Daniel Granger, the CEO and founder of the podcast advertising agency Oxford Road, came to Ben Shapiro’s defense after a major podcasting conference apologized for the “harm” caused by Shapiro’s “presence” at the conference’s event this week.
On Thursday, organizers of the Podcast Movement conference in Dallas, Texas, apologized for selling the Daily Wire booth space after attendees complained that Shapiro, the host of the number-one conservative podcast, was spotted at the event near the Daily Wire’s booth.
Podcast Movement took “full responsibility for the harm done by his presence” and said that Shapiro’s presence there was “unacceptable.” But the organizers’ apology was widely criticized by those opposed to cancel culture and who were appalled at the statement that Shapiro’s “presence” — the fact of his existence at the conference — was said to have caused “harm.”
Granger, who said he considers Shapiro a friend and clarified he is “not a Republican,” chastised Podcast Movement for betraying its mission to “bring together and educate active and aspiring podcasters, and to grow the podcast community and industry as a whole.”
“‘Anyone’? It seems more like ‘All Podcasters are equal but some Podcasters are more equal than others,'” Granger wrote in a lengthy post on LinkedIn.
“If there has been a change in Podcast Movement’s mission and some attendees are no longer welcome based on their ideology, they should have said something earlier,” he continued.
Granger described how he founded Oxford Road to serve the growing podcast industry and that his company embraces “deep tolerance” for views “across the ideological spectrum” to unite podcasters and promote free speech.
“Our country is at a crossroads,” Granger wrote. “The freedoms we enjoy in this country are vulnerable to new threats that, in my view, are accelerated by our culture of infighting and polarization. Media has been a primary driver of this, and a large part of my life’s mission has become to help our industry become part of the solution instead of joining others in exacerbating the problem.”
He lamented political polarization in podcasting and advocated for “freedom and tolerance,” along with “good faith debate and discussion.” He also urged Podcast Movement to retract its statement on Shapiro.
“Treating the very presence of a person you disagree with, however profoundly, as unacceptable feels like the opposite of tolerance and will only push us further apart,” Granger wrote. “Instead of treating an individual as unworthy of being in the presence of another, why not use your platform to discuss why you find their actions so problematic? Or at least be specific about the actions that constitute ‘harm done.'”
“We can do better than this,” he concluded. “I call on the team at Podcast Movement to retract their unnecessarily divisive response and define a position in line with their stated mission. That’s a movement in which I, and many others, would like to participate.”