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The Ben Shapiro Show

Ep. 1765 - Republicans vs. The FBI

Thu Jul 13 2023
InflationEconomic PolicyDistrust in InstitutionsFBIMediaUkraine ConflictBiden Administration2022 Midterm ElectionsPolitical TrendsCultureFashion Trends


The episode covers a range of topics including inflation and economic policy, distrust in American institutions, the Ukraine conflict and Biden administration, the 2022 midterm elections and political trends, and culture and fashion trends. It explores the impact of inflation on the economy, concerns about cheating in elections and distrust in institutions, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the US response, the outcomes of the 2022 midterm elections and their implications for future elections, as well as cultural shifts and fashion trends related to political correctness and men's fashion choices.


Inflation Concerns

Inflation remains a significant concern despite easing to 3%, with underlying inflation still double the Fed target. The exclusion of food and oil prices from inflation calculations raises questions about the accuracy of reported figures. The Biden administration's industrial policy without a coherent economic framework and loose financial conditions contribute to embedded inflation.

Distrust in American Institutions

There is widespread distrust in American institutions, including the FBI and media. Concerns about cheating in elections, political weaponization of the FBI, and biased actions by the department contribute to this distrust. The lack of transparency from the federal government and allegations of collusion with big tech further fuel suspicion and conspiracy theories.

Ukraine Conflict and Biden Administration

The American position on the Ukraine war lacks clarity, raising questions about Joe Biden's commitment to Ukraine. Unrealistic expectations for Crimea and Donbas liberation and potential back channel negotiations with Vladimir Putin add to the complexity of the situation.

2022 Midterm Elections and Political Trends

Partisan differences in turnout played a significant role in the Republican gains in the 2022 midterm elections. Democratic voters were slightly more likely to defect compared to Republican voters. In-person voting increased sharply, and candidate quality was an important factor in election outcomes.

Culture and Fashion Trends

The episode explores criticisms of work culture and shaming culture, as well as resistance against political correctness in Hollywood. It also discusses trends in men's fashion, including the rise of crop tops embraced by gay men but not widely adopted by all men.


  1. Inflation and Economic Policy
  2. Distrust in American Institutions
  3. Ukraine Conflict and Biden Administration
  4. 2022 Midterm Elections and Political Trends
  5. Culture and Fashion Trends

Inflation and Economic Policy

00:00 - 06:22

  • Inflation eases to 3%, the lowest rate during the Biden administration.
  • Food and oil prices are excluded from the inflation calculation.
  • The Federal Reserve may stop raising interest rates.
  • Mortgage rates are high, making it difficult to buy homes.
  • Underlying inflation remains double the Fed target.
  • Loose financial conditions contribute to embedded inflation.
  • Previous decreases in inflation were followed by increases.
  • The Biden administration is implementing industrial policy without a coherent economic framework.
  • Industrial policy involves large amounts of money being spent without specific goals.
  • It is too early to conclude that inflation is done or recession has been avoided.

Distrust in American Institutions

05:55 - 30:57

  • There is widespread distrust in American institutions, including the FBI and media.
  • 66% of voters are concerned about cheating affecting the outcome of the 2024 election.
  • 64% of voters think the FBI has become politically weaponized.
  • 59% of voters think the media is truly the enemy of the people.
  • 65% of Americans believe undercover government agents helped provoke the January 6th Capitol riot.
  • 63% believe that our current president enriched himself with a pay-for-play scheme with foreign governments.
  • Distrust in institutions is well-earned but may not always reflect reality.
  • Chris Ray, head of the FBI, defended his workforce against accusations of targeting Trump and his supporters.
  • Accusations of systemic issues at the top levels of the FBI
  • FBI accused of lying and withholding important information from the public
  • Concerns about censorship, labeling parents as terrorists, and targeting religious groups
  • Chris Ray denies personal bias against conservatives but acknowledges biased actions by the department
  • Criticism of Hunter Biden plea deal and interference by Merrick Garland in DOJ prosecution
  • Republicans upset with FBI's use of FISA warrants and social media targeting
  • FBI colluding with big tech to suppress conservative speech criticized by Republicans
  • Court ruling against FBI's attack on free speech not mentioned by Chris Ray
  • Admission that companies like Bank of America share information with the FBI without a warrant
  • Bank of America turned over actual purchase records for gun purchases to the federal government, raising concerns about privacy and corporate-FBI relationships.
  • Eric Swallow defended the FBI and criticized the focus on a private citizen's laptop during the 2020 election.
  • Democrats' willingness to defend the FBI despite allegations raises concerns about institutional trust in the United States.
  • Institutional distrust is earned due to institutions operating outside their purview, such as the FBI expanding into various areas of American life.
  • The cycle of failure, distrust, and attempts to regain trust leads people to believe that everything an institution does is corrupt or bad.
  • The case of Ray Epps, who encouraged people to enter the Capitol on January 6th but was not arrested, raised questions about his involvement and potential government influence.
  • Representative Nells questioned why Ray Epps was not arrested and asked Chris Ray for a commitment regarding his arrest.
  • There are suspicions that federal agents were involved in the Capitol attack on January 6th.
  • Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sun asserted that the protest crowd was filled with federal agencies, but Ray Epps, an individual at the center of conspiracy theories, denied any knowledge of this.
  • Tucker Carlson and Fox News promoted a story that Ray Epps was an undercover government agent who instigated violence at the Capitol to disparage then-President Trump and his supporters.
  • Ray Epps has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Tucker Carlson for promoting this story.
  • Questions remain about whether Ray Epps was a federal agent or activated by the FBI, but there is no evidence to support these claims.
  • The lack of transparency from the federal government fuels suspicion and conspiracy theories surrounding right-wing activities.
  • The institutional distrust extends beyond the right-wing media and highlights a broader issue in society.
  • Institutional distrust is prevalent in both the right wing and right wing media.
  • Ray Epps denies having contact with the FBI before the attacks but met with them afterwards.
  • Epps cooperated with the FBI and answered their questions.
  • People tend to attribute actions to stupidity rather than malice, leading to suspicions about Epps being a federal agent.
  • Generalized distrust of the FBI contributes to suspicions about Epps.

Ukraine Conflict and Biden Administration

30:29 - 36:55

  • The American position on the Ukraine war remains unclear.
  • Vladimir Zelensky expressed gratitude for American support but Joe Biden lacks a coherent policy on Ukraine.
  • Phrases like 'war for democracy,' 'as long as it takes,' and 'until we win' are seen as empty rhetoric due to past actions by the Biden administration.
  • Biden's commitment to Ukraine is questioned due to lack of clarity on goals and metrics for success.
  • The West's public pressure on Vladimir Putin may be a front while back channel negotiations are happening.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations for Zelensky and the Ukrainian people regarding Crimea and Donbas liberation.

2022 Midterm Elections and Political Trends

43:08 - 49:02

  • 7% of Biden voters in 2020 voted Republican in 2022
  • Only 3% of Republican voters in 2020 voted Democrat in 2022
  • Partisan differences in turnout account for most of the Republican gains in voting for the House
  • 68% of those who voted in 2020 turned out to vote in the 2022 midterms
  • Democratic voters were slightly more likely than Republican voters to defect in 2022
  • Republican turnout is expected to remain high due to dissatisfaction with the state of the country and current Democratic rule
  • Candidate quality matters for election outcomes
  • In-person voting increased sharply compared to mail-in ballots in the 2022 midterms
  • White voters with college degrees made up a majority of Republican voters, while Hispanic voters favored Democrats by a smaller margin compared to previous elections
  • Black voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats, with only a small percentage voting for Republicans
  • Republicans will need lower voter turnout from Democrats to win the 2024 election if Donald Trump is the candidate
  • Democrats are becoming increasingly nervous about replicating the high voter turnout and chaos of the previous election cycle in future elections
  • Donald Trump does not have a clear plan to overcome systemic obstacles and reverse election results if he believes they were stolen

Culture and Fashion Trends

54:28 - 55:42

  • The work culture and shaming culture are two inadequacies that need to be addressed.
  • Some older actors like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are pushing back against political correctness in Hollywood.
  • Successful movies and shows are avoiding politically correct content.
  • Barack and Michelle Obama have received Grammy and Emmy nominations, despite questionable merit.
  • There is an effort in legacy media to make men wear crop tops, but it is mostly embraced by gay men.
  • There is a trend of men wearing crop tops in the gay community.
  • This trend is not a broad spectrum phenomenon among all men.
  • Cody James, a straight man who works in advertising, started wearing crop tops influenced by styles from movies and TV shows he watched in the 80s and 90s.
  • 70% of Cody's shirts are cropped, with some showing his navel.
  • One professor believes that men wearing crop tops reflects shifting dynamics of gender and an openness in masculine fashion.
  • However, others find it annoying and think it makes people look silly.