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Watch Ben Shapiro Tear into Censorship Cartel in Fiery Congressional Testimony

“In the name of the Constitution and the name of democracy, this should stop.”

During a House hearing titled “Collusion in the Global Alliance for Responsible Media,” Ben Shapiro delivered a blistering critique of the legacy media and its manipulation tactics. “We're in the midst of a trust crisis in the world of media,” declared Shapiro. “So many in the legacy media have lied to preserve left-leaning narratives.” Shapiro illustrated his point with the example of President Biden, noting, “For years, anyone who questioned his health and mental fitness was trafficking in cheap fakes. And then President Biden went out and engaged in a full-scale mental collapse on stage in front of hundreds of millions of people.”

“So we can see why Americans, at least Americans who are not Democrats, do not trust the media,” Shapiro argued. He pointed out that despite this loss of trust, legacy media continues to dominate the advertising market. The reason, he explained, is an informal pressure system created by Democratic legislators, the White House, legacy media, advertisers, and pseudo-objective brand safety organizations. “This system guarantees that advertising dollars flow only to left-wing media brands.”

“Let me explain how this works,” Shapiro continued. “When a conservative competitor to the legacy media arises, members of that legacy media and their political allies rush to paint such competitors as dangerous.” He highlighted an instance where New York Times commentator Kara Swisher told the head of YouTube that Shapiro’s videos at Daily Wire were a “gateway drug” that would lead children to watch neo-Nazi content. “Never mind the yarmulke,” Shapiro quipped.

In 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein told lawyers at Facebook, Google, and Twitter, “You created these platforms, and now they’re being misused, and you have to be the ones to do something about it, or we will.” According to Shapiro, social media companies reacted to these threats by adopting the standards of left-wing informational safety groups like the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).

“GARM acts as a cartel,” Shapiro charged. “Its members account for 90% of ad spending in the United States, almost a trillion dollars. If you're not getting ad dollars from GARM members, it’s nearly impossible to run an ad-based business.” Shapiro noted that the Daily Wire had experienced a 1000% increase in content enforcements after Feinstein’s threats and an over 80% drop in impressions on his personal Facebook page since 2021.

Shapiro also pointed to Joe Rogan’s experience as an example. After Rogan stated he had taken Ivermectin for COVID, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pressured Spotify to take action against him, saying, “We want every platform to be doing more to call out missing disinformation while also uplifting accurate information.” Spotify, which works with GARM, complied.

“So what are the brand safety standards that GARM uses?” Shapiro asked. “The standards begin with inarguable things that we’ve heard from the other witnesses, like preventing the distribution of child sexual abuse material or stopping terrorism. But GARM doesn’t draw the line at what is criminal, abusive, or dangerous. Their standards also include restrictions on hate speech, harassment, misinformation, and ‘insensitive, irresponsible, and harmful treatment of debated, sensitive social issues.’” Shapiro pointed out that Daily Wire host Matt Walsh was fully demonetized on YouTube for “misgendering,” which GARM defines as stating that men are not women.

“Companies targeted by GARM, like the Daily Wire, Breitbart, Fox News, and so many others, reach hundreds of millions of people with opinions and beliefs long established as within the mainstream of American conservative thought,” Shapiro stated. “GARM and its members have no respect for the beliefs of those people. They would like them marginalized or squashed. It’s time to stand up for the First Amendment in this Congress.”

Shapiro urged Congress to investigate the arrangements between censorship cartels like GARM and executive branch agencies. He mentioned that the Daily Wire has already filed a federal lawsuit against the State Department for allegedly engaging in such practices. He also called on Congress to stop violating free speech principles, referencing Justice Alito’s dissent in Murthy versus Missouri, where Alito condemned sophisticated and coercive government campaigns against free speech.

“Members of this committee have engaged in precisely such campaigns,” Shapiro said. He accused Congressman Schiff, Congresswoman Jayapal, and Congressman Hank Johnson of participating in a coercive campaign against free speech. “We all know what these government actors, what some people in this room are doing. You're using the tacit threat of government action to compel private companies to throttle viewpoints you don't particularly like. The First Amendment was not designed to enable workarounds by elected officials. It was directed at Congress, at you.”

Shapiro concluded, “In the name of the Constitution and the name of democracy, this should stop.”

Watch the Full Hearing: