Piers Morgan is used to telling people to get off his lawn.
Now CNN is telling Morgan to get off its lawn.
CNN has confirmed that Piers Morgan’s 9pm show, Piers Morgan Live, is coming to an end. The exact date of the final show has not yet been determined.
Although news of the prime-time shakeup came without much warning, it could hardly be called unexpected given Morgan’s increasing disconnect with his American audience.
In breaking the story on Morgan’s departure from the 9pm slot, David Carr at the New York Times first offered the following explanation:
Old hands in the television news business suggest that there are two things a presenter cannot have: an accent or a beard. Mr. Morgan is clean shaven and handsome enough, but there are tells in his speech — the way he says the president’s name for one thing (Ob-AA-ma) — that suggest that he is not from around here.
Morgan agreed, but felt his personal anti-gun agenda might also have played a factor.
“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”
The real reason Morgan could not attract the viewership needed to sustain his show, however, likely had little to do with his accent or his anti-gun stance. Indeed, there are plenty of gun control advocates in cable news and a fair number of cable personalities with the less than American sounding enunciation.
In other words, it wasn’t that Morgan was anti-gun. Rather, it was how Morgan was anti-gun.
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Morgan waged all out war against anyone willing to come on his program and attempt to assert that American gun rights were indeed that, rights.
He spent much of his time demeaning any guest who came on to debate him on the issue of gun-control. Beyond that, well known conservatives like Dana Loesch became targets of Morgan on Twitter.
But it was Morgan’s on-air anti-gun antics that caused him to become such an unsavory character to watch. In one particularly heated interview, Morgan hosted Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America.
Throughout the interview, Morgan belittled Pratt calling him, among other things, “an unbelievably stupid man” for his stance on gun rights. A clip of that interview is embedded below, but the exchange in the final few seconds aptly illustrates the esteem with which Morgan held many of his pro-gun guests.
Before cutting to commercial, Morgan declared, “I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days, it’s [because of] idiots like you.”
Pratt responded, “Thank you for your high level argument Mr. Morgan, it’s really very good.”
Morgan smugly replied, “You wouldn’t understand the meaning of the phrase ‘high level argument. You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous arguments, and you shame — you shame your country.”
Contrary to what Morgan believes, Americans are entirely capable of watching a British guy talk about contemporary issues. We are less receptive, however, to a mud slinging bully who only hosts guests with competing viewpoints so he may verbally berate them in an effort to show he “won the argument.”
It seems others would agree.
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