Ben Shapiro Storms Out of Interview When BBC Host Breaks Him on the WHEEL OF LOGIC

Ben Shapiro Storms Out of Interview When BBC Host Breaks Him on the WHEEL OF LOGIC

The schadenfreude ran thick on Friday morning as the BBC aired a contentious interview in which Ben Shapiro accused well-known British conservative journalist Andrew Neil of being a leftist before ending the interview early and trying to yank off his own microphone on camera.

Observers familiar with Neil’s long history of conservatism were practically in hysterics watching Shapiro demand that Neil admit he is “on the left.”

The exchange on Shapiro’s support for draconian restrictions on abortion was particularly telling. Neil went hard at Shapiro, calling a recent ban on abortions past the sixth week of pregnancy in Georgia “a return to the Dark Ages. What’s your answer?” Shapiro responded with a Ron Burgundy-esque “My answer is something called science!”

And even there, many scientists would disagree with him.

The British conservative also brought up Shapiro’s open racism against Arabs, exemplified by a tweet in which he claimed they like “to live in open sewage,” which Shapiro also couldn’t defend except to start babbling about “the next few tweets” explaining the “context.”

Finally, flustered by the tough questioning, Shapiro fell back on the old standby of schoolyard taunts, stating “I’m popular and no one has ever heard of you.” Which in addition to being juvenile, is not true. Neil is a well-known figure in conservative media circles in Britain, where he once worked for Rupert Murdoch.

In America, Shapiro has been the subject of soft-focus profiles such as this one in The New York Times calling him “the cool kid’s philosopher.” But what was interesting about this interview was how much it exposed him as a charlatan and polemicist who struggles to defend his ideas when he gets outside the bubble of Fox News or his own podcast, where his singular talent for talking fast while being wrong does not expose him to challenges.

But up against a journalist who, while conservative, is not part of the back-patting bonhomie found on the American right, Shapiro could not hold his own. He fell apart under direct questioning, particularly when Neil pointed out the contradictions in his criticism of the coarsening of public debate in America and his own sneering diatribes and Twitter shit-posting. For all his hollering about liberal “snowflakes” who protest his campus appearances because he thinks they don’t want to be exposed to opposing viewpoints, he had no response when not in front of an audience of College Republicans and Turning Point USA members hooting and hollering in agreement.

Watch the entire interview in the video at the top of the post, via the BBC.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.