Last Thursday, I sat in a studio in Newark for the above interview with Ben Shapiro. It was a wide-ranging and oddly friendly discussion between a former Breitbart staffer and the author of Andrew Breitbart’s mostly infamously obscene obituary, in which the fact that the interview could even happen at all was among the most interesting things about it (more on this on a Callin discussion tomorrow).
Ben and I talked about how it was the political left that years ago was famous for being willing to engage anyone, while the business model of right-wing media was a heated conversation with itself about an always-expanding regimen of enemies, a catastrophic strategy that allowed the Jon Stewarts and not-yet-unfunny Stephen Colberts of the world to win huge audiences by default. Add the lack of a sense of humor, which made Frank Zappa, Larry Flynt, and Dee Snider automatic winners over crusading curmudgeons like Jerry Falwell and John Tower, and the culture war for decades was never a real battle. “There’s no question that the left had been in the ascendancy my entire lifetime,” is how Shapiro put it.