Piers Morgan vs Alex Jones

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 9 2013 @ 9:58am

Morgan's interview with Jones has been making the rounds:

I watched it with some disbelief and recognition. In Jones, you have so much rage you have to wonder where it comes from. The rage is about an abstract issue – the ideology and rationales that have sprung up to defend the availability of assault weapons for "hunting" – but that doesn't make it any the less horrifying. The entire interview is laced with the threat of violence, and the ugliest of nativism. More interesting: Jones has absolutely no control over himself. TNC reflects on the exchange:

I think the fact that Jones responds to a disagreement over government policy by telling his interlocutor "well how 'bout we take this outside" is illustrative. Jones spends much of the interview ranting about the evils of government use of force, without much attention to the kind of individual violence with which he threatened Morgan. More accurately, Jones believes that the only answer to such violence is more — presumably defensive — violence, though his pose makes him a poor advocate for such a position.

That's putting it nicely. After watching the interview, Rod Liddle dubs Morgan the "best interviewer in the world." Really? For just sitting there and allowing this lunatic to mouth off at the top of his lungs about Mao and Hitler? Allow me to agree with Weigel:

Morgan implies that Jones is simply ignorant — "Do you understand the difference between 11,000 and 35?" But the two men are talking past each other. Jones's job is to blow up and shame a buffoonish foreigner. Morgan's job is to make an example of the worst possible advocate for gun rights, and he doesn't even pull that off. And if he thinks this gimmicky crap is going to advance a gun control debate, then it's possible — horrifying, but possible — that we've been overrating his intelligence.

This was a ratings stunt which in no way engaged Jones or even interviewed him. If such a person acts in such a way on a television interview, you end the interview. Allahpundit defends Morgan's approach:

Dave Weigel says the segment was actually proof of how lame an interviewer Morgan is since he failed to really challenge Jones at any point. I dunno. The segment was designed to be a freak show that would hopefully alienate fencesitters from the gun-rights cause. Why interrupt the star attraction during his performance?

Because Morgan is a journalist and an interviewer, not the impresario of a freak show?