His name is Ethan Klein. I honestly don’t know much about him except that he’s Jewish and runs a popular YouTube show which seems to feature a lot of left-leaning politics. Yesterday he decided to make a comment about Ben Shapiro which he pretty clearly knew in advance was a bad idea. He “joked” that if there were another holocaust he hopes Shapiro is the first Jew sent to the gas chamber.

That technical difficulties interruption wasn’t added later. That was apparently his staff’s attempt to shut him up before something terrible came out of his mouth. And in the full clip, you can see that Klein was sort of daring himself to say it. He hesitated a couple of times before the moment above where he went ahead. Shapiro responded with a couple of tweets yesterday.

Klein replied that it was just a joke and mocked himself a bit. This is the old, clown nose on, clown nose off routine popularized by Jon Stewart. You attack people with outrageous statements and then if someone complains you claim it was just a joke.

Later in the day Klein announced that he’d been suspended from YouTube and blamed Shapiro and “tiki torch carrying, white Christian nationalists.”

For his part, Shapiro said he did not want to see Klein canceled but also pointed out that Klein has been fine with deplatforming people on the right in the past.

As you can see from those screengrabs, Klein removed two interviews he’d done with Jordan Peterson and, at the time, Peterson warned him that the woke would eventually come for him as well. Here was Peterson’s response back in January.

In this case, I don’t know if it’s the woke mob that is trying to cancel Klein or fans of Shapiro. I am pretty confident that any right-leaning YouTuber who made a “joke” about sending a Jew to the gas chamber would get a strike on their channel.

Klein has a history of making these kind of comments about the right. He got some attention this summer for suggesting someone should blow up an NRA meeting and shoot off guns outside Ted Cruz’s house. As you can see, the gimmick here is that his staff is always trying to pull him back but he won’t listen.

Klein is clearly looking for attention to help build his brand. That’s the way YouTube drama seems to work. I don’t think he actually wants to see anyone killed but, again, I’m not convinced YouTube would be as understanding of this kind of humor if he were a conservative.

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