Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro walked out of a BBC interview after being pressed on old comments he made.
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.”
But shortly after exchanging the pleasantries, the host Andrew 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.
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.”