Piers Morgan to Ben Shapiro: How about participating in a townhall debate where my other guests and I can berate you?

They need a gun-rights supporter for their ritual shaming ceremony and since Shapiro embarrassed Morgan the other night, he was naturally a top choice. Alternate headline: “Man declines to serve as prop.”

[W]hen it came time to book the show, Morgan’s team refused to tell Shapiro what the format of the show would be. When Shapiro said that he expected balance — a second one-on-one interview with Morgan — Morgan’s producers balked. They did insist strongly, however, that Shapiro appear on the show, where he would be “in for the entire show” and “have a huge part.” When Shapiro again reiterated that balance would be a one-on-one, and asked for more details on what his role would be, Morgan’s producers went silent…

It seems relatively clear what Morgan’s plan was. If Shapiro was to be the centerpiece of the show but not to have any one-on-one facetime with Morgan, this was to be Morgan’s revenge for his clobbering in the last faceoff with Shapiro. During that debate, Shapiro accused Morgan of “standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook.” Morgan had no coherent response. This time, it seems, Morgan wasn’t just going to stand on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook – he was going to stack the audience with grieving parents and relatives of the victims of Newtown, then confront Shapiro with them.

The White House is also planning to stack the audience tomorrow with kids for Obama’s big gun-control announcement to remind America that he cares about children and gun-rights supporters don’t. While they’re there, President Caresalot should let them know how much more each of them will owe four years from now after Democrats get done blocking every last proposal for significant spending cuts. He used to pretend to worry about things like that as part of his “for the children” pre-presidential platform. Not anymore.

But I digress. Shapiro’s having fun turning the shame tables on Morgan on Twitter:

Evidently Morgan’s producers have now agreed to two solo segments, so expect another round of faux-indignant “how dare you” stammering from the host tomorrow night. One thing that’s interesting to me about Morgan’s relentless guns grandstanding lately is that I haven’t seen much enthusiasm for it, even from people whom you might expect to cheer him on. Case in point: Watch the Colbert segment below. There’s an odd hint of antagonism to it even though you know Colbert agrees with him on the merits. Maybe that’s a function of suspicion over the old phone-hacking claims against him or maybe it’s as simple as gun-control fans thinking that Morgan’s lame interviews and insufferable posturing do the cause more harm than good. His ratings are strong lately but there seems to be no significant support base for him among lefty media. Or am I just missing it?

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