Ben Shapiro conceded he was not adequately prepared for the grilling he received from BBC host Andrew Neil, which ended with the popular conservative commentator abruptly cutting the interview short.
“[Andrew Neil] DESTROYS Ben Shapiro! So that’s what that feels like. Broke my own rule, and wasn’t properly prepared. I’ve addressed every single issue he raised before; see below. Still, it’s Neil 1, Shapiro 0,” Shapiro tweeted on Friday with a link to a Daily Wire article wrote detailing “all the dumb stuff” he had ever done.
.@afneil DESTROYS Ben Shapiro! So that’s what that feels like 😉
Broke my own rule, and wasn’t properly prepared. I’ve addressed every single issue he raised before; see below. Still, it’s Neil 1, Shapiro 0. https://t.co/UAtAUtIWtO
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 10, 2019
Shapiro understood the interview would mainly cover his new book, “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great.”
However, Neil, who is chairman of the conservative publication The Spectator, launched into a series of pointed questions about abortion, as well as past controversial statements Shapiro has made about American Jewish people and Palestinians.
“Some of the ideas popular on your side of politics would take us back to the dark ages,” Neil said, citing as an example the “fetal heartbeat” bill signed into law Georgia this week, which makes it illegal to have an abortion once a unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.
Neil’s characterization of the law set Shapiro, who is pro-life, on edge, causing him to question the BBC host whether he was an objective journalist or an opinion journalist.
“My job is to question those who have strong views and put an alternative to them,” Neil shot back.
Shapiro continued, “You purport to be an objective journalist, BBC purports to be an objective, down the middle network.”
“It obviously is not, it never has been. And you as a journalist are proceeding to call one side of the political aisle ignorant, barbaric, and sending us back to the dark ages, why don’t you just say you’re on the left? It’s a serious question.”
Neil said if Shapiro knew who he was he would know how “ridiculous” his charge sounded.
In light of the American author calling for “civil discourse” in his book, Neil then shifted to covering past controversial statements made by Shapiro.
The BBC personality pointed to comments the Daily Wire editor-in-chief made in 2012, saying, “Jews who vote for Obama are by and large Jews in name only.”
Shapiro explained, “The point that I am making is that most Jews that are ethnically Jewish are not religiously Jewish in any context.”
“No no no, the point you were making that Jews who vote for Obama are Jews in name only,” Neil countered.
Shapiro grew impatient, saying, “I hope you’re having fun by the way going through every old tweet I’ve ever sent to try to do gotcha-questions.”
“If you would like to discuss something I’ve done in like the past five years, how about we do that. I have an entire list [on my website] — I have an entire website of dumb, bad things I’ve said,” he added.
Neil next brought up Shapiro saying, “Israelis like to build, Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage.”
Shapiro responded that his remarks were directed at the Palestinians who “elected Hamas” and “educate their children in school that Israel should be obliterated.”
About 15 minutes into the back-and-forth, Shapiro had had enough.
“I am not inclined to continue an interview with someone as badly motivated as you”
US conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro ends spiky interview with @afneil
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 10, 2019
“This whole thing is a waste of time,” he said. “Frankly, I don’t care — I don’t frankly give a d— what you think of me since I’ve never heard of you.”
“And I’ve never heard of you until I briefed myself on this,” Neil replied.
“Then why the hell are you interviewing me, sir?” Shapiro asked. Shortly thereafter, he announced, “I think we’re done here,” and took off his microphone.
“Thank you for your time and for showing that anger is not part of American political discourse,” Neil dryly said.
Shapiro later admitted Thursday his anger at Neil was misdirected, tweeting, “Just pre-taped an interview with BBC’s (Andrew Neil).”
Just pre-taped an interview with BBC’s @afneil. As I’m not familiar with him or his work, I misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism (he termed the pro-life position in America “barbaric”) – and that was apparently inaccurate. For that, I apologize.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 9, 2019
“As I’m not familiar with him or his work, I misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism (he termed the pro-life position in America “barbaric”) — and that was apparently inaccurate. For that, I apologize.”
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