America once produced its own bumptious television hosts. Men like Phil Donahue, Wally George, Morton Downey Jr. and Geraldo Rivera did rough and degrading work, but at least they knew the dignity of having a job.
Now, they say, it has become one of those jobs Americans won’t do. American media companies are forced to import workers like Piers Morgan, an Englishman who for just under two years has hosted a prime-time program on CNN. Although the show is little-watched, Morgan made news recently because of his abusive interview tactics.
On his Dec. 18 show, NewsBusters.org notes, Morgan “rudely and disgracefully tore into guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, calling him ‘an unbelievably stupid man’ who’s ‘dangerous,’ concluding the interview by saying, ‘You shame your country.’ ”
The following night, Morgan switched to a Donahue-style live-audience format, during which he berated guest John Lott, a scholar who has studied gun-control laws and found that they increase rather than reduce violence. When Lott makes that point on the program, as TheRightScoop.com recounts, Morgan “calls Lott a liar and never gives him the chance to even explain. Lott kept trying to explain, but Piers kept interrupting and finally asked him to show respect as they wanted to move on without giving Lott the chance to explain.”