The Daily Wire has reportedly spent around $100,000 on ads defending anti-trans host Matt Walsh against so-called “cancel culture.”
According to the Daily Dot, the far-right media outlet’s ad-buying blitz began last October after comments Walsh made on his old drive-time radio show defending teen pregnancy and marriage resurfaced. Earlier that month, Media Matters released a report on Walsh’s appalling history of racism, misogyny, and defending political violence as the co-host of The Matt and Crank Program on Delaware radio station WZBH between 2010 and 2011. The report included comments Walsh made on a January 2011 broadcast asserting that “girls getting pregnant” at a “young age” is perfectly normal. He said that teen pregnancy isn’t a problem as long as the teens are married and stressed that it’s normal for 16-year-old girls to get pregnant because that’s when they’re “technically most fertile.”
In response, The Daily Wire launched a Facebook ad campaign costing between $80,000 and $90,000 defending Walsh, the Daily Dot reports. The ads feature video of Candace Owens, Michael Knowles, Andrew Klavan, Brett Cooper, and Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro claiming that Walsh is a victim of “cancel culture,” that “the left” is trying to discredit him “because he is the only person successfully exposing their transgender madness,” and urging people to subscribe to DailyWire+. The campaign was reportedly renewed on May 1.
Walsh, who describes himself as a “theocratic fascist,” has become a leading voice on the far-right pushing misinformation about the LGBTQ+ community and transgender people in particular. Most recently, he’s targeted Dylan Mulvaney, promoting a boycott of Bud Light after the beer brand partnered with the trans influencer and repeatedly misgendering her in clips posted to YouTube.
As a result, YouTube demonetized Walsh’s channel, stripping him of what Walsh said was $100,000 per month in ad revenue.
“We suspended monetization on Matt Walsh’s channel due to repeated violations of our YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines,” a spokesperson for the platform told Media Matters last month. “These policies apply equally to all creators, regardless of political viewpoint, and channels that repeatedly violate these policies are demonetized.”
The Daily Wire has reportedly spent an additional $20,000 to $25,000 on new ads promoting a story in which the outlet’s co-CEO Jeremy Boreing claims that social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok are trying to “cancel” Walsh.
Last month, after a hacker revealed that he’d gained access to Walsh’s text messages, emails, and other direct messages, Boreing indicated in a tweet that The Daily Wire doesn’t care about any incendiary statements the host may have made in the past. But as Jezebel notes, the roughly $100,000 the outlet has spent on ads aimed at downplaying Walsh’s vile comments on child rape seems to indicate otherwise.