Newsmax ‘Black Conservatives’ Screenshot

On April 20 2022, a purported Newsmax “Black conservatives” Twitter screenshot circulated on Imgur and Reddit:

One of the Reddit iterations appeared on r/ToiletPaperUSA, a subreddit known for subtle parody (which is often decoupled from its context and mistaken for real content):

Fact Check

Claim: A tweet accurately describes an April 2022 Newsmax "Black conservatives" segment, featuring four individuals — one of whom is white, and one of whom is dead.

Description: The tweet claims that a ‘Black conservatives’ segment aired by Newsmax included a white individual (Ben Shapiro) and a deceased person (Herman Cain) among the Black conservatives featured. The claim is based on a screenshot that went viral, showing Shapiro and Cain’s pictures included in the segment.

Rating: Decontextualized

Rating Explanation: The screenshot from the Newsmax segment is real and was not altered. However, the context was not included in the virally spread image. During the broadcast, the host Greg Kelly mentioned that Herman Cain was deceased and that Ben Shapiro, while not Black, is considered ‘one of the heroes’ of the Black conservative movement. Therefore, the tweet is not entirely accurate as it omits this additional context.

As for the tweet seen in the Newsmax “Black conservatives” screenshots, it was real and recent as of April 2022. Media Matters for America (MM4A)’s Jason Campbell shared it on the morning of April 20 2022:

Campbell’s “actual screenshot from Newsmax” featured a chyron, reading “Left considers Black conservatives to be traitors.” A Newsmax host appeared on the left side of the screen, and four individuals’ images were shown on the right:

  • Sheriff David Clarke (misspelled as “Daivd”);
  • Herman Cain;
  • Ben Shapiro; and
  • Ben Carson

Of the four, two of the people shown were appeared to be odd choices in the context of the putative segment. Cain was a Black conservative, but he died in July 2020 of COVID-19; Ben Shapiro was not dead, but neither was he a Black conservative.

Several articles addressed the Newsmax “Black conservatives” screencap, which appeared on-air on April 19 2022. The Daily Beast’s “Newsmax Host Includes Ben Shapiro Among ‘Black Conservatives'” included video of the segment, and it reported:

Newsmax host Greg Kelly included Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro — who is very much not Black — among a list of Black conservatives on Tuesday night, going so far as to describe Shapiro as “one of the heroes” of the Black conservative movement.


As [Kelly spoke about Black conservatives], the program aired a graphic, blaring the caption “Left Considers Black Conservatives To Be Traitors,” which included Shapiro alongside three other conservative Black men (including Herman Cain, who in 2020 died from COVID-19.)

Mediaite’s “Newsmax’s Greg Kelly Hails Ben Shapiro as ‘One of the Heroes’ of the Black Conservative Movement” quoted Kelly’s commentary as the graphic appeared on screen. In that excerpt, Kelly stated that Cain was deceased and Shapiro was not Black (but one of the “heroes” of “the movement”):

[Black conservatives are] out there, but they’re shunned because, boy oh boy, what they have to say. 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.

On Twitter, Kelly praised Mediaite’s explanation:

On April 20 2022, a purported screenshot of a Newsmax “Black conservatives” segment spread virally. The screencap was real and unaltered, originating with a segment hosted by Kelly on April 19 2022. Although the image was not misleading, it didn’t include the context in video of the segment. As the image appeared on screen, Kelly referenced the “late Herman Cain,” and added that Ben Shapiro was “not Black, but one of the heroes of the movement.”