On Friday, Congressman Eric Swalwell hinted at using “red flag” laws against conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.
Swalwell tweeted, Shapiro is “reason 1,578 America needs red flag laws.”
“Please tell me this lunatic does not own a gun,” Swalwell stated in his tweet.
The failed presidential candidate responded to comments from Shapiro's podcast on Friday. A reporter from Media Matters re-shared the comments, with little attention to the overall context of Shapiro's podcast. In doing so, it made it appear that Shapiro was advocating for an armed insurrection, which many on the Left capitalized on.
It should be noted that Shapiro was not calling for violence. He was only responding to comments made during last Thursday's LGBTQ town hall on CNN.
Shapiro started off by noting the cultural war aspect of this fight:
You want a culture war in this country? You d**n well have it, Beto O’Rourke. You want a culture war in this country? You want this country to come apart at the seams? This is how you do it. Because I promise you: If you come to tell me that you’re going to indoctrinate my kids on a particular policy and that I can’t pull my kid out of the school and send my kid to a school that I want to send them to. That I can’t go to the church or synagogue that I want to go to.
The conservative commentator noted the oppressive nature of O’Rourke’s suggestion that churches should lose their tax-exempt status for not fully complying with pro-LGBTQ standards:
And if you make that national policy, not just California policy where I can move, but national policy? People are not going to stand for that. They are not going to stand for that. And if you send a truant officer to remove my child, I have two choices at that point, right? If I have no place to move because you have now made this national, federal policy.
He then proceeded to highlight what kind of choices he will be left with if this policy becomes nationalized:
I now have two choices: One, is to leave the country utterly. Two is to pick up a gun. Those are the only two choices that you have left me.
“It’s not extreme to defend the fundamental rights the Constitution was created in order to protect,” Shapiro declared. “These rights pre-exist government.”
Red flag laws are the gun control legislation flavor of the week. They allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms from individuals who are deemed to be a threat without any regard for due process protections. 17 states have already passed them.
Interestingly, Shapiro has entertained red flag laws in the past, saying “Red flag laws are a good idea, but they also rely on a measure of public trust and assumption of good faith by your neighbors. Lack of that trust and good faith is being demonstrated daily.”
However, this recent incident goes to show that such legislation will likely be used against right wingers of all stripes.
Certain commentators like Shapiro would be wise to not concede ground to the Left. The modern-day Left is not playing games and they’re constantly trying to shift the goal post towards total state control.
Giving them an inch only makes their work much easier in the long-term.
Fox News Ratings Crater, Trailing CNN and MSNBC for First Time in 21 Years
A brutal collapse over the past two-and-a-half months.
Recent data from Nielsen shows that Fox News finished behind both CNN and MSNBC in ratings to open the month of January.
This is the first time in twenty-one years that that has happened, according to Daily Wire.
Nielsen’s ratings data shows that CNN finished number one among cable news networks with approximately 2.8 million viewers per day from January 4 through January 10, including 4.2 million in primetime.
MSNBC came in second with 2.3 million viewers per day and 3.8 million in primetime. And in third was Fox News with 1.7 million viewers per day and 3.2 million in primetime.
This is tough data for the conservative-leaning network. Over the past couple decades Fox has become accustomed to completely dominating the ratings, oftentimes receiving more viewership than CNN and MSNBC combined. Several factors contribute to the fall of Fox, including but not limited to:
- The death of Roger Ailes in 2017 and subsequent changes in network leadership
- Their disastrous Election Night coverage on November 3
- Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden
- An ostensible effort to distance themselves from Trump
- A real or perceived softening of their conservatism in general
- Trump’s public irritation with the network, to the point of telling people to migrate over to Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN)
Fox News has recently announced lineup changes as well. This is standard practice in the cable news industry and may not have much to do with their suffering ratings, though there’s a likely possibility that it does. Fox will be adding an hour-long opinion show in place of Martha MacCallum’s news show “The Story,” which had fallen behind both CNN and MSNBC’s 7pm timeslots after a stretch of being “comfortably ahead in ratings.” The network will also shuffle some of their daytime lineup.
As Joe Biden works through his first 100 days as president, it will be interesting to see how Fox News continues to perform, not only in comparison with CNN and MSNBC, but also with OANN and Newsmax.
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