Watch Ben Shapiro, Overcome By Rage, Walk Out On BBC Commentator

Before he left, Ben Shapiro deflected Andrew Neil's tough questions about his hateful tweets and incendiary, polarizing commentary by accusing the well-known conservative interviewer of being left-wing. Naturally, Twitter is having a great time.

Ben Shapiro getting angry and storming out of a debate instead of actually confronting the issues at hand or actually listening to another person's perspective? Unheard of.

That's sarcasm. Of course, Ben Shapiro couldn't possibly sit through an interview with a commentator asking questions about his old tweets and bringing up the hypocrisy of his new book, which calls for a more civil America despite its author's history of incendiary and polarizing commentary.


Instead of listening and engaging in an actual debate, Shapiro—famous for his harsh takedowns of liberal college students—walked out on BBC conservative commentator Andrew Neil after only sixteen minutes of discussion. From start to finish, like much of modern politics, the discussion was a useless, cyclical pile of wasted time. It all started to go downhill when Neil brought up Shapiro's abortion beliefs. "Some of the ideas that are popular in your side of politics would seem to take us back to the dark ages," said Neil. "In Georgia, new abortion laws which you are much in favor of, that a woman who miscarries could get 30 years—and a Georgian woman who travels to another state for an abortion could get 10 years," he said.

"Are you an objective journalist or an opinion journalist?" asked Shapiro.

"I'm a journalist who asks questions," said Neil. "My job is to question those who have strong views and put an alternative to them."

That's when things went off the rails. "Sir, sir, I'm happy to answer your questions," said Shapiro, who was obviously not happy. "Why don't you just say that you're on the left?"

"Mr. Shapiro, if you only knew how ridiculous that statement is you wouldn't have said it," said Neil, briskly moving on to the next question. "You position yourself as supposed tellers of hard truths. But haven't you all just really coarsened public discourse in America and exacerbated its divisions?"

"It's kind of odd to be hearing about me coarsening public discourse when you call policies you disagree with brutal and bringing us back to the dark ages?" said Shapiro.

Neil again tried to return to the issues at hand. "In your new book, you suggest America's largest struggle is the struggle for our national soul," he said. "We are so angry at each other right now. And I think that's true—I've just returned from the United States. But aren't you part of the problem with the way you go about your discourse, not the solution?" Neil then brought up Shapiro's old assertion that Obama's state of the Union in 2012 was 'fascist mentality in action.'"

"The problem that I have is not with charged language in politics...I like a robust and spirited public debate," said Shapiro, skirting around the content of the question. "What I'm talking about is the assumption that the people we disagree with politically are in bad character."

Neil continued to push, causing Shapiro to finally acquiesce, "The wording of President Trump's 2012 address was bad and wrong," using Trump's name instead of Obama's in an exquisite example of a Freudian slip.

Then, Neil asked Shapiro a few times about his hateful comments and tweets about Jews who voted for Obama, as well as tweets about Arabs and Palestinians, but Shapiro was too far gone to listen to a word. "Honestly, this is a giant waste of time in the sense that the entire interview is designed for you to shout slogans or old things that I've said at me...You talk about undermining the public discourse," said Shapiro. "It seems to me that simply going through and finding lone things that sound bad out of context, and then hitting people with them, is a way for you to make a quick buck on BBC off the fact that I'm popular and no one has ever heard of you."

Neil, a famously tough journalist known for asking all of his interviewee's difficult questions, tried one more time to get the interview back on track, but Shapiro wasn't having it. "You're lecturing me on Judeo-Christian culture?...Frankly I find this whole thing a waste of time," said Shapiro. "Frankly, I don't give a damn what you think of me since you've never heard of me. Honestly, sir… I'm not inclined to continue with a person as badly motivated as you. I think we're done here. I appreciate your time."

"Thank you for your time," said Neil, "and for showing that anger is not part of American discourse. Goodbye."

Twitter, naturally, is having a field day.

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

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