Conservative media darling Ben Shapiro ended a heated BBC interview on Friday after sparring with host Andrew Neil.
The satellite interview went off the rails after Neil, well-known for his trenchant questioning, put it to Shapiro that, in the U.S., "all the new policies" are "coming from the left, and they're popular,” and asked if the state of Georgia's law banning abortion after six weeks would be taking society back to the Dark Ages.
He gave Shapiro a tough grilling from which included pushing Shapiro to defend statements like “Israelis like to build, Arabs like to bomb crap,” and that Jews who voted for Barack Obama were “Jews in Name Only” and should “hand their badge in.”
“OK, a couple of things ... are you [an] objective journalist or an opinion journalist?" Shapiro asked Neil. "I'm a journalist who asks questions," Neil replied.
"You purport to be an objective journalist, BBC purports to be an objective, down the middle network,” Shapiro continued. “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 - a lifelong Conservative - retorted.
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"Frankly, I find this whole thing a waste of time ... I don't give a damn what you think of me since I've never heard of you." Shapiro added, "I'm popular and no one has ever heard of you."
"And I've never heard of you until I briefed myself of this," Neil replied.
“I am not inclined to continue an interview with someone as badly motivated as you...I think we’re done here,” concluded Shapiro. Neil had the last word, "thanking" Shapiro for demonstrating that anger was not part of American political discourse.
Over the weekend Shapiro both apologized and acknowledged defeat on Twitter. “@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.”
Shapiro added on Saturday, “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.”