The Dumb, Disgusting Desperation Of Piers Morgan

One thing we have never heard on his week-long ratings-seeking descent into Jerry Springer land is any sane, reasonable, calm and credible figure who can marshal facts and arguments against gun control. Don't get me wrong. I cannot fathom why assault weapons are somehow integral to either hunting or resistance to an Obama-led coup. But I do know that there are intelligent points to be made – about how gun control cannot truly work in a country with as many legal guns as the US, how the country's history and constitution make it incomparable to a place like Britain, how mass confiscation is impractical and could make matters much worse, etc, etc.

We absolutely should have this debate – in as reasonable and calm a fashion possible, if only out of some shred of respect to the twenty murdered children in Newtown and their families. Instead we got a rolling freak-show designed entirely for ratings, since Morgan has never actually practised anything but gutter tabloid journalism and once sent an email to a policeman aggrieved by Morgan's disgusting contempt for the privacy and dignity of anyone in public life: "fame and crime sends most of the usual rules out of the window." Hence the phone hacking which forced the closure of the newspaper, The News Of The World, he once edited, and his being fired from the second tabloid he edited for publishing fake photographs of supposed prisoner abuse by British soldiers.

If you want to have an idea of the sheer level or hatred and contempt for the man in his native Britain, check out this interview with Ian Hislop, the inspired editor of the British muck-raking and satirical magazine, Private Eye. Because Hislop offended Morgan on a TV show, Morgan put the Mirror on a six-month crusade to try and find every conceivably embarrassing detail of Hislop's private life, and had photographers camped outside his house:

Michael Moynihan reminds us of Morgan's record:

A quick look at Morgan’s oeuvre, which includes stints at the News of the World, which was shuttered during the phone hacking scandal, and the Daily Mirror, from which he was fired for publishing fake photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, and one understands that Morgan is incapable of nuance. Take his description of supermodel Kate Moss, whom he dismissed as a "drunken, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered, paranoid Croydon girl with a cocaine- desecrated hooter and spots." Her ex-boyfriend Pete Doherty, former guitar player in The Libertines, a seminal British post-punk band, is a "filthy talentless junkie who can’t sing." …

This is not an argument about the wisdom of owning an AR-15 or the judiciousness of outlawing certain high-capacity clips, but of the silliness of the Drudge and Morgan-style debate, which has abandoned reason for moral outrage. To disagree with Piers Morgan is to argue in bad faith, to be opposed to common sense, to be an uncaring, unfeeling tool of the gun lobby. Former CNN host Larry King, who Morgan replaced in 2011, told the Huffington Post this week that the show was now "all about the host," where "the guest becomes the prop to the host."

Update from a reader:

Aren’t you a little late to the party? No discussion of gun control? … haven’t you seen the tremendous takedown of this arrogant poseur by Ben Shapiro? It was masterful. Ben owned him, just demolished him. You can check it out here – it’s all over the internet tubes.