Candace Owens would beat Ben Shapiro in Israel debate: Chris Cuomo said

The Daily Wire muzzled its former commentator Candace Owens because the company believes she would prevail in a debate against Ben Shapiro over Israel, Chris Cuomo said.

Cuomo, the primetime News Nation host and former CNN anchor, said the Daily Wire did the right thing by obtaining a gag order against Owens, the outspoken media personality who famously left the right-leaning outlet after she accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

“The Daily Wire doesn’t believe that Shapiro wins the debate with Candace Owens,” Cuomo told podcast host Patrick Bet-David on Wednesday.

Candace Owens was hit with a gag order by her former employer the Daily Wire. Getty Images
Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro criticized Owens for her views on Israel. The Washington Post/Getty Images

His comments were reported by the news site Mediaite.

Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that Daily Wire management sought and obtained the gag order from an arbitrator after Owens and the company parted ways in March — despite Shapiro’s public comments pledging to debate her on Israel and antisemitism.

The two have been going back and forth on social media in an attempt to find an agreed-upon venue for such a debate.

But while those public discussions were taking place on the X social media platform, Daily Wire lawyers were in the process of getting an arbitrator to agree to place a gag order on Owens — effectively ending any hopes for a debate that was highly anticipated by internet users.

“I’ll tell you what. I like the move. This is a very smart move by the Daily Wire [to obtain the gag order],” Cuomo told Bet-David.

“Organizations protect themselves, and when they have a contract with you, they will immediately do this.”

The Post has sought comment from the Daily Wire. Owens was not immediately available for comment.

Owens and the Daily Wire parted ways after her public spat with co-founder Shapiro, who took issue with her sharp and pointed criticisms of Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks that killed around 1,200 soldiers and civilians.

Chris Cuomo said the Daily Wire did the right thing by muzzling Owens. Lev Radin/ZUMA Press Wire /

Owens has also made comments that the Anti-Defamation League has condemned for expressing what it called “vitriolic antisemitism.”

In addition to her criticism of Israel, she took aim at “political Jews” for fueling antisemitism while speculating that “secret Jewish gangs” are behind “horrific acts” against Hollywood figures.

Owens, 34, also said that a “ring of Jews in Hollywood” was involved in “something quite sinister.”

She also favorited an X post that invoked the ancient libel accusing Jews of drinking Christians’ blood.

After the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks against Israel, Owens criticized the Israeli military response in Gaza, writing on social media: “No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide.”

Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew and a staunch defender of Israel, said Owens’ remarks about the topic were “absolutely disgraceful.”

In response, Owens wrote on X that “you cannot serve both God and money.”

Chris Cuomo said Owens would have beaten Shapiro in a debate over Israel and antisemitism. Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

In November, Shapiro’s fans on social media demanded that the Daily Wire fire Owens over her comments, but Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing wrote on social media: “[E]ven if we could, we would not fire Candace because of another thing we have in common — a desire not to regulate the speech of our hosts, even when we disagree with them. Candace is paid to give her opinion, not mine or Ben’s.”

“Unless those opinions run afoul of the law or she violates the terms of her contract in some way, her job is secure and she is welcome at Daily Wire,” according to Boreing.

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