The media trade organization that condemned Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at its annual conference as “harmful” has issued a mea culpa, admitting its treatment of the well-known conservative figure “wasn’t right.”
In August, the leaders of the Podcast Movement issued a bizarre statement after the Harvard-educated Shapiro showed up unexpectedly for a meet-and-greet session at the Dallas convention. The left-leaning organization apologized to its followers and attendees “for the harm done by his presence” at the event.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
They went on to admit they should not have sold a space to The Daily Wire, writing in a statement, “Those of you who called this ‘unacceptable’ are right. The pain caused by this one will always stick with us. We promise that sponsors will be more carefully considered moving forward.”
At the time, two podcasters who attended the event in Texas spoke with CBN’s Faithwire about the ordeal, calling the unfortunate dustup nothing more than an example of cancel culture.
“We’ve got to stop this, and we have to accept the fact that we’re not all going to think alike,” Jodi Howe told Faithwire. “We don’t get to shut people down when they say and do things that we don’t like, and it’s OK to disagree. It’s OK to disagree without attacking people that have different opinions.”
As many Podcast Movement attendees were clearly happy about the opportunity to meet and take photos with Shapiro, it at appears the only issue event leaders had with the popular commentator was his political views.
Both The Daily Wire and Cumulus, one of the largest radio companies in the U.S., announced this week it would no longer support the Podcast Movement due to the incident with Shapiro. That is what likely inspired the apology.
“As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media [and] events with inclusivity, diversity [and] respect for all,” the Podcast Movement said in a new statement. “We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right.”
It continued, “Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow.”
Jeremy Boreing, co-founder of The Daily Wire, initially ribbed the Podcast Movement leaders for “unadulterated bigotry,” but has since accepted their apology.
“People rarely admit when they do wrong, particularly on the left, where every cultural indicator reinforces your error,” he said in a statement of his own. “Podcast Movement did the right thing with this apology. [Co-founder] Dan Franks also called me to make clear their treatment of Ben was unacceptable. Good on them.”
You can watch our conversation with Howe and fellow podcaster Misty Phillip, founder of Spark Media Ventures, in the video below:
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***