When I read that Piers Morgan was axed from his show I was pleased in part because I could quit making a side career of writing comments aimed at trying to get him fired. It was becoming an obsession. At one point, I confess, I remarked about him on virtually every section of The Huffington Post.
When, for example, a company grounded its jet I suggested that rather than let the aircraft sit idly on the tarmac, why not let Morgan, a very busy, important chap, use it. Or about a Czech political candidate who wore a nose ring, I wondered whether said accessory would enhance Morgan’s rabbit-like face. On virtually any topic– from kitchen utensils to world events– I suggested that Morgan should be consulted because all roads led to Piers Morgan, the self-appointed expert on this and that and nothing. My absolute disgust was leading to a kind of giddy hysteria to quiet my rage against this insult, The Morgan, to journalism.
I am not generally a mean-spirited person writing snarky comments. But I could not contain my loathing for Morgan, not the man whom I do not know, but his manner of interviewing, so self-referential, rude and arrogant. As a former print journalist, who interviewed hundreds of people– from Truman Capote to Jimmy Hoffa to Golda Meir– I was appalled by how he violated the most basic tool of interviewing: listening well. Morgan listened mostly to himself; he was always tapping his fingers as if counting the minutes until he could interrupt a guest to have his say. Or there was his loud, moronic ha, ha,ha,ha drowning out the guest.
Too often he asked dumbbell questions: “How many times have you been properly in love?” Or “Whom will you thank if you win the Oscar?” and “If you could relive one moment in your life, what would it be be?”
His gun control advocacy always struck me as more schtick than serious. Morgan tweeted about how his Alex Jones interview made the top ten list of youtube videos that week. As a gun control advocate, I most certainly did not want Morgan as my spokesperson. Moreover his rants against the right wing fringe gun lunatics likely galvanized their followers to action. And, if I heard his Dunblane massacre reference and the number of U.S. versus U.K. gun murders (his only apparent fact) one more time, I thought I might put a gun (which I don’t and wouldn’t ever want to own) to my head. I never heard one substantive or positive idea from him on gun control.
So many times Morgan, always ready with an opinion, did not know what he was talking about. One time, while interviewing Cornel West and Tavis Smiley about their anti-poverty campaign he referenced Donald Trump (“The Chinese are eating our lunch”) about the economy. Didn’t he ever read or hear about the Rev. Martin Luther King’s planned Poor People March in the Sixties? It was astonishing how uninformed Morgan was about something as fundamental to understanding America as the civil rights movement.
I like the English and I respect his compatriots, Tina Brown, Andrew Sullivan and the late Christopher Hitchens. with their seasoned and educated minds and accents to match. Morgan’s accent, I suspect, was so grating to Americas because it sounded so phony, like the poseur that he is.
Enough. Alas, with Piers Morgan’s departure from one of the most coveted interviewing chairs, my little side career is over.