There’s a big brouhaha going on in the conservative podcasting space that is drawing in the genre’s top names. It is, ostensibly, about the Israel-Hamas war. But at its core we are seeing a play for audience in one of the medium’s most competitive spaces.
The first thing to know is that Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire’s co-founder and the face of the network, is emphatically pro-Israel, reflecting the sentiment of the right-wing establishment. He is the biggest name in conservative podcasting, bar none. Candace Owens, a buzzy TDW star in her own right, is more firmly in the America First camp and has been deeply critical on her show and on social media of Israel’s actions and the US government for supporting them. This difference of opinion would not be so much of an issue if their disagreement hadn’t exploded all over social media.
On Tuesday, a video started circulating on TikTok of Shapiro speaking at a private event and describing Owens’ comments as “disgraceful.” Owens then posted a Bible verse on X / former Twitter with the paraphrase: “you cannot serve both God and money.” Shapiro, quoting the post, responded: “Candace, if you feel that taking money from The Daily Wire somehow comes between you and God, by all means quit.”