“[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 with a link to a Daily Wire article he penned detailing “all the dumb stuff” he’s ever done.
Shapiro appeared on the BBC to talk about his new book “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great.” However, things didn’t go as planned when Neil -- who often plays devil’s advocate with his guests -- pressed on old comments Shapiro had made.
Shortly after exchanging the pleasantries, Neil went on offense and drilled down on Shapiro’s views, asking the commentator whether the recent pro-life bill in Georgia is like bringing back the “Dark Ages” in the U.S.
Shapiro retaliated against Neil, a former editor of the Sunday Times and a chairman of a media group that includes right-leaning magazine The Spectator, and accused him of harboring left-wing views.
“You purport to be an objective journalist, BBC purports to be an objective, down the middle network,” Shapiro snapped. “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.”
“Mr. Shapiro, if you only knew how ridiculous that statement is you wouldn’t have said it,” Neil replied and went on to question Shapiro about comments he has made previously on abortion and transgender rights, as well as his remarks questioning the Jewishness of those voting for President Barack Obama -- topics Shapiro addressed in his list of mistakes.
Soon before the interview was put to a halt, Shapiro said Neil tried to go through and find “lone things that sound bad out of context” as a way to make “a quick buck on BBC off the fact that I’m popular and no one has ever heard of you.”
“This whole thing is a waste of time. Frankly, I don’t care — I don’t frankly give a damn what you think of me since I’ve never heard of you,” he added. “I think we’re done here.”
Shapiro later admitted that his attack on Neil was misdirected, tweeting that “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.”
Once the interview aired on Friday, Shapiro admitted he wasn’t prepared and that he was losing to the BBC host.