On Thursday night, Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro took on Piers Morgan regarding Shapiro’s tweets about Jason Collins, the first active NBA player to come out as gay. Shapiro tweeted last week, “So Jason Collins is a hero because he’s gay? Our standard for heroism has dropped quite a bit since Normandy.” Morgan read Shapiro’s tweet, then asked, “Why such a cheap shot against a guy who did a pretty great thing?” Shapiro denied that the tweet was a cheap shot, and defined heroism as “willingness to sacrifice – and willingness to take a real personal risk in favor of a noble, larger goal. This may be a noble, larger goal but I’m sure it’s a great personal risk.” Shapiro noted that Martina Navratilova “came out in 1981, that was three years before I was born.”
Then Shapiro went on the offense: “Let me ask you something, Piers. Why do you hate Americans so much, that you think this is such a homophobic country, that when Jason Collins comes out it is the biggest deal in the history of humanity? President Obama has to personally call him to congratulate him.” Morgan responded by calling Shapiro homophobic and “sneering at him for coming out.” Shapiro shot back, “I don’t think it’s homophobic to simply say that we’re apathetic about people’s personal lives.”
The exchange continued:
SHAPIRO: I think that America is a fundamentally good place, Piers. The fact is this: You’re British and a lot of folks have said that we should send you back because you’re British. You come on here every night and speak in a British accent. That doesn’t make you a hero, that makes you being who you are.
MORGAN: I never claimed to be a hero.
SHAPIRO: I understand, I wear a yarmulke on TV, right? There’s a lot of anti-Semitism, there are people who are killed and anti-Semitic attacks. You know, per capita, as many hate crimes against Jews as as against gays in this country. America is not an anti-Semitic country and I’m not a hero for wearing a yarmulke. Being who you are in 2013 America is what America is about. It is not heroic to be who you are publicly. I’m glad for Jason Collins if it makes him feel like he’s going to have a happier life now. But, it does not make him a hero to be who you are because America is not a homophobic country.
MORGAN: You know what, Ben? Come off it.