocent people to their deaths fully aware that they were innocent people. Well, the Russians didn’t do it right. Well, what about the Chinese? They killed 50 million people. Well, they didn’t do it right either. What about the Cambodians? They killed 7 million people. They didn’t do it right either. What about the Cubans? They’ve killed millions of people, or put millions of people in jail. Well, they’re not doing it right either. What about Nicaragua where all these people are being gunned down or oppressed? Well, they’re not doing it right either. What about Vietnam where they killed 7 million people after we won the war and lost the peace? They went in and executed thousands, millions of people; hundreds of Super Bowls full of innocent people. Well, they didn’t do it right either.
Well, comes a point when you start to say to yourself, well, maybe it just can’t be done right. Did the thought ever occur to you that your collectivist vision of putting all of the power of the giant, heartless, soulless state in the hands of a few elitists — who can’t open a jackknife — that this is the inevitable result of your political philosophy? And then all of a sudden we’re not talking about healthcare anymore. We’re talking about the only real difference between people.
One of the things about the abortion issue that I think is really illuminating is this. In the abortion issue we have two sides. There’s pro-life and there’s pro-choice. These are advertising terms, right? These are advertising terms designed to make our side look morally superior. I’m pro-life. Well, if you’re opposed to me, you’ve got to be pro-death then, right? I’m pro-choice. Well, if you’re opposed to me, then you’ve got to be a person who’s against any kind of choice whatsoever. They’re advertising terms. So if we’re going to talk about abortion, let’s talk about it with clarity. We’re either pro-abortion, or anti-abortion. That’s fair to both sides, right? That’s a fair way to talk about it and get down to brass tacks.
I bring this up only to say that all of these labels like “liberal,” “conservative,” “Republican,” “Democrat,” we get into this kind of sophistry. It’s true, but it is sophistry. We’re conservatives who are trying to conserve classical liberalism. And we can have this kind of discussion all the time, but really when you get right down to it there are, in fact, two kinds of political philosophies. There are collectivists and there are individualists, and that’s a fair way to describe both teams, and that’s where I go. I’m an individualist. They’re a collectivist. And when you have a collectivist political structure, people end up dying. When you protect the rights of the individual, you get Disneyland. Any questions?
Andrew Klavan: It’s a toss up.
Jeremy Boreing: So Ben, well, you sign our checks.
Ben Shapiro: So praise me highly.
Andrew Klavan: What a wonderful guy.
Jeremy Boreing: Yeah, so we look up to Ben. But this sort of concept that sort of animates Truth Revolt and Trust Revolt Original Videos, this concept of using the tools of the left against them really is your vision, and an extension of David’s vision. Could you sort of tell us a little bit about your background? How you came to be kind of exposed to those ideas from David, and how you’ve helped to sort of shape them into a perspective of your own, and kind of what you see as the mission statement of Truth Revolt?
Ben Shapiro: First of all, I apologize for not being able to use the mic because it’s Saturday. So it’s Shabbat for me, so I can’t use the mic. So I’ll shout as loud as I can and speak slower than normal, which you know is difficult for me. So, I can honestly say that in terms of the two big ideological mentors that I had in my life, David is one and Andrew Breitbart was the other. And, they were both on the same page when it came to strategy, and the strategy was always the walk toward the fire. That you take whatever they are firing at you, and you just keep walking toward them, and you use whatever tactics they’re willing to use against you because we’re way too polite in the conservative movement. We do this routine where we act as though if we’re nice and if we’re kind and if we’re generous to the other side, that somehow this either wins us points with them or wins us heaven points. And because of that, we therefore ought to do this even in the face of people who call us evil on a daily basis.
And David obviously has been preaching that his entire career because he was inside the left. Andrew at one point was a leftist. I was never a leftist because I grew up with mentors like David and like Andrew, and like my parents. And so because of that, I kind of grew up in the milieu that suggests that you have to fight back using the tools that they have. And that’s why I think when it comes to the video program at Truth Revolt Originals, that’s something that you don’t see a lot on the right because it is a tool of the left. Not just storytelling, but the actual medium itself.
We on the right are very fond of writing because writing is wonderful, and you can get across complex and brilliant and deep ideas. But the problem is that everybody who is my age and younger, everybody who’s 40 and younger, is watching videos. And it’s getting to the point where that’s actually moving up the age scale, not down. Everybody who’s now 60 and younger, is actually watching videos and listening to podcasts and operating through a certain media.
And so what we decided to do here was take the messages that David had been pushing, take the messages of conservatism, and apply them in a way that people would actually watch and people would actually care about. Because we in the conservative movement have spent our entire lives basically telling people what they ought to listen to, instead of saying what do people want to listen to, and then how do we appeal to those people. Right? Why is it that Barack Obama can draw 30,000 people to a stadium to talk? Well, it’s not because of Barack Obama. It’s because Katie Perry’s his opener.
And then so for us the key is how do we take the material that we have and market it in a certain way? So we’ve really focused at Truth Revolt — the original mission of Truth Revolt, which we still do, is taking out the bad guys on the left, which is why over the last year no one has been as successful as we have in terms of taking out media personalities. I mean we turned Martin Bashir into an unemployed person and Piers Morgan into an unemployed person, and we turned Lena Dunham into a running joke because she sexually molested her sister. And we have destroyed a number of major media figures on the left, but it’s not enough to just tear them down. We also have to build something up in place of that.
And so I’m eager to talk about, and very transparent about what exactly our budgeting constraints are in doing all of this. Because the left spends literally hundreds of millions of dollars every year pushing the kind of content that we push from the other side. And we could. Jeremy said each one of these videos is getting seen more than a single episode of Al Sharpton. Well, we want to get to the point where we’re getting seen more than Rachel Maddow or Al Sharpton or both of them combined, and we want to be doing it on a daily basis, and that costs money. And so the vision is twofold. One, is to knock them down, to hit them as hard as we can in the throat until they’re on their ass, and they don’t get back up again. And the other is to then go to all of the people who those people were talking to and now convince them and now work with them. And so, that’s really the two-pronged approach, is to hit them as hard as possible, and then to go to all the people who are not being talked to or being talked down to, and speak to them in a language that they understand.
Which is why when we talk about the things that we do at Truth Revolt, we’re always thinking in terms of, okay, Facebook marketing or YouTube, or comic books. I mean it’s never in terms of we need another documentary that no one is going to watch except that it’s been marketed on the radio. I mean Dinesh D’Souza’s an outlier. Most documentaries don’t get watched. Well, what we really need is the stuff that people are going to watch and the stuff that people are going to see. And if we do that, if we build an audience big enough and powerful enough, then we really can make a dent. Because it’s not enough to have the right message. It’s making sure that people have the capacity to hear the right message.
Andrew Klavan: Absolutely. And could you go over that stuff about hitting them in the throat again? I’m sorry, I like that.
And the only thing I wanted to interject here was to tell you how unbelievably, unbelievably wise Jeremy and Ben are and frugal with your money. I’ve never ever experienced this kind of return on investment. They spend this really remarkably. Compared to what this other company spends and gets nothing — they make very, very limited, very precisely targeted purchases. And frankly, there’s no point in paying us to do the videos if they don’t get seen. They spend very little money, and get enormous results because of the research and the wisdom that they’ve shown. And when we did this same sort of panel back a few months ago, back in Florida, Jeremy was talking about what the floor would be with just a little bit of extra resources. But, I just wanted to say as a person who’s been in both these worlds, I’m astonishingly proud of the work that these two gentlemen do, and how frugal they are with your resources, and how much reach they get. It’s heartbreaking. I’ll just come out and say it. It’s heartbreaking. And Andrew would know more about this than I do, to get a few hits and get a very small number of hits on a video.
But seriously, I can’t tell you how many times — I know this must be true for them as well — where you put your heart and soul into something, you think it’s a really terrific argument and you really think it can make a difference if people would just see it. And then, it just sits out there and does 20,000, 30,000 views and it just tears the heart out of you. I’ve never worked for a company that had not only a commitment to get the videos done, but market them. And, I’ll just close this stuff by saying what a remarkable idea, huh? What an incredibly advanced, amazing, brilliant insight. We have a product. Maybe we should market and advertise the product?
Andrew Klavan: And it goes beyond that too because these two guys are doing something that Bill and I talked about, but we’ve never seen it done on the right before, which is that they are essentially fishing where the fish are. They’re entertaining people. If you look at a site like BuzzFeed, which has got to be one of the monster sites, it’ll say, “Here are the ten hottest bikinis worn by movie stars. Here are the ten coolest cars. Here are the ten best action scenes from a James Bond movie. And, here are the ten reasons why Hillary Clinton should be the next President.” So, it’s kind of like putting a naked person in Macy’s window. It gathers a crowd and then you deliver your message. It’s a form of storytelling that is just not done.
I was thinking the other day after Netanyahu made that speech before Congress: My favorite reaction to the speech came from Barack Obama and satirizing Barack Obama is like being on welfare. It’s like the government just supplies the satire. Barack Obama looked at this wonderful and impassioned speech, fighting for one of the really, truly important causes of our time and he said, “It’s nothing new.” He said, “There was nothing new.” And I thought that’s right. That’s right. There is nothing new. Good and evil have been fighting since creation and they’re still fighting and it’s nothing new. Only Barack Obama thinks that he’s going to redefine this endless thing. And the thing about storytelling is, you hit the points that aren’t new. You hit the points that are always true, that are always the same, and people recognize it from their gut. And so, the things that BuzzFeed does, the things that a lot of other left-wing sites do, the thing that Jon Stewart does, is he tells the story that is just essentially and forever true. And that’s what we’re trying to do.
Jeremy Boreing: That’s right. And for those in the room who may not frequent BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed is the most influential news web site in the world today, and they are not primarily a news web site at all. They’re primarily a pop culture entertainment web site. And it’s because they understand something. It’s really shocking to me that we don’t understand on our side, right? The right is typically populated by people who at least pay lip service to appreciating the free market, appreciating the concept of commerce and business, and a lot of people have made a lot of money in the world of business. And yet, we treat voters and would-be voters like they’re chess pieces, instead of what they actually are, which is customers. And we’re never trying to actually sell them what they want to buy, which is what we would do in a business. We’re always trying to force them to take what we want them to have, which is a bad business model, right? And we fall in love, in many cases, with the means of delivering a message, even at the expense of the efficacy of the message itself.
I have a grandmother whom I love, and I’m from a very small town in Texas. And we have this local newspaper that’s been there for almost as long as the town has been there, The Slatonite. And so, for that entire time The Slatonite has said who married whom, had every obituary, what was the score at the high school football game last week, and the sort of information that keeps a small town moving. There’s never been any news there, but other things run the newspaper. And my nana asked me one time, she said, “How do we get more young people to read The Slatonite?”
And it was a real breakthrough moment for me because I realized what a flawed question that is. Young people will never read The Slatonite. If you went to the Slaton High School and you offered to pay every young person there $10.00 a week to read The Slatonite, they still wouldn’t read The Slatonite. You could not pay them to do it. If you took a Thomas Sowell book to a college campus and said, “I’ll pay every freshman here $100 bucks to read this book,” not one single person will read the book and take you up on that offer. And, it’s a flawed question. We shouldn’t even want to do that.
The question we should be asking is how do we get young people exposed to the wonderful information that’s being communicated by The Slatonite? And we should have no attachment whatsoever to the means by which we deliver that information to them. In other words, we should treat them like customers. We should see what they want to buy, and then find a way to infuse our values or our information into that item that they actually want to spend their money on. And this is what Hollywood is so good at, right? In the conservative nonprofit world we’re the sort of guys, we’ll write a tract or a book or make a documentary about how evil the global warming hysterics are, the climate change hysterics are, and then we’ll wonder why no one engages it. And then, we’ll go out to donors and we’ll say, well, if you would give us $50,000.00, we could print this up and ship it out to a bunch of people who won’t ever read it. But, we don’t say that or it’s not ever part of the pitch.
But, that’s not what James Cameron does. James Cameron actually finds a way to get every person on planet Earth basically, including conservatives, to pay him $15.00 to be indoctrinated about how we’re destroying the planet. Because he makes it not a documentary, but a movie; an entertaining movie with big blue people who had sex with trees. I didn’t get it honestly. I didn’t understand it, but I paid $30 bucks between those two times as I was trying to figure it out. That’s how entertainment works. When you start using entertainment, you’re creating a content type that people want to engage.
And so, one of things that I think that we as a movement need to do and one of the things that I’m proud to be a part of with the gentlemen here on this stage and with our other great team at Truth Revolt, is finding a way to infuse our values into content the people want to watch. And it’s very gratifying for us, whether it’s a movie that we’ve made or one of our videos. It’s very gratifying when people say, “I loved watching that.” As opposed to, “I really like what you had to say. I really liked watching that.”
Ben Shapiro: And a lot of that, and folks should know, Jeremy is the guy behind the scenes. The three of us have our faces on the video. Jeremy is the guy behind the scenes who’s putting everything together, and making it work, and doing the marketing. So, Jeremy deserves an independent round of applause because he really is the guy. And as I said, I mean I don’t want to sound like a schnorr here, but the reality is that the way that this works is essentially — and I’m happy to be perfectly transparent about our cost — I mean Bill is nice when he says that we’re very efficient in the way that we do our videos and there’s no question that we are. We film them all together at the same time on the same day to make sure that we are cost cutting. We actually, we make sure that we are doing it in the most efficient possible manner to make sure that we’re not wasting anybody’s money, but essentially, we’ve been spending about $1,000.00 per video, on the marketing of each independent video, which means that if we’re producing right now 6 videos a month, we want to get it back up to 12, if we were producing 6 videos a month, that means we’re spending $6,000.00 a month on the marketing and that means that for every $1,000.00 that’s being spent on average we’re getting 150 people watching the video for every $100.00 –
Jeremy Boreing: Well, for every $1,000.00 dollars we spend we get about we get about 100,000 views.
Ben Shapiro: So for every dollar we spend, 100 people are watching.
Jeremy Boreing: Right.
Ben Shapiro: So the idea is that if we got that to $3,000.00 per video, if our budget for each for the marketing of each of these videos, even if we just kept the same number of videos, if our marketing were $3,000.00 a video instead of spending $72,000.00 a year, we’re spending $210,000.00 a year on the marketing then you would be talking about at least 300 to 400,000 people seeing every single thing that is being said, which is an enormous number of people, particularly because — you know, people always ask, how do we merge what we do with kind of the mission of the Center and the reality is that what we do is we militarize all the content that the center provides.
And we rely on a lot of the content that the Center provides. I mean Bill works hand in glove with David very often in producing his scripts. David sends suggestions to me about the scripts that we should produce and when we are using resources, we are very often using resources from places like FrontPage Mag or Discover the Networks and when we do that, we’re taking content that’s being seen by some people and a much smaller number of people and we’re putting in front of literally millions of people at a time and it.
Jeremy Boreing: And it’s also worth saying, Ben, to sort of a compliment of what you’re saying, so we spend $1,000.00 to get 100,000 sort of baseline views, but quite often, one of those videos breaks out and does 200, 300, 400, a million views. If we were to triple the budget that we’re spending and we got to a place where consistently 3 to 400,000 people are watching every video, well first of all, Wolf Blitzer is seen by about 500,000 people a day. I mean you’re talking about a remarkable number of people watching these videos if we were spending that kind of money, but you’re also, by order of magnitude, probably raising the likelihood of one of those videos catching the wave and running up into the millions so I think that if we were to triple the budget, we wouldn’t be tripling our audience. If we were triple the budget, we’d probably raise our audience ten times over the course of a year and become a really competitive force, and that really — is we have two fundraising needs at Truth Revolt other than our operational costs as any program would have and they’re both marketing. We want to vastly expand the money that we’re spending on our YouTube marketing so that more people see Andrew, more people see Bill and more people see Ben, and we want to spend more money on our Facebook marketing so that we’re building a permanent audience and taking luck kind of out of our business model, taking luck out of our equation.
And it’s interesting. In this setting, we found — we’ve all spoken at events for different nonprofits around the country, Heritage Foundation or others — and everyone focuses on programs, everyone focuses on what can we do, what can we make, what can we build, and what we’ve come to realize, because we’re really, under David’s guidance, created what we think is really top of class content, and what we’re trying to think about that other people aren’t is how do we get people to engage that content, and it’s a very difficult thing to go to a room full of donors who are used to having people like us come to them and say we need to make this, we need to write this, we need to march on this and we’re coming with a unique pitch.
Our pitch is we need money not so that we can make something new, but so that people can see the things that we make, so that the things that we make don’t just make the people in this room feel better knowing that we’re doing something and they don’t just make us feel better. Hey, listen, it makes me feel better waking up every day knowing I’m in the fight, but that’s not enough. We have to now take this wonderful content and expand it to an audience where we can actually change the narrative in the country, where we can actually shape the way people think and the way they vote on these issues and that’s what we want.
Andrew Klavan: And the thing is — and this is a point that Andrew Breitbart made continually — is the reason it’s tougher for us to make the sale than it sometimes is for other people is every election cycle, somebody comes to you and says, oh, man, you have got to give this amount of money to get this candidate elected or the sky will fall. I mean there’s only 2 months to the election, you have got to contribute. I mean Karl Rove is going to come out and say you’ve got to put those attack videos on the air. Meanwhile, the culture is eating the ground up from under your feet. It’s eroding the very ground that you’re standing on.
And those of you who remember what America used to be like, look at the White House and say how did Barack Obama, a guy like Barack Obama get in the White House? It’s because they saw him at the movies, it’s because while we were dealing with the next emergency and the next emergency and this election and that election, they were eating the ground out from under our feet by taking control of the culture, and that’s what we’re trying to do is take the culture back. And that’s why it’s sometimes a more difficult pitch, because it’s a long burn, it’s a long job that we have to do, and the only words that I want to tell conservatives are the words from the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”: “Don’t panic.” Do not panic because we have a long job ahead of us and it starts now. I mean we’re trying to do it now.
Bill Whittle: Yeah. I’ll tell you one thing that’s really beautiful about this idea of sort of an immortal Facebook presence that has a large number of eyeballs that can be directed to anything. Once that Facebook presence is established, it’s simply a question of what do we put up on the Facebook page, and then we start getting huge numbers, hundreds of thousands of hits and in some cases, millions of hit,s so I hope everybody is — I know you’re all seated, but you might want to strap on your seat belts because here’s a really revolutionary idea. If we were to have this Facebook presence where we could start really setting a large number of eyeballs in certain places, that would be a time for us to use the most powerful weapon of all, and this is why I’m glad everybody is sitting down because I don’t think anybody has ever said these words before to a conservative audience. The fact of the matter is this: We can make conservatism interesting and passionate, we can make conservatism funny, but if you can make conservatism sexy, it’s game over. Now, when I look to my right and to my left here and think about making conservativism sexy –
Andrew Klavan: How much sexier could it get?
Bill Whittle: – we’re boned. We’re boned. Let me just tell you one thing, when they use sexiness to sell everything from automobiles to toasters to insurance policies to whatever, it is not just using the sales tool. What it is, is it’s destroying the narrative of who we are. It destroys the image of who we are. We lose elections because we’re perceived to be these bloodless reptiles who live in our heads and are mean-spirited.
Andrew Klavan: Which I actually am.
Bill Whittle: Which is why I said we’re in such deep trouble. But the fact of the matter is this, I had a conversation. I was talking to somebody about politics, talking about people. I was talking about what was happening to the black communities. I was talking about what was happening to America, and this person said to me, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but you sound like a liberal and it’s, I said really. She said yes, you sound like a liberal because you sound like you really care. Well, I do care. Well, I do care. I do care.
And so the idea that we are these straight-laced, uptight, rigid, bloodless, sexless robots with steel rim spectacles and bowties and suspenders, not only would making conservatism sexy — use the power of sex appeal to sell anything as if you would sell any other thing — it would destroy their image of us, and so this is kind of where I think I’d like to see us going in the midterm is not — people say well we should do a Daily Show, you should do an answer to The Daily Show. I don’t want to do The Daily Show. I want to do something that outflanks The Daily Show. I want something that makes The Daily Show look like what it is, which is a 20-year-old tired, stale, cynical, bitter, mean spirited, elitist, talk-down snark fest.
I want to do something that gets behind that and says we don’t have to be nasty, we don’t have to be mean and we don’t have to have all this cynical nonsense. We’re the princes of creation. The world is ours. We’re the top of the food chain. We’re free people living in the 21st century and we have Novocain for oral surgery, we have fast cars and loud guns and hot women and we’re swinging dudes and we’re dressed well because it’s cool to dress well because we’re not jeans and T-shirt savages. We’re the rat pack, man. We’re Sinatra. We’ve got some swing. We’ve got a little bit of hustle going here, and the thing that’s so remarkable about the situation we find ourselves in is, as I said last night, this is in fact our philosophy, right? We are the people who think that men should be steely-eyed missile men and women should be like short skirt, long jackets, smart, kind of saucy — yeah, you know.
And we believe in things like burning rubber on the open road and we believe in convertibles and the Beach Boys and candy apple red stingrays on an open day in the middle of Texas and no one telling us where to go. And we think we should be armed to defend ourselves and our women and our children and we think that life is ours — and we have six flags on the moon for God’s sake — and what are we doing dicking around here raising money for the Guatemalan water snake when there’s deserts to irrigate and there’s thorium reactors to build and we can have as much energy as we want?
If you want to have five houses then go out and work hard and have five houses and live like a human being for God’s sake. How hard is this to sell to people? Honestly, how hard is it? They’re trying to sell you on the idea that some elected, unelected, well, once elected student council weenie in Sacramento has the right to tell you how warm or how cold your house is going to be based on the fact that we don’t have the electrical grid because we don’t spend the money to build more power plants because that money has to go to their retirement funds? Call ’em what they are. They’re a bunch of tie-dyed weenie dweeb losers, who can’t open a jackknife and we’re going to give up this life of freedom and prosperity and joy to these bloodless, loveless, sexless robots? No, I’m done with it. I’m tired of losing to these people. Done.
Andrew Klavan: Why are you pointing at me?
Jeremy Boreing: Bill, that was a great speech. What are Beach Boys?
Bill Whittle: I genuinely believe — I said this before. I do a little web show called the Stratosphere Lounge and I said it on the Stratosphere Lounge and when I said it, I actually started to cry. I actually believe the National Anthem of the United States should be “Fun, Fun, Fun.” I’m not kidding. I’m serious as I can be. I’m as serious as I can be. I think that song is America in a nutshell, certainly conservative America in a nutshell. You’ve got your daddy’s car, you’re gonna cruise to the hamburger stand now, you’re in a Tbird, you’re free, you’re alive, there’s no one telling you what to do, that’s your car, you paid for it — and by the way, we’re talking about reaching young people, right? I mean, this is the goal. I don’t want to reach these 24-, 25-, 26-year-olds that voted for this socialist loser. I want their younger brothers and sisters that think they’re older brothers and sisters are a bunch of idiots. I want to reach the kids who are wondering why their older brothers and sisters are still living in the basement, and I want to go to them and say, hey, man, we’re in favor of cars and we don’t have to tell you that when you’re a teenager, your car is your kingdom. It’s a little steel and glass empire of your own that you can go out and park someplace and listen to your tunes and have a good time and no one can tell you what to do when you’re in your car. Cars are freedom. Everybody loves cars. They belong to us. Guns belong to us. Hot people or good-looking people, not even good-looking people, just the idea that you can go out and do what you damn well want to. That’s our philosophy. It’s not their philosophy and they are sexy? Come on, please.
Jeremy Boreing: And for $3,000.00 a week we can expose half a million people that sort of art.
Bill Whittle: Yeah! I would be standing in the background and I’d have these two smoking hot dancers doing the whole thing and I would just be standing there with a wry expression holding up cue cards for them to say. You know what I mean?
I cannot recommend highly enough this Virgin America safety video only because it takes the most archaic information, the most boring mindless information, and makes you just not be able to stop watching it, and Jeremy pointed out -- after I showed Jeremy the Virgin safety video, he sent me a link to something. He said this is my favorite thing on the Internet and it was a video which is now another $10, $12 million video. It’s called Actual Cannibal, Shia LaBeouf. It’s a song about Shia LaBeouf being an actual cannibal who murders people and it’s done on a stage and it uses the LA Gay Men’s Choir and it’s got a production, there’s 30 or 40 people on stage. There’s dancers. There’s people that come down on ropes. It’s mindboggling. I’ve seen it personally 15, 16 times and it’s about nothing.
It’s about nothing, but it is so compelling and it’s musical and it’s interesting and it’s cool and it’s wry and it’s hip, and if you were to put a couple, just a couple of these core principles into that kind of production number, you would give 15-, 16-, 17-year-old people a place to land culturally. It would be something they could share with their friends and be proud of. It wouldn’t be, hey, here’s some old guy who I know is really kind of staid and kind of quiet — they don’t know what staid is — he’s kind of square, but listen to what he has to say. It could be something they could share and be proud of ’cause it kicks ass.
Ben Shapiro: As my good friend Stevie Wonder says, I think that it is important that what we do be fun, and too often the word fun has gone by the wayside in our movement, for sure, because everything we do is so serious all the time, and it should be serious. I mean it’s serious business. The country is serious business. The Constitution is serious business. But when you’re 17, nothing is serious business. And when you’re 21, nothing is serious business, and now that you’re on your parents’ insurance until you’re 39 years old, nothing is serious business until basically you die, so you might as well start marketing in terms of things that are fun, which is why, sorry Bill, but I think that Klavan’s videos are in some ways, in this particular sense — all of our videos do different things. Bill’s videos are, they reach out to people and they snap people in a way that nobody else’s do and they mobilize the base like nobody else’s do and Drew’s videos are specifically designed to reach out to people who have not really thought about politics. That’s why he uses the politics of being absurd.
I mean all of Drew’s videos are based on the idea that the left is just absurd and anybody can recognize absurdism. You don’t actually have to have moral value to recognize that something is just ridiculous and so Drew’s videos are aimed toward that audience. My videos are typically very statistically heavy because they’re aimed more toward you’ve got an annoying leftist friend and they keep telling you that radical Muslims are a tiny minority of the population, and so we go through all the polls to show that that’s not the case. So all of these things achieve kind of different things and it’s the diversity of message, but with the overall goal, I think what separates Truth Revolt as an organization is not just the fact that we want to fight, it’s also the fact that we want to fight with a smile because if you’re not having fun while you’re doing it, you’re doing it wrong, and no one is gonna want to join you.
Andrew Klavan: It’s also that we know who to fight. I mean Ben took down Lena Dunham, who maybe some of you guys have never seen, but Lena Dunham is a huge, powerful voice on the cultural left. I mean, it was a great story. Some people on Twitter congratulated — a leftist put on Twitter, congratulations Ben Shapiro, you broke Lena Dunham, and it’s actually true.
Ben Shapiro: And for those of you who don’t know the Lena Dunham story, this is just kind of a fun story and this is what we do in our spare time when we’re not making videos, and that is Lena Dunham. How many of you have heard of HBO’s “Girls”? Okay, so a good number. About half of you know what HBO’s Girls is. Now, I didn’t ask how many of you have seen it because no one has ever seen the show. It’s like really, no one has ever seen the show. It has no ratings whatsoever. It’s just that the media loves it because of the fat chick getting naked. And so that’s really the entire premise of the show is a fat chick getting naked, and this is why it’s special and because everybody is sort of puzzled by this because a more attractive chick getting naked, everybody’s like oh, okay, that’s TV, right? I mean we all get that, but she gets naked and everybody is like what’s going on? There is this element. It’s the element of surprise. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and so she has become, through this, the media has decided that she is out for empowering women because she is a fat chick who gets naked, and so in her role of empowering women, all she does all day long is talk about abortion. That’s her only thing. She just talks about how abortion is a more, it’s not just a decent thing to do, it is a moral thing to do. You actually get extra moral points for participating in abortion.
Jeremy Boreing: She’s the national spokeswoman for Planned Parenting.
Ben Shapiro: She is the national spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. So anyway, Kevin Williamson wrote a phenomenal review at National Review; a terrific writer. He wrote a long review of Lena Dunham’s book, and Lena Dunham’s book, which no one has ever read except for the reviewers at the New York Times, they didn’t bother to point out one slightly relevant section that Williamson points out in about paragraph 19 of his review, and that is that in her book, Lena Dunham says openly two things: One, she says when she was 7 and her sister was 1, she looked inside her sister’s vagina for pebbles and that her mother basically decided this was a perfectly normal thing to do, no problem, it’s all fine. And it’s this really perverse little story told for a cutesy effect, and then the other thing she says that when she was 17 and her younger sister was 12, she was pleasuring herself in bed with her sister awake next to her on her. Like she says all this in her book. This is an icon for the left.
So it’s buried in paragraph 19. We take that out and I tell one of our writers, okay, skip the rest of the story, we’re gonna go right to that, all right? The other 25 paragraphs of the story are irrelevant. This is the part that matters. So we write up a story and the headline on it is Lena Dunham sexually molested her sister and Lena Dunham goes insane. She goes on Twitter. She starts tweeting at us and telling us what terrible people were are and then the media starts to catch on to the fact that this material was actually in her book and then she sends us a cease and desist letter threatening to sue us for putting up the story, which was the greatest thing that ever happened. And so I wrote a piece for Truth Revolt basically saying come and get us. Enjoy yourself. I’m very interested in deposing you about your sexual history, under oath, about your sexual history with your sister. I can’t wait for this deposition. It’s gonna be a blast. I’m a lawyer. I mean this will be fun. And she ended up suspending her Twitter account, which had 4 million followers. She ended up canceling the rest of her European book tour. She ended up — now she’s going to move away from New York to escape the scrutiny. She’s now moving out of New York and she’s basically been made defunct as a spokesperson for the left on these sorts of issues.
Now, these are the sorts of things you can do, and this is stuff that none of us would ever think of doing because this is a space we don’t even pay attention to. The reason she’s a spokesperson for the left is because she’s fun, right? I mean, she gets naked. And for us, we would never even touch this space because we’re so focused on President Obama’s violations of Article 2 of the Constitution that we forget that nobody cares about Obama’s violations of Article 2 of the Constitution. They care about this fat naked chick.
Bill Whittle: Yeah. And they vote for Obama not because — they’ve never seen an Obama speech, they’ve never seen a State of the Union. You ask people what Barack Obama’s policies are, they couldn’t tell you. They vote for Barack Obama because Lena Dunham votes for Barack Obama and Lena Dunham does commercials for Barack Obama. If it’s gonna be your first time, why don’t you make it with Barack, and she’s brought a significant portion of the youth vote, and that youth vote was his margin of victory in two elections. So Ben is exactly right. You go to messenger, you go to where the action is and you blow up the bridge. If you’ve got one bridge over a river and then 700 railroads on the other side, you can try and blow up all the individual railroads or you could just take out the bridge and the same event is the same event. That’s it. It’s a choke point. It’s the cultural choke point.
And I just want to close by saying the story is so remarkable only because it goes to show you how much effect we can have if we just decide to get in the fight. It’s just that simple. If we just decide to fight back. Alec Baldwin was another causality of this. He’s an awful man, but he’s just given free rein, and one little tiny little voice — this is not the New York Times up here. I mean one little tiny little voice with your support is able to just take Piers Morgan, Lena Dunham, Alec Baldwin — I mean this is what a junior varsity team can do with lemonade stand money, and it just goes to show you how vulnerable these people are. Because they’re awful, evil people. They’re just bad people.
Ben Shapiro: Also shifting national messages because I can tell you that there is nobody — and there are people on the right who are running away from the Ferguson story, running head long away from the Ferguson story because they were scared to death that we were gonna be labeled as racists if we stood up for Officer Darren Wilson. And I promise you that the video that Bill cut and the video that I cut and Drew, you cut a video on Ferguson as well, those videos were, I would certainly say this, they were the most highly watched thing on the right about Ferguson aside from Fox News, which was really late to the game because they really waited a long time to get in on that frenzy. And without those videos actually spilling out the facts, people would have just let it go. If they would have acted like it, they would have let the lynch mob have what the lynch mob wanted.
Andrew Klavan: I think that if you watch what’s happening in Congress now, one of the things that motivates GOP politicians more than anything else is fear of what the media will say about them, because they own the media. They monopolize the media and what is so delightful about the four people sitting in front of you is we don’t care, and I think that that gives us absolute freedom to tell the truth. We do not care. And I think when you see what Congress does and the way they back down repeatedly — what’s Obama’s strength? He doesn’t have the Senate. He doesn’t have the House. What does he got? He’s got the media. Why can Hillary Clinton just ignored the scandal that’s coming out? She’s got the media. They’re not gonna cover. But we’re gonna cover it and because they’re so vulnerable, as Bill says, just one little voice telling the truth has enormous impact.
Jeremy Boreing: And we bring these sort of insurgent new media techniques to other parts of the center as well. I’m sure a lot of you have followed us, and maybe if you haven’t, David’s new campaign called Jew Hatred on Campus Awareness Week and it’s sort of inspired in part by a speech that Ben gave at UCLA a year ago in opposition to that divestment vote that was happening at that time on campus. Ben was laying in bed and got a text message that the student government at UCLA was gonna vote on divestment. He loaded up in the car, got out of bed, loaded up the car and drove down there, gave a 2-minute speech, which went viral on YouTube and which he labeled the BDS movement Jew hatred — not anti-Semitism, not inappropriate, not misguided – Jew hatred. And they won the day. They carried the day. The pro-Israel community on campus carried the day by one vote. The person who changed their vote and voted in opposition to the BDS initiative said openly that it was Ben’s speech that changed.
Now, Ben didn’t provide him any new information on the topic. Ben shamed him. The way that the left was shaming him into voting against Israel because you’re a racist, xenophobic, warmongering Islamophobe, if you vote with Israel. Ben applied that same technique to make him feel like he was a racist, warmongering Jew-hater if he voted against Israel. By the way, there’s a huge problem called the entire Jewish campus movement basically that opposed Ben and didn’t let him come to campus the next time that they voted on BDS and BDS won. Now, UCLA student government has voted to divest from the State of Israel. That goes to a deeper problem in our movement, the fact that we have a death wish and that we’re part of like the world’s greatest suicide pact, for some reason, on the national right.
But David, obviously, never one to shy away from a fight, wanted to take this phrase, “Jew hatred,” and turn it into a major part of the national conversation about Israel on campus and he asked the Truth Revolt team what we could do in support of his initiative and we reached out to two friends of ours who are actually here today. I actually don’t know if I’m allowed to say their names or anything, but they are in the room. I won’t point to them but they’re here. And we said, hey, what if we did a street art campaign? Not a flyer, not a tract, not a speech on campus. What if we just put up posters of Palestinians committing atrocities and called that Justice in Palestine, linked it to the name of the biggest pro-Palestine group on campus, Students for Justice in Palestine, and then put the hashtag JewHatred on the bottom? What if instead of trying to teach anybody anything we just pissed them off real good?
Then our allies that are here in the room who are well known for their insurgent street art campaigns put together five different posters and with the help of our grassroots coordinator, Elisha Krauss, and some great student activists across the country, whom we won’t name to protect their identifies for their own safety, we were able to hit home with 60 campuses with these posters in one night. People just woke up on Monday morning and on almost 60 campuses were these Jew Hatred posters and the world went insane. The whole planet apparently melted down like it hadn’t since Lena Dunham. And part of it was they didn’t know who had done it, right? ‘Cause at first you wake up at UCLA and you think oh, some Islamophobes, some lone crazy Islamophobe thinks that maybe Israel is better than Hamas based on some crazy notion. But then as the day unfolds and this happening on campus after campus after campus after campus, SJP panicked. The entire Internet basically blows up. There’s actually videos now on YouTube of people teaching other students how to take our posters down when they appear on campus.
Audience Member: Can we see the video?
Jeremy Boreing: You can. The video’s on YouTube and in fact we’ll post it on Truth Revolt for whomever asked.
Ben Shapiro: Well, the best part of that story is what happened with David afterward.
Jeremy Boreing: Oh, my gosh. So –
Ben Shapiro: It’s spectacular.
Jeremy Boreing: – a day later, David claims credit for the episode and he was contacted by the state police and they said, “Mr. Horowitz, listen up. I hate to do this, I hate to bring this up, but you’ve taken credit for this hate speech on campus and I’m investigating that.” And David said, “Oh, you’re investigating the posters? Oh, I thought maybe you were investigating the terrorist-supporting student group, hate group, Students for Justice of Palestine.” See, the state police didn’t know they were talking to a reformed ‘60s radical, right? And he says, “Well, Mr. Horowitz, I’m not trying to get into the politics of it. I’m not trying to start a fight here. I just wanted to let you know that it was vandalism, sir, and we’re gonna need – we’re not gonna press charges, but we need $500.00 from the Center to pay for the cleanup fees on campus and we’re gonna need the names of the students who helped you do this.” And David said, “Well, I’m not giving you shit and I’m not telling you shit.”
Bill Whittle: You can sum up the problem we’re in with the country right now in this very simple statement. You heard this all the time during the Romney campaign. Well, we should attack Barack Obama personally. Well, we can’t attack him personally because he’s very popular. He’s very popular because he’s never been attacked personally. Once you realize that this is the entire game and everything gets very clear and very simple after all of this. We’re told that if we attack these people, if we call them what they are, then people aren’t going to like us and we’ll somehow be vilified. Well, we’re vilified anyway. Mitt Romney was turned into villain. Whatever you think of him as a candidate, he had the finest moral character since George Washington. He was utterly vilified.
We’ve been talkin’ about stories, Jeremy does this really remarkable analysis of the power of vilifying, and I was about to do it ‘cause I can do it better than him, but I’ll let him do it anyway, ‘cause it’s his story, but seriously, this idea that we cannot attack personally means that in the last election, you had a guy in the person of Mitt Romney, who won on every single exit poll on every single thing that mattered, but he’s the bad guy, versus Barack Obama, who nobody particularly thought was gonna do a good job — he was the good guy. And you can’t un-demonize yourself. Romney couldn’t un-demonize himself. But if Romney had demonized Obama the way that Obama had demonized Romney — and there’s a lot more to demonize there frankly. Just off the top of my head ask Barack Obama’s brother, who’s living in poverty of $20.00 a year in Africa, about moral character and personhood. And then what you’ve got, folks, is now you’ve got two demons. Now you’ve got two villains. Who’s policy do you like better out of those two villains? See? And then the election would have been over with a 60 percent win for Mitt Romney. Wouldn’t be have to watch the destruction of everything we love in front of our very eyes.
Jeremy Boreing: Yeah. And Ben and I were talking this morning — it’s actually remarkable if you watch the DNC, the Democrat National Convention last year and the RNC. The keynote speeches were exactly the same. Bill Clinton came out at the Democratic convention and said, “Now a lot of you think Barack Obama hasn’t done a very good job these last 4 years, and I think if he was out here right now, he would tell you the exact same thing. He knows he’s made some mistakes, but he has a vision for this country and a heart for this country and he cares about the people in this country. And he’s gonna make a real difference for America.” And then our convention comes along and Mitt Romney comes out and he says almost the exact same line. He says, “Barack Obama loves his kids. Barack Obama is a good man. Barack Obama has the heart for this country and he loves this country, but he has not done a very good job of running the country the last 4 years.” And what we posit on this stage is that if our message about Barack Obama is exactly the same as Barack Obama’s message about Barack Obama, we’re not going to win.
Bill Whittle: What Jeremy talked about when he was talking about villains — he talked about the example of Star Wars, and look, basically in the first Star Wars movie, just so you understand the power of story, what do you have? You have this tiny little ship that’s running away and it’s being pursued by this wedge and as this wedge goes over it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. The empire is extremely powerful. The rebel alliance is a tiny little, itty-bitty little force, and you go inside the rebel alliance ship and you see actual people with real faces and they’re scared because they’re diplomats. They’re not warriors. And they take their positions and down at the end of the all there’s this explosion and there’s red light and smoke. It’s the portal to hell. And out come these white skeletons. These white storm troopers with skull masks. It’s living dead. They’re not even people. It’s skeletons. It’s the undead that’ve come to kill us all. And the good people go down and one by one, the actual faces of the actual people go down and then through the portal steps a 7-foot tall giant with a black cloak and a skull for a face and a Nazi helmet and I’m watchin’ this at a drive-in on top of a station wagon and I whisper to the person next to me, “I think that’s the bad guy.”
But the reason Luke Skywalker is ready to give his life is because Darth Vader is pure evil and that kind of evil is worth dying to fight. And one of the things that I think Jeremy said was just imagine if Obi-Wan Kenobi was talking to Luke Skywalker about this empire. And he said, “Well, Luke, Darth Vader’s not a bad man. He’s really quite a good fellow. We just don’t like the way he’s administering the empire. We think his tax rates are a little higher than they should – Darth Vader’s not a bad man. He’s just, we disagree with his policies.” If the movie went that way, then you would say that the Jedi Knights were Tea Party radical extremists.
Bill Whittle: Right.
Jeremy Boreing: Not in step with the mainstream of the rebel alliance.
Bill Whittle: But the bigger issue is are you then going to get into a beat up, obsolete fighter airplane, go through wave after wave of Imperial Star fighters, roll into that death star trench, dodge the incoming laser blasts, watch your wingmen get vaporized, pickle two full-time bobs into the thing the size of a pie chart, get the hell outta there. Are you gonna risk your life because what we disagree about the way that he’s administering the empire? No. Jeremey’s point was people will not vote for the villain. They will not do something that they perceive to be evil even if their head is telling them this guy’s better on everything, but he’s the bad guy. I can’t be a bad guy. I can’t vote for the bad guy. I gotta vote for the good guy even though we don’t agree with him.
This is why we lose elections. This is what David’s entire point has been for the entire Freedom Center is you got to understand that the left is outnumbered, their philosophy sucks, their history sucks, they’re a bunchy of murderers. They’re incompetents, they’re losers and they’re weenies and they’re taking over the country because they understand how to make a fight personal. And we have all of the ammunition in the world sitting on the ground and we’re just now starting to kick it up. We are doing everything wrong. They’re doing everything right. It’s a 50/50 country. We’re gonna destroy these communist swine. We’re going to destroy them. We just have to understand that it is the essence of story to make it personal.
And the greatest murderer of all time, the big collective socialist, Joseph Stalin nailed this. He said one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. And all we do is argue statistics. We lost Obamacare because Barack Obama pointed to a little gray-haired lady up in the balcony from the floor of the House of Representatives and said, “I’d like you to meet Mrs. Abigail Johnson. Abigail, would you stand up please?” Lovely old lady. Gray-haired, wonderful-looking lady. “Abigail Johnson had a preexisting condition and her insurance company was gonna drop her insurance. She burned through all of her personal savings, including the savings of her husband, a war veteran, who’s sadly no longer with us anymore. And Abigail looked like she was not gonna survive to see her next birthday, but thanks to our policies, Abigail now has full healthcare coverage and full insurance. Abigail’s up there with her granddaughters. Abigail, would you and your granddaughters please stand and take a bow?” And everybody applauds and you’re watching this. And me, conservative gladiator — ‘cause I didn’t want anything to happen to that person. I didn’t want anything to happen to Abigail. She seems adorable. And so we’re gonna trash the best healthcare system in the history of the world because their position has a face on it and our position just makes sense.
Jeremy Boreing: So we’re gonna do something a little different than we’ve ever done before. Elisha, if you’ll help us out. We at Truth Revolt, using our high-tech, forward-thinking, really futuristic technology, printed out some donation cards. Something really new and novel, I know. And we would just like you guys to hang onto those. What we, the case we wanna make is, if you like this idea of attacking the left through story; if you like this idea of carrying our message to actual customers instead of chess pieces, instead of trying to force our values on people by getting people to buy in and enjoy our content; if you like the idea of calling the left names, making fun of them; if you think that there’s something funny about this term – Fifty Shades of Barack Obama – it’s an Andrew Klavan video that’ll be out on Wednesday, then we could use your help. And what we would like you to think about as you contemplate the possibility of a donation to us, is that the money that you put in is – we’re gonna spend it on marketing. We’re just gonna tell you right now, we’re gonna make our videos this year. That’s not the problem. We want help making sure the people see the videos. And for $150,000.00 this year, we can double the number of people that see our videos. In other words, for basically $3,000.00 a week, we could take this video program to over 35 million people. Maybe as many as 45 million people over the next 12 months and we’d be appreciative if you’d give that consideration.
As Bill said, we take seriously the stewardship of the donations that are given to us. We’re not trying to have bigger eyes than we have stomachs. We’re not trying to reach people beyond our capacity. We’re not trying to take on more work than we can do. We have an amount of work right now that we do, we think, as well as anybody in the movement. We want your help making sure that people see it. We want to change the focus of our entire movement to how do we reach the largest number of people with our values that we possibly can. And we know that different people have different means, different approaches. We need $150,000.00 this year to double the number of people seeing these videos. If that means somebody gives us $10.00, we’d be glad to have it. If that means somebody else in the room wants to write a $150,000.00 check, then we’ll be looking for $300,000.00 this year to triple the number of people that see our videos. But we’re appreciative of those cards. If anybody has an opportunity to fill one out, if you feel compelled to maybe support us in this mission, you can fill it out. Leave it just right in front of you. We’ll pick ‘em up as we walk back through before the next panel.
And we would ask you to stick around for the next panel. It’s also going to be a Truth Revolt panel. But it’s not really gonna be about our new media operation. It’s gonna focus on our student operation, Student Revolt and some of the great work that we’ve been able to accomplish with – you’re gonna actually hear from a few of the people who’ve worked for us on campus over the last year, and I don’t want to give away all the spoilers, but I would say that with the help of great allies like Charlie Kirk at Turning Point USA, we’ve been able to accomplish amazing victories on campus this year, really at a fraction of the cost of some of the bigger organizations, although we would not speak ill of any of the large national conservative student organizations. They’re doin’ God’s work.
But we’ve been able to sorta bring an activist fighting spirit to those with Chloe Valdary and Daniel Greenfield and artists and just some of our great student activists whom you’ll hear from today. So please stick around for that. I think it’ll be really refreshing for everyone to hear from some people who are under 80, which is what, of course, our students are. And again, we’re very grateful to you. I’m gonna let Ben close this out since this is his show. But thank you for giving us an audience today and a little bit of time. But we hope you’ll please log on to Truth Revolt, watch some of our great videos and the No. 1 way you can support us is just to hit “share” and show them to as many people as possible. Thank you.
Ben Shapiro: I really have nothing to add to that except we really do thank you for your support, because without the support that you’ve shown us in the past and are going to continue to show us today, then it would be impossible for us to do the kind of work that we’re doing and impossible for us to get these messages out. And these are messages that nobody else, I can safely say, these are definitely messages that nobody else is promulgating in the movement and they’re the only type of message that is going to actually be focused on victory as opposed to just pleasing ourselves or making ourselves feel better. Victory is the end goal here and if you want to win, then we need to fight. And that’s really what we’re all about. Thanks so much.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.