Conservative comedian and commentator Steven Crowder posted a video this week where he claims that “Big Conservative” or “Big Con” is guilty of trying to take advantage of conservative talent with exploitative contracts as opposed to doing whats best for the conservative movement. While he doesn’t name specific names or companies that he is referring to (at least not yet), he does mention that its not The Blaze, the media company that Crowder used to be a part of.
Which leads to a lot of online speculation on who Crowder is talking about. On Twitter, most users point the finger to Ben Shapiro and the Daily Wire, yet there are clear hints that would prove otherwise. Shapiro has made a lot of enemies on the hard-right, those who claim he is a sellout for his Never Trump stance in 2016 only to reverse himself in 2020 or for his personal backing of the Covid vaccine. Yet none of these particular positions would lay credence to the Shapiro or the Daily Wire implementing stringent employment contracts on top tier talent like Steven Crowder.
The employment contract that Crowder displays lays out severe penalties for getting demonetized or deplatformed from social media or YouTube. Having clauses like that doesn’t make sense for DW as they have signed Gina Carano immediately after she was canceled by Disney and Jordan Peterson while he was suspended from Twitter. DW published a book by Jonathan Isaac after he was canceled for not kneeling for the Star Spangled Banner at NBA games.
That’s not all. The Daily Wire also reportedly put a million dollars into Matt Walsh’s “What Is A Woman?” documentary where he takes on the single biggest cancelation topic online (outside of maybe climate change and vaccines). Walsh, along with Shapiro and Candace Owens, are some of the most controversial commentators in media today, with one of them trending on Twitter at least once a week.
It also makes no sense for there to be penalties associated with dropped sponsorships at Daily Wire. DW knows all too well that even saying that a boy is a boy would get a sponsor drop. Harry’s Razors dropped DW after host Michael Knowles made such an egregious statement when a twitter account with 2 followers asked them about it. This prompted DW to start Jeremy’s Razors after co-founded and god-king Jeremy Boering. It was so successful that if anything, DW looks forward to the next dropped sponsor so they can open another business.
The accusation from the far right is that DW doesn’t get demonetized or suspended enough because they are in bed with YouTube and Facebook. It’s more likely that they just play the game, rigged as it is. As Shapiro mentions multiple times, DW deliberately censors their own content on YouTube to comply with the YouTube policies, but tells viewers to watch the full content on the DW site. This may be a “sellout” move to the MAGA base, but it seems like good business. DW is a for-profit company with hundreds of employees. They cannot lose YouTube revenue willy-nilly, and they also can afford to pull away from YouTube with more subscribers on the DW site itself. At the last Town Hall, Boering announced that DW passed a million subscribers, far more than any other paid conservative sites.
So if it’s not the Daily Wire, then who is the mysterious figure or company behind “Big Con”, as Crowder puts it. Well, as Crowder said, “there are far more people beneath the tip of this iceberg than you know about who are trying to get into the space.” (also a hint that it’s not DW. They’re already in the space).
Conservative media is a growth enterprise. They have 10% of the media market share and 50% of the audience. This is why Shapiro, Dan Bongino, and a few others constantly have the most clicks on Facebook. all the right-wing clicks are concentrated, while the left-wing clicks are spread out. It makes sense that industrial people with money and no values are looking to capitalize on this market.
There has been growth in right wing cable companies like Newsmax, One America News, and Real America’s Voice. Fox News is, of course, a juggernaught of media. All of these companies have far longer records of complying with the dictates of social media companies. Newsmax, for example, fired White House correspondent Emerald Robinson immediately after she tweeted something false about the Covid vaccine.
Everyone is waiting on more information from Crowder, and it makes sense that he’s keeping a lid on the company behind the contract while he plans his next move. Crowder has millions of followers, and he hasn’t grown that by lying to his audience. If it is Daily Wire, they have explaining to do to their audience, which has grown because of their commitment to conservative values. Same is true for any other company. Until then, users should be careful which outlets they commit their time and money to.