Piers Morgan came face-to-face on his CNN talk show with the man who is trying to get him deported, and the resultant “debate” was one of the ugliest spectacles seen on a TV talk show in quite a long time.
In fact, we can’t remember the last time we felt so appalled at the behavior of a talk-show guest. As soon as the segment on “Piers Morgan Tonight” opened Monday night on CNN, the guest, Alex Jones, flew into a blind rage as he launched into a tirade about Morgan’s advocacy for stricter gun controls in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and similar mass shootings.
Among other statements, Jones accused Morgan of emulating dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Mao Tse Tung in seeking to “disarm” private citizens so that governments, corporations and other powers can exercise complete control over them. Jones delivered his tirade at such a furious, feverish pitch that Morgan could not disrupt him even though he tried repeatedly to calm the guest and ask him questions.
In introducing Jones, Morgan identified him as one of the individuals behind the on-line petition that’s been circulated over the last week or so that seeks to have the British-born Morgan deported because, the petition signers and creators say, Morgan’s anti-gun views run counter to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. To the petitioners, this makes Morgan an “undesirable alien” eligible for deportation. The petitioners intend to submit the petition — which has reportedly collected well over 100,000 on-line “signatures” — to the White House for consideration (if they haven’t done so already).
We have to hand it to Morgan: His invitation to Jones struck us as a gracious gesture, and one that, in retrospect, took a certain amount of courage on the part of Morgan and his producers because of this guy’s combustibility.
Certainly, Morgan and his team must have thought that having Jones on the show would make for interesting TV, but we have to wonder if they felt afterwards that they got more than they bargained for with this guest.
Meanwhile, various news organizations are reporting that the White House has issued a statement in response to the inquiries the press office has been receiving about the Morgan deportation petition. The statement, attributed to White House press secretary Jay Carney, does not address the petition specifically. “The White House responds to all petitions that cross the threshold and we will respond to this one,” the statement said. “In the meantime, it is worth remembering that the freedom of expression is a bedrock principle in our democracy.”