Ben Shapiro on how to win a debate against a bully like Piers Morgan

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Anyone who saw Ben Shapiro’s recent appearance on Piers Morgan knows (as Jim Treacher blogged) that Morgan lost the gun control debate.

Shapiro was on my podcast recently to discuss his new book, “Bullies,” and I asked him how he managed to outmaneuver the CNN host. (Listen to our full conversation here.)

Here’s what we can learn from him:

1. Go on offense. “The fact that I went on offense against him — and the fact that we got to have a cogent political debate — those [two things] are inseparable,” Shapiro explained.

“If Piers had his way during that interview,” Shapiro continued, “it would have been him attacking me for being a bad person. That’s what he wanted to do. And by attacking his tactic right at the outset…he was forced to actually discuss whether policies were going to be effective or not.”

2. “[K]now the basis for what you’re saying. Not just the talking points — what’s the philosophical basis?” Rather than letting Morgan define the debate in narrow terms (such as, should we have some “common sense” gun control, or not?), Shapiro expanded the debate to expose larger philosophical inconsistencies in Morgan’s thinking (namely that he claims he doesn’t have a problem with handguns — even though they are responsible for many more deaths.)

Too often, cable TV discussions miss the forest for the trees. It is only by drilling down and discovering what undergirds our “solutions” that we can have a rational discussion about which policy decisions are actually logical — not just emotional.

3. Conservatives can be contentious and serious. “If you read the transcript of what I said to Piers Morgan,” Shapiro said, “there’s nothing there that’s not red meat. … Part of it is the manner in which I said it. You can say things in a thoughtful way. You can say things in a way where it’s clear that you’ve considered the issue. I wasn’t out there throwing bombs for the sake of throwing bombs. I was going out there and saying things that had evidentiary basis to them.”

(Listen to our full conversation here

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Special Offer: A Chance to Win a Free eBook copy of Ben Shapiro’s ‘Bullies’!

Starting Monday, the great R.J. Moeller and I will be reading Ben Shapiro’s new book, “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.”

And you can read along with us on Copia — and see our highlights and margin notes!

(If you’re not familiar with Copia, it’s basically an eReader — and a social network — combined.  Think of this as a book club that allows us to read books together — and electronically share our thoughts and insights, literally in the margins.)

Here’s how you can register for the ‘Bullies’ eBook giveaway on Wednesday, January 23:

1. Sign up for a Copia account (free).

2. Go to the Matt Lewis Book Club page, click “reply” and leave us a comment. (That’s all you have to do to enter.)

Ten randomly-selected commenters will get a free copy. (Everyone else should still buy “Bullies,” of course — so you can read along with us!)

How to read along with us — and see our notes:

a. Once you get the book, you can read and take notes by downloading the Copia app here.

Here’s what it looks like.

b. Use the icons above to take notes and highlight (make sure to hit sync to save your notes.)

c. You can see my notes on the right sidebar by clicking the “contributions” tab and then “My Groups.”

Sign up today to join our book club — and enter for a chance to wina free copy of Shapiro’s new book!

Note: Copia is a sponsor of the Matt Lewis & The News podcast.

Matt K. Lewis