The second part of that "interview", if you must:
A reader writes:
Andrew, I know your bias in disliking Piers Morgan, but it colored your view here. The Morgan interview was excellent. The worst thing he could have done was end the interview. He was not allowed to speak – he tried. He tried to have a discussion and you could watch that in real time. He was cut off repeatedly, threatened with violence, called names. He kept his calm. This is the debate we are trying to have, with people who are just plain nuts. It is important to see, very important. The rage, the anger, the violence. The language of needing these things for defense but so obviously using them as a threat. Piers Morgan gave the face of the other side of the debate in reality. I needed to see that, and be frightened – horrified – by it.
Another adds, "Morgan used the brilliant maxim that made Napoleon such a successful general: 'Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.'" Another takes issue with my view that Morgan should have ended the interview:
You often show photos and videos of carnage that most American news would not touch, partly on the basis that they show an important reality that our sanitized news often ignores. Isn't the same true of Alex Jones? It wasn't Piers Morgan's job to sanitize Jones or protect his audience from this man.
Another adds, "If you shut Jones down, he will claim that you fear the truth he speaks." Another:
I watched the interview with my extremely conservative, gun-loving uncle. He has always been completely unmoved by my arguments for gun control. And he would have been even less convinced by anything Morgan would have offered. But by the end of the "freak show" he was absolutely moving towards "my side". He called Jones "completely unhinged" and said his argument were "disturbing – honestly." And he said that Jones was a "crystal clear example of the type of guy who should be prevented from owning a gun." And this is from my rabid-right, Second Amendment-loving uncle.
A few readers are taking my side:
I agree with you about this. I saw Piers Morgan being interviewed on CNN about the interview, and he said that he had decided that absolute silence in the face of Alex Jones’ blustering was the most effective way to make the case for gun control. But when I watched the actual interview, I did not at all have the impression that Morgan was sitting back and letting Jones make an ass of himself, but rather than Morgan didn’t know what to say, and was intimidated by the guy.
I think there may be something wrong with me, but I had the opposite reaction to the Piers Morgan/Alex Jones throwdown. Although I personally would be happy to chuck the entire Second Amendment out the window, I actually found Jones much more appealing than Morgan. And it was Jones, not Morgan, who said a couple of things that made me think. Is it really true that the overall violent crime rate in the U.K. is higher than ours? Is it possible that guns just get more attention because they are the most dramatic way of killing people, but not the most common? It would have been interesting to see Morgan discussing those points, or even directly debunking them, instead of asking Jones if he knew how to count.
Update from a reader:
You quoted a reader saying that Jones raised points that made him think such as whether the UK’s violent crime rate is higher than that the US, and whether "guns just get more attention because they are the most dramatic way of killing people, but not the most common?" But you didn’t provide the information, which is very easy to obtain. The murder rate in the US is four times that in the UK: 4.8 vs. 1.2 per 100,000.
Update from another:
It seems unlikely that someone hasn't already sent you this follow-up from Jones after the show, where, but it is pretty amazing in its paranoia:
I've lived in Austin since 1996 and was introduced to the antics of Alex Jones early on my arrival. He had a long playing paranoid fantasy show on local access tv. Even the briefest of background checks on this guy would quickly discover his unhinged lunacy. He would always have some sort of bordering on violent feud running with some particular person in Austin he would single out as one of the bad guys in his bad acid trip comic book reality. The decision to broadcast him on CNN is the ridiculous part. There was no right way to handle him in the interview and his performance was 100% predictable. I can only imagine that they knew exactly what they were doing and the fallout is exactly what they wanted. This was an entertainment event and not a debate about anything.