By Jacob Bacharach
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
Last week, Ben Shapiro, the conservative commentator whom The New York Times once dubbed “the cool kid’s philosopher,” went on the BBC to promote his new book, “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great.” There, he faced off against Andrew Neil, a ruddy, prehistoric Scottish Tory and former Rupert Murdoch protégé. The segment quickly went viral.
Neil isn’t a cagey interviewer or a particularly incisive one, but whereas the American conservative tendency is toward mawkish, self-pitying grievance, the British conservative mode tends to relentlessly condescending hostility. American popular media has no such characters; some of its conservative figures—a Tucker Carlson, say—can be hectoring, but they lack the fetish for cringing awkwardness that the British seem to love so much, and in any case, they are professionally committed to providing a friendly forum for the Ben Shapiros of the world.
Neil asked a few broadly challenging, although not especially pointed, questions. He did not ask his subject to explain the irony of his book’s hyperbolic title: Shapiro has at least twice disavowed the very notion of a…