As the latest development in the conservative-entertainment media complex fight we never knew we needed, Ben Shapiro on Friday accused “despicable” Steven Crowder of pre-planning to ambush The Daily Wire and its chief executive in a trollish effort to gain more notoriety.
Shapiro further revealed that after The Daily Wire sent Crowder an offer of $50 million over four years to work for his conservative media empire, Crowder actually demanded an annual salary of $30 million.
Earlier this week, Crowder—a former Fox News personality now known for his deeply bigoted podcast Louder With Crowder—attacked The Daily Wire for supposedly being in league with tech companies to censor conservative voices.
“Big Tech is in bed with Big Con,” Crowder exclaimed on Tuesday, telling his audience to “Stop Big Con” while revealing selected details of the contract offer he’d received from an unnamed conservative media company—which viewers quickly deduced was The Daily Wire.
Complaining about the offer’s provisions that included “penalties” if his show were either “demonetized” or suspended from various video and social media platforms, Crowder likened it to a “slave contract” while claiming The Daily Wire was doing “Big Tech’s” bidding.
“Those in charge—the big conservative, the Big Con, and it really is the biggest con going right now—they’re making it known in their contracts that they will enforce the guidelines of Big Tech and punish conservatives on their behalf,” the right-wing blowhard groused.
A day later, The Daily Wire’s chief executive Jeremy Boreing responded with an hour-long video methodically detailing every line of the term sheet initially sent to Crowder. Besides pointing out that Crowder was offered $50 million total—something Crowder happened to leave out when fuming about potential penalties for unaired episodes—Boreing explained how The Daily Wire would take on the bulk of the financial burden if the YouTube troll lost advertisers.
“Steven’s philosophy appears to be: ‘I deserve to be paid millions and millions and millions of dollars whether my show drives the revenue or not.’ That’s not a business relationship,” Boreing added in the video. “He’s looking for a benefactor.”
Boreing also took a swipe at Crowder for criticizing The Daily Wire’s reliance on corporate funding, noting that Crowder’s entire media career has featured him working for conservative media companies that were funded or subsidized by billionaires.
Shapiro, for his part, initially attempted to keep things somewhat friendly with Crowder while backing his executive’s comments. Saying he wished “nothing but the best” for Crowder on his Thursday program, Shapiro then took issue with the YouTube star’s “nasty” attacks on “people who have been friends for over a decade.”
Crowder, naturally, escalated the simmering feud on Thursday night by airing a recording of a taped phone call between himself and Boreing. In the recording, which a smirking Crowder replayed numerous times for his viewers, Boreing can be heard saying that burgeoning right-wing media figures “get to be wage slaves for a little bit” while building their brand with The Daily Wire.
“I would play the part of that call where we talked about our kids, Christmas, and him buying baby formula for his brother’s children, but I wouldn’t even know how to secretly record phone calls with my friends,” Boreing later tweeted after Crowder shared the clip on social media.
And so Shapiro was not nearly as diplomatic on Friday in his reaction to the clip, opting to spill some more tea along the way.
“It’s nasty to attack my company and DW+ hosts as ‘Big Con’ by lying about the meaning of a non-binding term sheet,” The Daily Wire boy-king tweeted. “It’s despicable to plan weeks in advance to attack my best friend (and your friend!) by setting up and secretly taping a phone call, all to grow your email list.”
From there, Shapiro laid out a specific timeline detailing when Crowder’s agent first reached out to The Daily Wire requesting an offer, which occurred months before Crowder publicly announced he was leaving Glenn Beck’s media empire TheBlaze after four years.
According to Shapiro, less than a month after his company sent over a “non-binding term sheet,” Crowder told Boreing in early November that “he wants $30M per year and us to send him a new offer, refusing to red-line the term sheet.”
After Crowder was told by The Daily Wire that they “couldn’t do that,” he apparently registered the StopBigCon.com domain a month later. [K]nowing he’s leaving the Blaze, and that we haven’t provided him an offer to his liking. Steven needed a plan. Attacking us was the plan,” Shapiro posted in his Twitter thread.
Three weeks after announcing his departure from TheBlaze, Crowder texted Boreing “in friendly fashion” to arrange a call, per Shapiro. Two days later, Crowder secretly records his phone conversation with The Daily Wire CEO.
“This means 96 days elapsed between when he received the term sheet and when he secretly taped Jeremy,” Shapiro reacted. “And it means that 36 days elapsed between when he decided to attack Daily Wire and Jeremy by purchasing StopBigCon and when he called Jeremy to tape him. Gross.”
Shapiro then shared Boreing’s lengthy video response to Crowder while noting that the contract offer was “quite simple” and “how capitalism works,” adding that if Crowder’s “show loses money, you lose money.”
In the end, Shapiro suggested that this was all an act by Crowder to cast himself as an anti-establishment alternative when he’s anything but that.
“You know who knows this? Steven Crowder,” Shapiro concluded. “That’s why he has a ‘Piss Off YouTube’ segment in which he deliberately does not say things that will get him kicked off YouTube, and directs people behind his paywall. He must be a shill for YouTube or something.”
And so goes the latest saga in this right-wing turf war. Let them fight, we say.