The conservative commentator addressed the surprise controversy over the future first lady’s degree in the latest episode of his show, and critics were quick to pounce on him.
Some accused Shapiro of throwing a tantrum, quoting part of his monologue where he seemingly boasted about his own degree: “If you’re not impressed by Harvard Law, then you certainly should not be impressed by a degree from University of Delaware in education…,” he said, reminding people that he went to “an actual prestigious law school.”
Ben Shapiro throws a tantrum about calling Jill Biden "Doctor": "If you're not impressed by Harvard Law then you certainly should not be impressed by a degree from University of Delaware in education…When I was at Harvard Law, an actual prestigious law school" pic.twitter.com/NkwoVQJuVk
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 14, 2020
Ah yes, Harvard Law School. Alumni include Pompeo, McEnany, Ted Cruz, and Ron DeathSantis. Proof an Ivy League education doesn’t assure common sense or actual intelligence. However, it may be an indicator of arrogance and willingness to tell lies.
— Dolorous Ed (@dolorous_ed) December 14, 2020
Ironically, this particular attack was sort of an own goal. The very same clip shows Shapiro saying that he is not impressed by the degree he holds, and that “you should not be impressed either.” In his show, he said that anyone who insists on being addressed as “doctor,” but who is not an actual MD, is “an ass.”
Literally the next words of this clip — which you studiously avoided quoting — are, "I'm not impressed by it, you shouldn't be impressed by it either." Because law degrees are not inherently impressive or worthy of note in the same way medical degrees are. Which was my point. https://t.co/4RuNofeMm7
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 15, 2020
The episode of Shapiro’s show was about a sarcastic opinion piece by Joseph Epstein, which suggested that Jill Biden should drop her honorific because it “feels fraudulent, even comic.” Joe Biden’s wife holds a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware and prefers to be addressed as “Dr. Jill Biden,” as evidenced by her handle on Twitter.
The honorific was responsible for an amusing case of confused proficiencies in March, when the hosts of ‘The View’ discussed whether Dr. Jill Biden could become a surgeon general in an administration of her husband. “She is a hell of a doctor,” Whoopi Goldberg said in support of the candidacy, before others explained what kind of doctor she was.
Since Jill Biden is trending, this moment on The View where Whoopi pitches that Jill Biden should be Surgeon General and that she’s an “Amazing Doctor” has never left my mind. 💀 pic.twitter.com/NQMMWW1Mox
— Darrell (@duhraill) December 12, 2020
Epstein’s take sparked fury from the Left, who accused him of misogyny and other cardinal sins, while many people in the conservative camp, like Shapiro, went on to mock their reactions.
The honorific controversy seems to be as political as anything in the US these days. Just a few years ago, the sides were reversed when another person’s predilection for being called a doctor came into the media spotlight.
Sebastian Gorka, then a freshly appointed Trump adviser and a regular commentator on conservative media, was relentlessly mocked by the Left for – among other things – loving his ‘Dr.’ and ‘DrG’ honorifics. He studied political sciences at what is now called the Corvinus University of Budapest.
Sebastian Lukacs v. Gorka: "a poor man's Stewie Griffin".
FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE. Tonight 8PM. pic.twitter.com/t3JxzBLRiu
— SBS VICELAND (@SBSVICELAND) March 23, 2017
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