Piers Morgan has a weird thing going, where he engages Ben Shapiro in debate, Ben makes a fool out him, and then like a gambler who convinces himself that it’s only a matter of time before he comes out on top, he goes back for more. Chris Evans (aka: Captain America) has decided he doesn’t like Shapiro’s no-nonsense approach, and took to Twitter to say “I genuinely dislike @benshapiro.”
It’s an interesting tweet, and more so since Mr. Evans decided to opt for radio silence instead of explaining himself. We’ll just have to assume it has something to do with Shapiro’s appearance on Piers Morgan last night, in which he reminded the world just how loosely we use the word “hero” these days.
MORGAN: Let’s turn to Jason Collins, this is the sports star that came out. You tweeted this: “So Jason Collins is a hero because he’s gay? Our standard of heroism has dropped quite a bit since Normandy.” Why such a cheap shot against a guy who did a pretty great thing?
SHAPIRO: I don’t think it’s a cheap shot. Heroism is defined by willingness to sacrifice — and willingness to take a real personal risk in favor of a noble, larger goal. This may be a noble, larger goal but I’m not sure it’s a great personal risk. …
MORGAN: I think you may be homophobic simply because you said, “Why is Jason Collins a hero simply because he’s gay?” Why sneer at a guy for coming out when he’s being courageous?
SHAPRIO: I’m not sneering at him for coming out, I’m just —
MORGAN: Aren’t you the one being homophobic?
SHAPIRO: I don’t think it’s homophobic to simply say that we’re apathetic about people’s personal lives. …
MORGAN: You think this guy isn’t brave because he came out. …
SHAPIRO: I understand, I wear a yarmulke on TV, right? There’s a lot of anti-Semitism, there are people who are killed and anti-Semitic attacks. You know, per capita, as many hate crimes against Jews as as against gays in this country. America is not an anti-Semitic country and I’m not a hero for wearing a yarmulke. Being who you are in 2013 America is what America is about. It is not heroic to be who you are publicly. I’m glad for Jason Collins if it makes him feel like he’s going to have a happier life now. But, it does not make him a hero to be who you are because America is not a homophobic country.
MORGAN: You know what, Ben? Come off it.
Who is more of a jerk: Piers Morgan, who calls you “homophobic” if you’re apathetic about the sexuality of the guy next to you, or Ben Shapiro, who reserves the word ‘hero’ for men and women who remind him of those who would willingly storm the beaches of Normandy?
A basketball player who was never that big of a deal comes out as gay at the end of his career (interesting timing), the media goes nuts over the guy, and because Ben Shapiro says there’s really nothing special about it, he’s a jerk to Chris Evans. At no point in the conversation does Mr. Shapiro indicate that he holds any ill will towards the gay community, but because he doesn’t believe that America is a homophobic country Piers Morgan thinks he’s homophobic. Classic!
Perhaps Chris Evans doesn’t like Mr. Shapiro because his definition of ‘hero’ excludes Hollywood celebrities who sometimes believe they are heroes just because they’re wearing the right uniform.
Here’s what Captain America costume designer Anna Sheppard said of Chris Evans while filming the first movie:
“You can’t really take him seriously in his flag pajamas,” director Joe Johnston told EW in last year’s exclusive first look cover story on the film. So instead, the hero’s main uniform was designed to resemble a tricked-out airman’s jumpsuit, the “A” on the helmet and star on the chest modest in size, the colors muted. It took Evans about 25 minutes to suit up. “He likes to do it all by himself,” explained costume designer Anna Sheppard. “I think it helps him feel like a super hero.”
I hate to play armchair psychologist, but it must really sting for Chris Evans to listen to Ben Shapiro talk about men who mistakenly elevate themselves to “hero” status in their own mind, when deep down he knows he’s guilty as charged.
Here’s what Chris Evans and the ideological allies of Piers Morgan don’t like: serious conversations about words and their meanings.
When someone wants to agree on a definition of “rich” and “poor” before the debate begins, they are a jerk. When someone wants to agree on a definition of “marriage” before discussion starts, they are “homophobic.” When someone wants to define what we mean when we talk about “rights,” that person is considered mean. When someone defines an immigrant who is in the country illegally as an “illegal immigrant” that person is being insensitive. When someone wants to talk about the definition of “fair share,” that person is “greedy.”
The truth is often uncomfortable, and it’s easy to avoid it if you and the person you’re arguing with are having two totally different conversations — primarily because neither one of you defines a whole slew of words the same way.
Ben Shapiro is not a likable guy because he demands precision. He does not allow for wiggle room. He forces men like Piers Morgan to be intellectually honest. And that is why guys like Chris Evans “genuinely dislike” conservatives of the Shapiro mold:
In another explosive debate with Piers Morgan on Thursday night, Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro accused Morgan of responsibility for Americans’ growing sense of threat from the federal government. …
When Morgan responded that he didn’t want to take away people’s handguns, Shapiro pressed him – and finally, Morgan admitted he’d like to try a United Kingdom-style total gun ban in the United States.
SHAPIRO: I still don’t understand your opinion on this. You say that you’re against military style assault weapons, but you’re OK with handguns. Handguns kill 6,000 people a year, assault weapons kill 300.
MORGAN: Well, they’re both a big problem: handguns in Chicago, and assault weapons with mass shootings.
SHAPIRO: You’re from the UK, why don’t we just go with a full gun ban?
MORGAN: Well, we’ve discussed this, the UK has 40-50 gun murders a year, the U.S. has 12,000. Why don’t we try it our way?
SHAPIRO: I’m glad you finally let your agenda out there.
MORGAN: I don’t have an agenda, I just want to make America safe and save lives. That’s my agenda.
Everyone has an agenda. Some of us are just honest about it. I’m a conservative. So is Ben Shapiro. And Chris Evans? It’s becoming rather clear, but for whatever reason he has opted to try and hide behind a wall of silence. It’s an odd choice, given that the decision offers neither cover nor concealment. Captain America a Piers Morgan liberal? Depressing, but at this point to be expected.
See you when Captain America: Winter Soldier comes out.