Ben Shapiro has over two million followers on Twitter, a New York Times bestselling book and a degree from Harvard – but all of that counted for nothing during a grilling from Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Daily Politics show this afternoon.
The American was hoping for a chance to promote his book but stumbled when asked some basic questions on his views.
Shapiro, who supports a ban on abortion even in cases of incest and rape, was asked if such laws would be “taking us back to the Middle Ages”.
He replied: “You purport to be an objective journalist. The BBC purports to be an objective, down the middle network. It obviously is not and it never has been.
“And you as a journalist are proceeding to call one side of the political spectrum ignorant, barbaric and sending us back to the dark ages.
“Why don’t you just say that you’re on the left? Why can’t you just be honest.”
This response was met with a guffaw from Neil: “Mr Shapiro, if you only knew how ridiculous that statement is you wouldn’t have said it, so let’s move on.”
While the BBC often faces accusations of left-wing bias, they are rarely levelled at Neil who is the chairman of the right-leaning magazine The Spectator.
The interview concluded with a question about the contents of Shapiro’s book, which says “society is turning its back on Judeo-Christian values”.
Neil asked: “What are those values?”
But Shapiro had had enough, replying: “I’m not inclined to continue in an interview with a person as badly-motivated as you as an interviewer so we’re done here, I appreciate your time.”
Neil got one last dig in with a cheeky sign-off, saying: “Well thank you for your time and showing that anger isn’t part of political discourse.”
Shapiro’s presence on the show had caused some controversy but after the segment aired there was wide praise for Neil.
Shapiro, 35, is a well-known and controversial commentator in America, and became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist aged just 17.
His conservative views on abortion have recently led to a number of sponsors dropping him after he spoke at an anti-abortion rally in which he mulled over the philosophical dilemma of killing “baby Hitler”.