Ben Shapiro Jokes He’s ‘Darth Vader,’ Wonders Where Free Speech Cavalry Went After Trade Show Flap | Eastern North Carolina Now | Triggered trade show attendees should not hold their breath waiting for The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro to apologize for his very existence, the political podcaster told his vast audience Friday.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Greg Wilson.

    Triggered trade show attendees should not hold their breath waiting for The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro to apologize for his very existence, the political podcaster told his vast audience Friday.

    A day after Podcast Movement, an organization that purports to represent the industry and embrace diversity, released a bizarre string of tweets expressing sorrow for allowing his presence at a Dallas event, Shapiro told his listeners exactly what his detractors could expect.

    "I'm not going to apologize for being a human who breathes oxygen in a space," Shapiro said, joking that he is now a Darth Vader figure to snowflakes. "I'm not going to do that."

    Shapiro, a co-founder of The Daily Wire, described attending the Wednesday event, where the company paid to sponsor a booth. Although video shows Shapiro gladly obliging friendly fans with handshakes and selfies, he was stunned to learn later that his mere presence had caused a stir.

    "Hi folks, we owe you an apology before sessions kick off for the day," Podcast Movement tweeted Thursday. "Yesterday afternoon, Ben Shapiro briefly visited the PM22 expo area near The Daily Wire booth. Though he was not registered or expected, we take full responsibility for the harm done by his presence."

    The overwrought response and subsequent tweets drew merciless mockery on Twitter, but Shapiro said Friday the episode raises serious questions about the Hard Left's intolerance of anyone who doesn't share its world view.

    "I came to this Podcast Movement event, this conference, and I walked around the floor, and this prompted such spasms of apoplexy," Shapiro said. "And this is so indicative of where we are in politics today. It really is."

    The unwillingness to even tolerate the presence of conservatives is part of a movement aimed at marginalizing and silencing all those who question the liberal narrative, he said.

    "You want to know how you got Trump?" Shapiro said. "I know how you got political polarization. You want to know how you got a bunch of people in this country who believe that they are being excised from the public square and are angry about it?"

    The person whose tweet is believed to have prompted Podcast Movement's response said Shapiro's presence made them "feel unsafe" as a "trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus."

    Shapiro noted the irony of a member of a group that often claims to face "erasure" complaining about his mere presence. He also called for companies in the industry to take a stand for free speech and diversity of opinions.

    "I have a question for all these so-called 'free-speech' podcasting companies - the Spotifys, and the Disneys, the Crooked Media Company - where are you guys?" Shapiro said.

    Shapiro, who has had spirited, yet cordial discussions with several liberals, including Bill Maher, noted that he has often urged his own, mostly conservative, listeners to hear out the other side and make up their own minds. Why wouldn't more liberals and companies that purport to espouse free speech stand up for the most popular mainstream conservative podcaster on the planet?

    "Your silence is rather deafening here," he said.

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