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Candace Owens Fired After Multiple Antisemitic Infractions

Right-wing podcast host Candace Owens is no longer employed by The Daily Wire following a months long row with co-founder Ben Shapiro over Israel’s war with Hamas and other controversial incidents in which Owens appeared to promote neo-Nazism.

“Daily Wire and Candace Owens have ended their relationship,” the company’s chief executive officer, Jeremy Boreing, said on X/Twitter on Friday, setting off a torrent of comments views retweets. Within an hour, it had been viewed by over 2 million users. Owens later confirmed the news on the platform, saying, “The rumors are true — I am finally free…There will be many announcements in the weeks to come.”

After Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Owens’ relationship with her colleagues — especially with The Daily Wire’s founder, Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish — became increasingly strained. After Israel launched a military operation to expel Hamas from the Gaza Strip, Owens accused the country of committing genocide and of subjecting Palestinians living in Israel and the Palestinian territories to apartheid. In the process she betrayed deficiencies in her knowledge of the Middle East and Israel, once describing the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem as a racially segregated area in which Israel forces Muslims to live, a grossly false characterization.

Shapiro found her comments highly offensive.

“I think her behavior during this has been disgraceful,” Shapiro can be heard saying in footage of a private event that emerged online in November. “Her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous…everybody can see the moves that she’s making and the things that she’s saying, and I find them disreputable.”

Owens responded on X/Twitter by weaponizing passages of the Christian New Testament, with which she suggested that defending Israel was a matter of choosing between “God and money.” Shapiro said that she should “by all means quit” if she felt so conflicted. Soon after, Owens’ show “Candace” went on hiatus while she took maternity leave.

After returning in January, Owens introduced more fringe themes to her show and endorsed for president a candidate who called for eliminating US aid to Israel. By March, she was feuding with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an author and Jewish civil rights activists who has written about sex between married couples and founded with his daughter a company that sells intimacy products. Owens derided Shmuley for this, calling him an “unholy rabbi” and his daughter a “hag.” At other times, she insinuated that Shmuley and a “mafia” of Jews had been involved in the homicide of Michael Jackson, whom Shmuley had befriended on-and-off before the singer died of a drug overdose in 2009.

“Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi’?” Owens said about Shmuley on her show. “You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you.”

Jewish community leaders called on Shapiro and The Daily Wire to terminate Owens’ employment, noting that she had gone so far as to imply that Nazi fascists are wrongly condemned for “burning books that they deemed to be Marxist and that they deemed to be overtly sexual.” For many, Owens — who began posting ominous condemnations of “merchants of smear” and had liked a tweet accusing Shmuley of drinking the blood of Christians — had signaled to the world that she was embracing neo-Nazism.

Neo-Nazis on the internet thought so too, and throughout the month of March, Nick Fuentes — who has referred to African Americans as “n—gs” and called for dissolving the American government and replacing it with a patriarchal theocracy based on the Catholic religion — commended Owens on his show, which streams on “Rumble,” for saying, as he heard it, that “there is a Jewish mafia, they hide behind antisemitism.” On March 9, he proclaimed that he is a “stan” of hers.

Fuentes continued his praising of Owens on Tuesday, as first reported by Media Matters, commenting on an interview Owens conducted with Rabbi Michael Barclay, a Jewish author and conservative activist who agreed to appear on Owens’ show to discuss why he wrote an article describing her as antisemitic. Throughout the discussion, Owens insisted that there is nothing unique about anti-Jewish hatred and attacked the world’s leading definition of antisemitism, calling it an instrument of censorship.

On March 20, Owens released her final episode for The Daily Wire, titled “Why Does Everyone Think I Am Going to Be Killed?” In it, she suggested that she will be murdered and said that she has been targeted for rejecting racial “supremacy,” an apparent allusion to neo-Nazi conspiracies of “Jewish supremacy” and Jewish control. Signing off, she promised to return with a new episode the following day. It never came, and on Friday, after the announcement of her departure from The Daily Wire, she solicited cash donations from her social media followers.

Owens’ exit is a shock to the system of alternative conservative media, which has received massive investments for the creation of online content that bypasses traditional news outlets and reaches audiences through platforms such as YouTube and X/Twitter. The Daily Wire, which offers viewers original documentaries, films, and talk shows, has been a shining success story of this venture, and since joining the company in 2020, Owens has been one of its most recognizable — and controversial — stars, amassing tens of millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers allured by her popularizing of complex political issues.

Source: https://www.algemeiner.com/2024/03/22/the-daily-wire-parts-ways-with-candace-owens-after-months-long-flirtation-with-antisemitic-conspiracy-theories/