Speaking on the subject of cornered enemies, the brilliant tactician Sun Tzu warns us to always leave the enemy a way out, lest they rally and defeat you out of desperation. Far be it from me to disagree with the general, but I think the single exception to the rule may be the culture wars. It’s so rare to get a major figure so utterly on the ropes that I don’t think anyone could blame you from moving up and laying into ’em, and readers, Piers Morgan is on the ropes.
American readers might know Piers solely as an obnoxious CNN commentator, and while that’s true, Morgan’s condescending coverage of gun control (his favored dead horse over the past few months) is really only the tip of the iceberg.
Former editor of the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, this in and of itself should be fairly damning to the career of anyone, let alone a self-proclaimed journalist. Even beyond that Morgan’s approach to the media and those pesky things called “facts” has been of one who shrugs his shoulders and says “What are they going to do, hang me twice?”
During Morgan’s reign at the Mirror, he was deeply involved in a number of scandals, including an insider trading scandal (using a Mirror subsidy to bulk up a company he owned stock in with false claims that it was doing well), the now infamous mobile hacking scandal (in which he was accused of complicity), and ultimately knowingly publishing fake pictures showing British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners- a final act which got Morgan fired.
Seriously, how bad do you have to screw something up that a tabloid fires you?
Since then Morgan has managed to drum up for himself a Nixonian enemy’s list, largely targeting celebrities who’ve snubbed him or called his journalistic integrity into question. British satirist Ian Hilsop, one of the people targeted by the ever-petulant Morgan, is a pretty good example of this:
Piers Morgan is that tragically common yet insidious kind of evil, whose passive-aggression is just as harmful as outright malice but twice as hard to combat. That quiet, persistent combination of ignorance, egotism, and unearned self-righteousness. Everyone’s got a neighbor or a distant relative like this- just imagine them with more money than they can spend and show broadcasting internationally, and you’ve more less got an equivalent.
There is, however, good news. After plummeting ratings left Piers Morgan somewhere between genital herpes and Vanilla Ice in terms of popularity, CNN has announced that it will be cancelling his show.
Not only that, but Morgan has been kinda left up a creek without a paddle here- despised along the entirety of political spectrum by Americans and utterly loathed in his native Britain. With only the bleak and snow-swept Canadian wastelands and Australia-where-everything-wants-to-kill-you, Morgan appears to have nowhere to turn. Let’s make sure that we can starve him out here. Keep remembering him for his condescension and malice and make sure that the only time this hack gets on the air is when Jeremy Clarkson punches him (again).