The right wing media sphere is in turmoil after popular YouTuber Stephen Crowder publicly accused a number of conservative media companies of being con jobs.
The podcaster and activist went on an extended rant during his most recent episode about a $50m contract offer from an unnamed company — later confirmed to be Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire — and accused the company of setting him up to fail with a contract that was contingent in him remaining in good standing with various media platforms.
Mr Crowder’s complaints about the contract were spelled out over nearly a half hour, during which he ranted about “Big Con” and “Big Tech”, and claimed that media companies like Mr Shapiro’s were “in bed” with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“Hey don’t worry, [Mark] Zuckerberg, we’ve got your back,” Mr Crowder says sarcastically during the video.
Growing visibly emotional, he then offered to help other up-and-coming conservatives avoid the umbrella of larger media organisations, which he said was an effort to keep them free of the “slave contracts” that he was being offered.
The angry video prompted an even lengthier responde from Jeremy Boreing, CEO of the Daily Wire. He characterised the contract lines which Mr Crowder had objected to as fairly standard parts of any media contract agreement.
Of the requirement for Mr Crowder to deliver a certain number (192) “daily” episodes per year, he stated: “You can’t pay someone any amount of money, but you certainly can’t pay someone an unimaginably huge amount of money for their show, and then not get that show.”
Mr Shapiro also responded on his own show, remarking that Mr Crowder “somehow misinterpreted [the contract] as us attempting to, quote unquote, ‘do the work of Big Tech’. Uh, no.”
"There is something rather nasty about attacking people who have been friends for over a decade,” he added.
His fellow Daily Wire colleague, Candace Owens, also unloaded on their shared new rival.
“LOL to anyone who thinks Steven Crowder is not doing this to make money,” she said on Tim Pool’s TimCast, before calling the YouTuber a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. “I mean I just have to outwardly laugh.”
She also tore into him separately on her own podcast, calling the video recorded by Mr Crowder a “b**** move” given the exorbitant salary he was being offered.
"Unrelatable. People are trying to pay for bacon and eggs right now at the grocery store...and you're over here crying because somebody couldn't meet you at $120m,” she said. “It was a total b**** move."