Like 99.9% of the U.S. population, I don’t watch Piers Morgan’s ratings-starved show on CNN. However, when the snarky Brit occasionally manages to earn himself a headline on The Drudge Report through an asinine comment or chaotic interview segment, I’ll find myself checking out the video on YouTube like everyone else. I’m only human, after all.
Morgan’s been showing up on Drudge quite a bit lately due to his outspoken, on-air anti-gun crusade which began after the terrible Sandy Hook shooting. To the surprise of many, however, the segments have been widely praised as informative and productive breaths of fresh air which have offered thoughtful representations of both sides of the gun control issue.
Just kidding! They’ve been nothing more than mindless, embarrassing farces.
Seemingly taking the advice of Rahm “Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste” Emanuel, Morgan has used the Sandy Hook tragedy as a ratings ploy to turn what should be a serious national debate – about how to best protect our children in the classrooms – into a shameless, self-serving, media-circus sideshow.
From reviewing the segments, the regular routine seems to be for Morgan to invite on a gun-rights advocate, pretend to listen to what they have to say for about thirty seconds, then erupt into a blistering and sanctimonious diatribe on how the guest is an ignorant, heartless monster who couldn’t care less about dead children.
The animated displays would be amusing if the premise for the dialogue wasn’t so heartbreaking.
In the early days following the shooting, Morgan took on notable representatives from gun-rights groups. However, he seemed to realize pretty quickly that his arguments didn’t hold up particularly well against informed rebuttals. “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” a frustrated Morgan resorted to saying to Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, when Pratt called into question Morgan’s proclaimed moral high-ground on the issue.
Thus, the pro-gun guest list has been pared down to twangy gun store owners wearing cowboy hats with rims wider than the top of my kitchen table, and this week, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who couldn’t manage to fly to New York for the interview without getting into an altercation with TSA agents at the airport.
I must admit that I couldn’t have even told you who the aforementioned conspiracy nut, Alex Jones, was until his viral appearance with Morgan on Monday – this despite the insistence of some of the liberals who comment on my columns that he’s an influential conservative voice. As I watched Jones performing a self-unaware impersonation of Chris Farley while angrily ranting about the forthcoming American revolution, you could read the realization in Morgan’s eyes that he truly was scraping the bottom of the barrel in his own fruitless search for personal relevance. You have to know your argument is pretty shallow when the only person you can win a debate against is an obnoxious man-child who won’t let you speak.
While I don’t doubt that Morgan, as a run of the mill lefty, probably does support crippling gun restrictions in this country, his daytime trash-TV approach to the topic reveals his real motivation behind the silly rants. CNN was obviously hoping for a big payoff from their Piers Morgan experiment two years ago, but things just haven’t panned out. His show has been a ratings disaster. I have no problem with him trying creative things to capture an audience, but I don’t at all like that he’s doing it under the guise of paying homage to the Sandy Hook victims. That’s just classless.
At least when Maury Povich reveals the results of DNA tests to identify the fathers of children, he doesn’t claim to be doing so in the interest of bringing families together.