Right-wing media figures including Ben Shapiro are jumping to defend Kanye West, who was booted from Twitter after he went on a pro-Nazi rant and posted an image of a swastika.
He and Fox News fixture Jeanine Pirro both argue that Kanye shouldn’t be booted from Twitter for his hate speech. Shapiro is Jewish, Pirro is not.
Shapiro described Ye’s behavior and rhetoric as “raising the temperature radically,” but maintained that it was not direct incitement of violence.
Despite this, he hinted that Ye’s attacks against him personally are one of the reasons he has to pay for a 24-7 security team.
Pirro was also caught weighing in on Ye’s antisemitism. While she didn’t disagree with co-host Jessica Tarnov that it’s “repugnant,” she argued that it should be judged by “a different standard” — that standard apparently being that his words (according to Pirro) still fall under what the Constitution and Supreme Court affirm as “free speech.”
Rounding out the Fox News coverage of Ye’s praise of Hitler and reveling in hate symbols, contributor Caitlyn Jenner showed up to talk about her personal experience and opinion of the man.
She says she’s offended by his rhetoric, but that she wishes Kanye well, and alluded to the rapper’s “troubles” as she affirmed repeatedly that he’s a “nice guy.”
I want Kanye to do well…He’s got challenges and I just hope him the best…He’s a really nice guy.
You can watch Jenner defend Ye below.
Caitlyn Jenner offers Kanye West well wishes after he praised Hitler and Nazis on Thursday and posted a series of offensive antisemitic tweets:
“He’s a really nice guy … Kanye is Kanye.” pic.twitter.com/uJvf6Kifhm
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2022
Shapiro’s defense of Kanye might be the most surprising on the network, especially since he’s criticized Ye’s rhetoric before.
Mediaite documented last month when Shapiro declared that if a Daily Wire employee had made some of Ye’s antisemitic comments, they’d be fired.
Despite that, the short clip below shows him arguing that the Twitter ban should never have happened.
After Kanye West posted a swastika, Ben Shapiro: "I don't think that Ye should be banned from Twitter," adding "Do I think that Ye is responsible for actually inciting violence against people? No" pic.twitter.com/yfwuAbUEz5
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 2, 2022
Of course, no one is surprised when Fox‘s Pirro weighs in to support hate speech and bigotry, but that doesn’t make Pirro’s defense any less egregious.
In the clip below, she interrupts as Tarnov describes just how repulsive some comments by Ye, Nick Fuentes, and others are, to argue in favor of the First Amendment. (As Pirro surely knows, the First Amendment does not require a social media company to provide a platform for any given type of speech; it merely protects the speaker from government action.)
Jessica Tarlov brings up Holocaust deniers on Twitter. Judge Jeanine Pirro snaps back that all speech is protected. Tarlov's family fled actual Nazis. Twitter can have whatever standard it wants to have in regards to speech. The first amendment only applies to the government. pic.twitter.com/NgtW3c8dqm
— Decoding Fox News (@DecodingFoxNews) December 2, 2022
It seems that, despite his open antisemitism, there’s plenty of support for Ye at Fox News.
Perhaps he can reach out to that network for a platform, now that he’s lost Twitter.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.