Duane hit this in the Green Room, but I want to note a few passages from the appearance of Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro on CNN with Piers Morgan last night. First, Ben calls out Morgan for acting like a bully to his guests and an activist rather than a journalist, a theme that fits nicely with Ben’s new book, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans. Ben told me on Wednesday’s TEMS that he was relishing the confrontation — and you can see why:
BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR BREITBART.COM: You know, honestly Piers, you have kind of been a bully on this issue, because what you do, and I’ve seen it repeatedly on your show. I watch your show. And I’ve seen it repeatedly. What you tend to do is you tend to demonize people who differ from you politically by standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook saying they don’t seem to care enough about the dead kids. If they cared more about the dead kids, they would agree with you on policy. I think we can have a rational, political conversation about balancing rights and risks and rewards of all of these different policies, but I don’t think that what we need to do is demonize people on the other side as being unfeeling about what happened at Sandy Hook.
MORGAN: How dare you accuse me of standing on the graves of the children that died there. How dare you.
SHAPIRO: I’ve seen you do it repeatedly, Piers.
MORGAN: Like I say, how dare you.
SHAPIRO: Well, I mean, you can keep saying that, but you’ve done it repeatedly. What you do, and I’ve seen you do it on your program, is you keep saying to folks if they disagree with you politically, then somehow this is a violation of what happened in Sandy Hook. And you, I would really like to hear your policy prescriptions for what we should do about guns because you say you respect the second amendment. You know, I brought this here for you so you can read it. It’s the Constitution. And I would really like for you to explain to me what you would do about guns that would have prevented what happened in Sandy Hook. If you want to do what you did in the U.K., right, which is ban virtually all guns, that is at least a fair argument and we can have a discussion about whether that’s something that we ought to do or not.
Shapiro was also prepared to fight back when Morgan brings up “assault weapons” a couple of moments later:
MORGAN: They want to take away assault weapons, which are capable with magazines that we saw in Aurora and Sandy hook, of unleashing a ridiculous amount of —
SHAPRIO: This is what I wanted to ask you, Piers, because I have seen you talk about assault weapons a lot, and I have seen Mark Kelly talk about assault weapons. The vast majority of murders in this country that are committed with guns are committed with handguns, they are not committed assault weapons. Are you willing to ban handguns in this country, across this country?
MORGAN: No, that’s not what I’m asking for.
SHAPIRO: Why not? Don’t you care about the kids who are being killed in Chicago as much as the kids in Sandy Hook?
MORGAN: Yes, I do.
SHAPIRO: Then why don’t you care about banning the handguns in Chicago?
MORGAN: We’ll come to that.
Actually, Morgan never answers that question, as you can read from the transcript as well as watching from the video. He also never provides an answer as to why the assault-weapons ban in Connecticut didn’t stop the Newtown shooting — nor did Morgan ever provide a definition of “assault weapon.” That’s because Morgan has been talking out of his nether regions for the last several weeks on this topic, and Shapiro makes that pretty clear in the interview.
Finally, let’s give Morgan’s predecessor the last word. Larry King delivers a damning indictment of Morgan in an interview with the Huffington Post:
Larry King criticized Piers Morgan’s CNN show in an interview with HuffPost Live on Thursday.
It has been two years since Morgan took over King’s 9 p.m. time slot on CNN. Speaking to HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill, King pointed out that he and his successor have two very different approaches to their shows. “I never gave opinions,” King said. “Piers gives his opinions. The show is a lot about him as much as the guests… He’s so different from me.”
On the subject of cable news in general, King also lamented, “A lot of shows, they make it about the host and the guest becomes a prop to the host and I never liked that.”
“It’s not the quality that counts anymore,” he continued. “It’s how loud did you yell, how vituperative can you be.”
And how ignorant you can be while doing so.