I recently saw a clip of an interview of Ben Shapiro by BBC interviewer Andrew Neil. It took a while for me to get around to it, because, whenever my dog hears Shapiro talk, she howls in pain… like when she hears an harmonica. It’s distressing but because Ben Shapiro is so slight, it might keep strays from wandering into the studio and gobbling him up.
If you don’t know Ben Shapiro, he’s a far right-winger who has built a following on going to colleges and humiliating hand-chosen left-wingers. He doesn’t debate people who actually know what they are talking about, which makes things a lot easier. He is one of the new faces of the Republican party, now that Ann Coulter has finished the process of having herself surgically turned into a horse…
The topic was “Civility in American Politics”, which should be a short discussion indeed. Shapiro, who looks like the weird kid who owns an insect “kill-jar” but doesn’t actually collect insects, complains that there isn’t enough civility in politics. How could Andrew Neil, a lowly BBC interviewer, find a source acceptable to Ben Shapiro?
He tried quoting Ben Shapiro to Ben Shapiro. That was fallacious, of course, because the Ben Shapiro he quoted was the YOUNG Ben Shapiro… composed of completely different molecules for the most part and at least an inch shorter. Turns out, Shapiro wasn’t very civil before he changed his life’s philosophy to one of interpersonal harmony.
The man who said, “The left no longer makes arguments about policies’ effectiveness. Their only argument is character assassination.”, then decided to called his interviewer a “left-winger”, something you should never do during a debate; and, not during an interview if your interviewer is a well-known right-winger. He started answering Neil’s questions with other questions. He complained that the interviewer wasn’t allowing himself to be interviewed, much like I complained when my doctor wouldn’t let me give him a retaliatory prostate exam. And, then he walked out of the interview.
This was a severely flawed tactic because, when Ben Shapiro walks away from you, you feel the same sense of relief when the kid holding the Book of Mormon decides that he’s not going to change your mind and steps off of your front porch. Andrew Neil who, throughout the interview, had been about as dynamic as a plate of raw pork, said, “Thanks for showing us civility in politics”. (I swear, when that man dies, no one will know about it for weeks, even if he’s been on the air)
As for Shapiro, he grabbed the bull by the horns and posted a list of really stupid things that he’s said in the past. And, like grabbing a bull by any part of his anatomy, it was a supremely bad idea. At the bottom of his list was another list of things he said that weren’t stupid.. among these was that Jews who voted for Obama were Jews in name only. Is that ironic, considering his base support comes from a bunch of Christians who want to put children in cages, separated from their parents forever? It all depends on whether you use the dictionary definition of “ironic” or the Alanis Morissette definition…