REVIEW: ‘Ben Shapiro Show’ is witty, thought provoking

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Shapiro speaks at an event in 2018. (Photo by Greg Skidmore on Flickr)

YouTube and Twitter personality Ben Shapiro is widely known for his sharp tongue and controversial ideas. The conservative thought leader is a regular participant in political debates, a network television contributor and travels across the U.S. giving political speeches on college campuses.

Many don’t realize that Shapiro also hosts “The Ben Shapiro Show,” a daily news commentary podcast on political and current event topics.

Most podcast episodes begin with a rundown of all things current. Shapiro reviews whatever is buzzing — from election coverage to foreign policy to the latest feud the president has gotten himself into on Twitter. With each piece of news, Shapiro passionately shares his outlook with intelligence and wit.

Each episode of the podcast reserves around 15 minutes for Shapiro’s segments, “Things That I Like” and “Things That I Hate.” Here, the host identifies a piece of news that felt like a win and another that felt like a step in the wrong direction. This portion of the podcast gives Shapiro room to rant and rave, which is when he is at his best.

“The Ben Shapiro Show” has kept me coming back to listen every day for a few reasons.

The first: It is honest and straightforward and unwaveringly consistent. Shapiro doesn’t pull any punches when labeling his show and it is openly referred to as conservative commentary. Shapiro is transparent about his identity as an Orthodox Jew, a proud capitalist and a strong opponent to political correctness.

In some ways, this could appear to be a negative rather than a positive for the show, but nothing is worse than turning on the news and feeling like you are being fed subtle messaging disguised as “unbiased, honest coverage.” Shapiro isn’t trying to sneak anything past us. Everything is on the table.

The next: It makes me laugh. No one has the back pocket of cultural references quite like Shapiro does. The self-proclaimed outcast in high school spent his formative years reading, writing, listening to classical music and watching every Oscar-nominated film since 1933. When he speaks on current events, he is never without an analogy.

The final reason: The ideas presented are legitimately good. While Ben possesses a certain sense of humor that often comes across as charming and likable, his commentary is most definitely not without substance as well. The lawyer and Harvard graduate skipped two grades in elementary school because the pace at which he was learning was so much more accelerated than his fellow students. His natural intelligence shines through in his commentary. He also regularly cites trustworthy data throughout his show and follows his opinions with a strong line of reasoning.

In many ways I believe that “The Ben Shapiro Show” has shaped who I am today. The podcast hooked me with its wit and flow, and then introduced me to ideas that have changed my perspective on politics, religion and everyday decision making.

What I have found to be the core political belief around which the show operates is the idea that I am in charge of my own life. When Shapiro talks about war or peace or leadership or poverty, there is always an assumption that every human involved has the capacity to step up to a challenge and overcome it. When I’m listening to “The Ben Shapiro Show,” the American dream is most certainly not dead.

Shapiro isn’t known for being open-minded or for being particularly encouraging. In fact he is viewed as directly the opposite of those in many circles. But in my experience, listening to “The Ben Shapiro Show” has opened my mind and encouraged me to believe that I am capable of creating a beautiful life for myself. I’d recommend it to anyone in search of a news source that makes you think. From the first moment I began listening to the show I realized just how much is out there to think about, and I’ve been an immeasurably better person for it.

Anna Schmidt is a junior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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