Ben Shapiro, the conservative movement’s so-called “cool kid’s philosopher”, finally broke his rule of placing his feelings over the facts. On Friday, the controversial commentator was invited on the BBC to promote his new book, ‘The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great’. When the journalist Andrew Neil began to ask tough questions over his message versus his contested stances on abortion, the label of fascism and his bigotry against Palestinians, the interview was abruptly ended.
“You purport to be an objective journalist,” Shapiro sniped. “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? Why is this so hard for you? Why don’t you just be honest?” Neil, the chairman for one of Britain’s largest conservative magazines ‘The Spectator’, simply chuckled. “Mr Shapiro,” he laughed, “if you only knew how ridiculous that statement is, you wouldn’t have said it.”
The reason for Shapiro’s assumption of “political leftism” is based on Neil doing his job in playing devil’s advocate. The journalist cited how the latest anti-abortion law passed in Georgia enforces a strict 30-year prison sentence for mothers who have a miscarriage and another 10 years for residents who travel to another state to have a legal abortion, which is being perceived as “extreme, hard policies” based on the polling data. Neil even directly explained he was using this devil’s advocate approach during the exchange, however, the statement must have slipped over the guest’s heated little head.
Neil, who credits the book as “interesting”, used the conversation to focus on its central message that Judeo-Christian values are the “founding principles of Western civilization” currently under siege by modern culture. The journalist agrees with Shapiro’s key view that America is in a “struggle for its national soul” where “we are so angry at each other right now” that fundamental ethics are being abandoned. Neil raises the question of whether Shapiro believes he’s also contributed America’s new culture of anger. Shapiro’s angered response makes this observation all the more ironic.
Shapiro, famous for the catchphrases “facts don’t care about your feelings”, grew frustrated as the interview began to delve into his factual history of inflammatory “dumb comments”, which can be found here on his own website. Shapiro argued he’s not against “charged language in politics”, but rather “the assumption that people we disagree with politically are inherently of bad character”. This standard is brilliantly questioned by Neil by citing Shapiro’s own comments.
He began by showcasing his stance on Obama’s 2012 State Of The Union address as being “fascist mentality in action” and condemning leftist Jews who voted for him as “Jews in name only”, which Shapiro claimed was based on the president’s perceived opposition to Israel. Neil contrasts Shapiro’s appeal to anti-Israel bigotry against his own words, citing several tweets about how he believed “Israelis like to build, Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage.”
When Shapiro tried to tepidly condemn and justify the tweets as bold critiques of Palestine’s Hamas regime, Neil went on to cite several follow-ups from Shapiro saying: “I know, it’s not all Arabs who live in open sewage — just [Palestinians] and their allies!” The tweets make no mention of the Hamas government, meaning he’s either lying or projecting the government onto the entire population, which goes against his anti-collectivist message.
Shapiro, caught in this double-edged lie, was soon forced to make a truly world-class deflection that by condemning all Palestinians as living in open sewage — the majority of which he claims voted for the current repressive government — he was somehow condemning Hamas directly. Never mind the fact he could have just condemned Hamas on its own merits, but it seems this lesson in good faith argumentation still hasn’t dawned on little Ben.
Neil continued to cite a 2007 article where Shapiro was explicit in his feelings against the Palestinians: “The problem runs deeper than a few figureheads. The Palestinian Arab population is rotten to the core. There are many to be blamed: Yasser Arafat, who lined his pockets with cash and subsidized murder while playing the victim of oppression. […] But in the end, the blame must lie with the Palestinian Arabs themselves. They have accepted their role with relish. They are as responsible for their government’s longstanding evil as the Germans were for the Nazis.”
Shapiro simply dismissed all of Neil’s critiques as “gotcha questions” that are “designed to shout old slogans” at him. To the contrary, Neil was simply questioning whether Shapiro’s supposed role in the debate as some good faith arbiter of “civil discourse” is true, which is contestable when you realise he’s made a name off “DESTROYING” his political rivals (at least according to his own YouTube video titles). Shapiro even denied that his own publication, The Daily Wire, titles videos this way despite a simple search presenting the exact opposite:
Shapiro immediately accused Neil of trying to make a “quick buck … off of the fact that I’m popular and no one has ever heard of you,” forcing Neil to laugh about both American broadcasting’s overinflated media-industrial complex and the obvious fact Shapiro never researched his interviewer. “I am not inclined to continue an interview with someone as badly motivated as you,” Shapiro said when asked again if he abandoned Judao-Christian values, abruptly ending the discussion. Neil, raising an eyebrow, left with a cheeky British goodbye: “Mr Shapiro, thank you for your time and for showing that anger is not part of American political discourse.”
It became self-evident to everyone, including the enraged Shapiro, that he was viciously DESTROYED by his own divisive standards. He decided it was best to issue an apology to his conservative critic not for his angry actions or cited comments, but for having “misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism”, forcing us to ask if this were actually the case, would his behaviour have been somehow justified? Is Shapiro’s commitment to civil discourse and tough questions exclusive to the conservative thought bubble? Is Shapiro just another example of “partisan loyalty” within the Intellectual Dark Web movement? When the first sentence of Shapiro’s book is about how “all that matters is victory,” this bitter loss in the battle of ideas must sting.
Thanks for reading! This article was originally published for TrigTent.com, a bipartisan media platform for political and social commentary, truly diverse viewpoints and facts that don’t kowtow to political correctness.
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