- The Washington Times
Friday, May 10, 2019

New York Times bestseller Ben Shapiro lasted 16 tense minutes with the BBC’s Andrew Neil on Friday before calling it a day.

Worries over a Republican-led “Dark Ages,” Mr. Shapiro’s alleged role in “coarsening” American discourse, and “anger” stoked by social-media stars were on the docket Friday for “Politics Live.”


The issue for Mr. Shapiro, however, seemed to be the BBC host’s insistence that his behavior was in accord with his being an objective reporter.

“I’m interested that you think there’s a thought movement inside the Republican Party,” Mr. Neil said early on. “I mean, haven’t the conservatives run out of ideas in America? All the new policies, the Medicare-for-all, $15 minimum wage, the Green New Deal, they’re all coming from the left and they’re popular.”

The author of “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great” noted that massive government programs and Keynesian economics are not new ideas before defending his conservative worldview.

“The idea that new ideas are absent in the Republican Party is obviously untrue,” Mr. Shapiro said. “It is intellectual sneering of the highest order to suggest that only the left has new and decent ideas.”

“Some of the new ideas that are popular on your side of politics would seem to take us back to the Dark Ages — Georgia, new abortion laws, which you are much in favor of,” the BBC host countered.

“You’re a supposedly objective journalist calling policies with which you disagree barbaric and suggesting only one side of the political aisle has ideas, so I just want to point out that I would wish that you would at least be honest in your own biases,” Mr. Shapiro said. “Would you suggest that late-term abortion is brutal?”

Mr. Neil balked at the question.

“You as a journalist are proceeding to call one side of the political aisle ignorant, barbaric, and sending us back to the Dark Ages,” the conservative continued. “Why don’t you just say that you’re on the left? Is this so hard for you? Why can’t you just be honest?”

The interview ended shortly after the BBC host accused Mr. Shapiro of “coarsening” public discourse while erroneously citing the titles of YouTube videos created by random individuals.

“Why are you picking out random YouTube videos put up by people who are not me and attributing the titles to me?” Mr. Shapiro asked. “Frankly, I find this whole thing a waste of time. … I’m not inclined to continue an interview with a person who as badly motivated as you as an interviewer. So, I think we’re done here.”


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