Ben Shapiro Called Joe Rogan About Anti-Semitic Backlash Involving Jews-Money, Italians-Pizza Correlation

Videos by OutKick

Ben Shapiro spoke to Joe Rogan privately on Wednesday about his defense of Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Last Saturday, Rogan called it “ridiculous” that the congresswoman apologized for a 2019 tweet saying the U.S. supported Israel for “the Benjamins,” a remark critics deemed anti-Semitic.

“She’s talking about money,” Rogan told podcast guests Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti of “Breaking Points.”

“That’s not an anti-Semitic comment, I don’t think that is,” Rogan continued. “The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza. It’s f***ing stupid.”

The analogy to Italians and their association with pizza drew the ire of social media users on both the Left and the Right. Including Washington Examiner columnist Ian Haworth:

But as you can tell in the video, Rogan made the comment in jest. He is a comedian, after all.

He sought to debunk the idea Omar’s comments were offensive in a humorous tone, thus the comparison to Italians and pizza.

Yet Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt still tweeted, “Disturbing that at a time of rising anti-Jewish violence, when growing numbers of Americans believe in antisemitic conspiracy theories, @joerogan would use his immense platform to spew antisemitic tropes about Jews and money.”

Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan.

Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, addressed Rogan’s remarks and the subsequent outrage on his podcast Thursday.

“So I think jokes are different than it — than, you know, actual honest observations,” began Shapiro.

“I did talk with Joe a little bit about this yesterday and he was saying what I sort of suggested he was saying yesterday, which is ‘Everybody likes money and Jews are good with it.’”

“You know, again, that is a very different thing than I think how it came out on the air when Joe was talking about it,” Shapiro said. “I will say that there is a difference between making stereotypical comments and having a stereotypical worldview.”

Shapiro continues:

“When you talk about full damaging racism or anti-Semitism, it is actions that are tied to a full-scale worldview that are truly damaging. Now, there can be prominent people who say things that then tie into that worldview or give credence to that worldview unintentionally by saying things. And that’s a problem. But the bigger problem is the worldview itself.”

“So to take an example, if you make a stereotypical comment about Black people in a joke to a friend, is that good? No, it’s not good. It’s ugly and it’s bad and you shouldn’t do it. Does that make you a racist for the rest of your life? No. It means you did a bad thing. It means you said a bad, racist thing,”

“Does it mean that you even buy into a full scale racist worldview? No! And I think we’ve lost all nuance in this discussion. It’s true of antisemitism too. If somebody makes a Jewish joke, is that the same thing as somebody buying into a broad scale program with regard to Jewish conspiracy theory?”

Ben Shapiro transcript via Mediaite.


Joe Rogan didn’t “dehumanize Jews” as the Jewish Federations of North America claimed Wednesday. Rogan didn’t “make Jews less” safe as the foundation also said in a statement.

He made a joke, saying Jews like money, just like everyone else, like money.

Perhaps it wasn’t the most innovative of jokes or the most laugh-out-loud funny. But it was harmless, nonetheless.

Credit to Shaprio for reaching out to Rogan, whom he knows from various podcast appearances, directly.

Unlike most media members, Shapiro didn’t rush to Twitter to take Rogan’s commentary out of context to stoke outrage.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest media topics as well as trending sports, cultural and political stories.

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcast and radio stations.

Previously, Burack was a writer at The Big Lead where he covered similar topics. He also hosted an eponymous podcast where he interviewed several personalities such as Joe Tessitore, and Adam Schefter.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply