Newsmax host Greg Kelly hailed conservative pundit Ben Shapiro–who is White–as one of the "heroes" of the Black conservative movement. He then defended including Shapiro among Black conservatives in an on-air graphic.
Kelly made the claim during a segment in which the far right news outlet claimed liberals view Black conservatives as "traitors."
To the left of Kelly, an on-air graphic showed images of four men who apparently fit the description of "Black conservatives."
Shown were former Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke—whose name was misspelled Daivd, Tea Party activist Herman Cain-who died of COVID-19 in 2020 after attending a maskless Trump MAGA rally, former Republican presidential candidate and Trump-era Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and conservative White provacateur Ben Shapiro.
Screenshots of the segment attracted negative attention after it was tweeted by Jason Campbell, a senior researcher at Media Matters for America (MMA), and others.
Oddly, Kelly defended including Shapiro next to actual Black conservatives.
Kelly claimed Shapiro has done his part to discredit liberals who say there is systemic racism in the United States.
"Black conservatives are "out there" and they've been "shunned" by liberal voters, according to Kelly, who added:
"And the late Herman Cain and, of course, Ben Shapiro, not Black but one of the heroes of the movement. This really disrupts the narrative and that’s why they are marginalized."
"They shouldn’t be. They should be celebrated and listened to."
Kelly's claim–and the segment–were almost immediately mocked.
Kelly later added Shapiro, while not Black, has "an important voice and has helped a lot of Black people."
The typo on David Clarke's name was also corrected.
While Kelly did not exactly elaborate how Shapiro has helped, he did insist most of the media had taken his words out of context or missed his point.
Kelly said Shapiro is "not afraid to speak some real truth in uncomfortable situations." He referred to Shapiro's suggestion income and educational disparity between Blacks and Whites in the United States is high—not because of some racial element but because of a "culture problem."
Shapiro added it is why Blacks "are responsible for 50 percent of the murder" in the country, among other unsubstantiated or outright false claims.
Kelly went on to suggest Shapiro was brave to make such a claim in "a mixed race environment," adding conservatives can be "real allies to the Black community" if only liberals would make the space for them.