US/World News

The Economist apologizes for calling Ben Shapiro ‘alt-right sage’

(JTA) – The Economist, one of the world’s most reputed periodicals, labeled Ben Shapiro an “alt-right sage” in a headline, then apologized after the right-wing pundit protested the characterization. The British weekly’s apology was added March 28 to a profile about Shapiro that originally carried the headline “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt-right sage without the rage.” It also called Shapiro “a pop idol of the alt right.” After an exchange on Twitter between Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, and Anne Mcelvoy, one of the article’s two authors, The Economist changed the headline to “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, a radical conservative.” The apology said the references to the alt-right – a loose right-wing movement that includes white nationalists and antsemites – was made “mistakenly,” adding “In fact, he has been strongly critical of the alt-right movement. We apologize.”

In the exchange, Shapiro wrote: “This is a vile lie. Not only am I not alt-right, I am probably their leading critic on the right. I was the number one target of their hate in 2016 online according to ADL data. I demand a retraction.” He added: “If you lump me in with people who are so evil I literally hire security to walk me to shul on Shabbat, you can go straight to hell.”

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