The Daily Wire has descended into unrestrained chaos as an ongoing spat between its founder, Ben Shapiro, and one of the right-wing outlet’s biggest names, Candace Owens. The pair’s disagreements over the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas have now spilled into a public fight on social media.
The clash between Shapiro and Owens has been brewing for weeks now. Shapiro, who is Jewish, has been a prominent supporter of Israel’s siege on Gaza in retaliation for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas militants. Owens, by contrast, has recently begun to criticize Israel for what many consider a disproportionate response that has largely targeted Palestinian civilians trapped within the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this month, Owens had tweeted that “no government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide. I can’t believe this even needs to be said or is even considered the least bit controversial to state.” The post angered pro-Israeli advocates who deny the country’s offensive in Gaza constitutes ethnic cleansing.
Despite the Daily Wire’s past posturing as a platform wholly committed to free speech, video emerged on Tuesday of Shapiro calling Owens’ commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “absolutely disgraceful,” during a private event.
In response, Owens tweeted a verse from the biblical gospel of Matthew. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The post suggested that Owens would not cease her vocal criticism of the conflict to placate her employer.
Shapiro was incensed. “Candace, if you feel that taking money from The Daily Wire somehow comes between you and God, by all means quit,” he responded.
Owens in turn rebuked Shapiro, telling him he was “utterly out of line for suggesting that I cannot quote biblical scripture.
“The Bible is not about you,” she added.
In an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, which was recorded before the social media spat and released Wednesday, Owens addressed the growing tensions between herself and her employer, as well as the video of him attacking her commentary.
“I can’t respond to it beyond what he’s saying because it’s just ad-hominem attacks,” Owens said. “I can’t respond to it on a level of intellect because there’s nothing that he has expressed, at least in that short clip, that he fundamentally disagrees with in terms of what I said.”
“If that was me that was caught on a video saying that about colleagues that I work with, I would be embarrassed. So I think that the video speaks more to Ben’s character than it speaks to mine” she added, telling Carlson that Shapiro had, at that point, not contacted her privately to discuss the matter.
Now that the disagreement has exploded into a public spat, Owens has made her opinion on the matter clear. The host wrote in reply to Shapiro on Wednesday that he has “been acting unprofessional and emotionally unhinged for weeks now. And we have all had to sit back and allow it and have all tried to exercise exceeding understanding for your raw emotion.”
“You cross a certain line when you come for scripture and read yourself into it,” she wrote, adding: “I will not tolerate it.”
Whether or not Owens will take up Shapiro on his suggestion that he quit remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the Daily Wire’s posturing as a free speech haven doesn’t extend to things Ben Shapiro disagrees with.