BuzzFeed News published a story over the weekend that attempted to connect Ben Shapiro to an Indiana man accused of vandalizing a synagogue with Nazi symbols.
What did BuzzFeed say?
In a story detailing the radicalization of Nolan Brewer, a 21-year old Indiana man who plead guilty last week to defacing a synagogue with Nazi symbols, BuzzFeed News linked Brewer to Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew who was recently named the biggest target for anti-Semitic hate online.
In the story's opening paragraph, BuzzFeed referred to Shapiro as a "former Breitbart editor," which Shapiro is:
An Indiana man who plead guilty to defacing a synagogue with Nazi symbolism detailed to federal agents his road to radicalization, including meeting with members of the far-right group Identity Evropa and being inspired by the writings of a former Breitbart editor and the Nazi propaganda site Stormfront.
Later in the story, BuzzFeed emphasized the purported connection to Shapiro by quoting from Brewer's sentencing memorandum:
According to Nolan, [his wife] began with rightwing yet mainstream views such as those presented on Fox News. She then moved on to writing by Ben Shapiro and articles on Breitbart News which bridged the gap to the notorious white supremacist and anti-Semitic propaganda site Stormfront.
BuzzFeed further parroted the connection by attempting to reach Shapiro for comment as if he actually played a role in radicalizing Brewer into a white supremacist who praised Adolf Hitler.
Shapiro, of course, did not return BuzzFeed's multiple requests for comment.
Meanwhile, when posting its story to Twitter, BuzzFeed outright claimed a connection between Shapiro and Brewer.
"A man who vandalized a synagogue with Nazi symbols told federal agents his road to radicalization included meeting with the far-right group Identity Evropa and reading Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News, and the Nazi propaganda site Stormfront," the tweet read.
A man who vandalized a synagogue with Nazi symbols told federal agents his road to radicalization included meeting… https://t.co/tkrZm2bSc6— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeed News) 1558905209.0
How did Shapiro respond?
While he did not return BuzzFeed's requests for comment, Shapiro commented on the story Sunday, writing on Twitter that it is "garbage."
Yes, if there's one thing I'm known for -- as one of the most prominent Orthodox Jews, targets of the alt-right, an… https://t.co/zV90Gj6AH3— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro) 1558910605.0