Tuesday, the Washington Post published a piece by Talia Lavin which said that Ben Shapiro had “evoked the specter of a war between Islam and the West” with his tweets about the fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The very next sentence of Lavin’s piece connected that to racist alt-right figure Richard Spencer. It seems one tendentious connection between Shapiro and Spencer wasn’t enough for the Post. Wednesday, the paper published another piece which made the same connection using similar language:

Ben Shapiro, an influential American right-wing pundit with a huge following on social media, lamented “a magnificent monument to Western civilization collapsing” and then followed up with tweets that insisted upon the “Judeo-Christian heritage” embodied by Notre Dame and the duty of all to refamiliarize “ourselves with the philosophy and religious principles that built it.” Critics quickly noted the brutal treatment meted out on French Jews for centuries while the cathedral stood. Others suggested Shapiro’s invocation of “Judeo-Christian” values were in this instance simply a euphemism for “white.”

Richard Spencer, an American neofascist credited with coining the term “alt-right” for the online ecosystem of far-right voices in the West, spoke more plainly. He tweeted his hope that the fire consuming Notre Dame would “spur the White man into action — to sieze [sic] power in his countries, in Europe, in the world” and, if so, the blaze “will have served a glorious purpose and we will one day bless this catastrophe.”

The piece doesn’t identify Shapiro’s critics. One of them was Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo. I’m not sure who suggested “Judeo-Christian” was a euphemism for “white.” In any case, the way the next sentence is written creates a connection between Shapiro and Richard Spencer. Without the descriptive clause, it reads: “Richard Spencer…spoke more plainly.” The suggestion being that Spencer, the alt-right racist, is merely spelling out what Shapiro was saying obliquely.

Shapiro pointed out that he’s written a bestselling book on this topic so there’s no reason to try to divine hidden meaning from his tweets:

Also, he’s not a fan of Richard Spencer:

Just last month the Economist labeled Shapiro “the alt-right sage without the rage.”  After it was pointed out to them by Shapiro and others (including CNN’s Oliver Darcy) that this was a ridiculous description, the Economist changed the headline and the story to remove “alt-right” from the description.

Now the Post has raised the same comparison by suggesting, twice in one week, that Shapiro is dog-whistling for the alt-right. In fact, the alt-right hates Shapiro, in part because he’s Jewish and in part because he clearly doesn’t like them (and has said so many times). Here’s Shapiro talking about the Economist story about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Why does this nonsense keep cropping up? Because the left-wing partisans in the media want it to be true. This is media hackery at its finest: