Accuracy in Media

The Economist, an influential magazine that had a history of being more balanced and has taken a leftward turn under both presidents Obama and Trump, incorrectly called conservative media figure Ben Shapiro “an alt-right sage,” but then later corrected itself. The episode illustrates just how little many mainstream media outlets understand conservative leaders.

“.@TheEconomist has now changed their headline — now I’m a ‘radical conservative.’ At least that’s defensible,” Shapiro tweeted. “Here’s their correction and apology.

Shapiro tweeted an image with a screen capture of the walk back from the Economist: “Editor’s note (March 28th 2019): This article has been changed. A previous version mistakenly described Mr Shapiro as an ‘alt-right sage’ and ‘a pop idol of the alt-right’. In fact, he has been strongly critical of the alt-right movement. We apologise.”

Shapiro was furious about the original characterization, especially in part because he resigned from Breitbart News for its associations with the alt-right.

“The ratio on this piece is merely a fraction of what it should be. Because f*** this bulls***,” Shapiro tweeted after the original piece came out, citing the high number of negative reactions to the article.

Former NBC and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly defended Shapiro on Twitter, in response to the Economist’s original tweet, which has since been deleted.

“This is totally absurd and an outrageous smear by @theeconomist,” Kelly wrote.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

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