After being widely criticized for storming out of an interview with British journalist Andrew Neil, American conservative commentator Ben Shapiro acknowledged on Twitter that his performance was less than stellar, CNN reports. Shapiro abruptly ended the interview angrily stating “I’m popular, and no one has ever heard of you.”
Prior to ending the segment, which was broadcast on the BBC program “Politics Live,” Shapiro had complained throughout the interview. Neil, a longtime broadcaster and former newspaper editor, repeatedly pressed him on previous comments he had made, including his support of a controversial abortion bill recently introduced in the state of Georgia. Neil inquired whether the abortion bill would take Georgia back to the “dark ages.”
Shapiro, frustrated, accused the staunchly-conservative host of being “on the left” shortly before ending the interview entirely. His outburst, accompanied by his substantial mischaracterization of his host’s political ideology, led Shapiro to personally address the altercation following the appearance.
“As I’m not familiar with him or his work, I misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism…and that was apparently inaccurate. For that, I apologize,” he wrote on Twitter.
Once the show aired, critics of Shapiro came out in droves to criticize his handling of the interview, with many characterizing his behavior as unhinged.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro admits he was "destroyed" in a TV interview with British broadcaster Andrew Neil after being widely mocked for storming out of the debate and telling Neil: "I'm popular, and no one has ever heard of you." https://t.co/6nbamk86Sz pic.twitter.com/kPtaz8Ll61
— CNN (@CNN) May 12, 2019
In response, Shapiro ultimately acknowledged his own misbehavior, copping to entering the interview unprepared and conceding that he had been bested by Neil.
“.@afneil DESTROYS Ben Shapiro! So that’s what that feels like 😉 Broke my own rule, and wasn’t properly prepared. I’ve addressed every single issue he raised before; see below. Still, it’s Neil 1, Shapiro 0,” Shapiro shared on Twitter. In addition, he linked to a long-running blog post that he maintains on The Daily Wire, in which he chronicles “all the dumb stuff” that he has done.
While framed as an introspective, even self-deprecating review of controversial statements and actions the pundit has made over the years, the running list (for the most part) simply doubles down on the self-described “dumb stuff”. At the time of writing, the list has not been updated with anything pertaining to Shapiro’s exchange with Neil.
The BBC host likewise garnered some criticism himself for his behavior during the interview, with some critics insisting that he was behaving rudely in his dealings with Shapiro. In response, he took to Twitter, writing that as an interviewer, he typically takes a viewpoint opposite that of his guest in an effort to test points of view and explore topics in greater depth.