Morgan: ‘I don’t regret standing up for trying to affect change’ for gun control

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“How could you let 20 first graders be shot dead in their classrooms and the reaction would be absolutely nothing,” said former CNN anchor Piers Morgan, on Monday, during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. “So I don’t regret standing up for trying to affect change.”

A few brief thoughts…

I am of the opinion that Morgan failed to make it on American television not only because he was an aggressive advocate for tougher gun laws but also because of the way he treated those who he disagreed with when they came on his program to represent an alternative view.

Allow me to explain. I believe that by and large the mainstream media is anti-gun. I don’t have any study to quantify this claim, but I’d be willing to bet that upwards of 65 percent of the personalities one sees on TV are in favor of rolling back the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in one way or another.

Sure, they’re not all outspoken about it, as Piers was, but they do from time to time express their perspective.

“The second thing you do is, if you buy a gun, you have to register the gun — just like you have to register your car, alright,” said Fox News host Bill O’Reilly last year while appearing on David Letterman. “Now, people say ‘Oh, slippery slope, they’re gonna come–. Hey, this makes it easier for the government to take a thug who has a gun that’s not registered and put him in jail for 10 years.”

O’Reilly favors mandatory gun registration. But he’s still on the air, with insanely high ratings. In fact, his show the “The O’Reilly Factor” is typically billed as the “number one cable news program.”

Now, I singled out O’Reilly just to show that he is one of many, and perhaps not the first talking head that comes to mind when one thinks of pro-gun control media personalities because of his constitutional fidelity on various political topics. But the difference between O’Reilly, the many other news hosts who are sympathetic to strengthening gun laws and Morgan is that for the most part they (a) treat guests on their shows with deference and (b) have a genuine interest in the fair and free exchange of ideas — Morgan did not do either.

Consider this indelible exchange he had with Larry Pratt, the executive director for Gun Owners of America shortly following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:

Pratt wasn’t the only pro-gunner that Morgan browbeat. He was unfair and condescending to many others, often shouting them down when they wanted to make a point to challenge Morgan’s zealous anti-gun dogma (the notable exception to this rule was Alex Jones, who screamed at Morgan during his appearance on the show in what was a very memorable moment).

It’s this type of rude behavior, I believe, that ultimately led to Morgan’s demise. Americans are tolerant folks, willing to give someone a chance even if they don’t agree with them on every issue. But when one starts to not only sound like an ass, but act like one as well, that’s when they begin to tune out.

Morgan’s moved on to a new job as the editor at large for the Mail Online, the website for Britain’s Daily Mail.  If he’s learned anything from his stint at CNN, hopefully it’s to treat people with respect.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Dave September 22, 2017, 4:07 pm

    What O’Reiily doesn’t realize is, that according to Haynes v US, a criminal cannot be charged with possesion of an unregistered firearm as registering violates their 5th Amendment rights against self incrimination.

  • Robert October 13, 2014, 7:50 pm

    Bill O’Reilly does some good but I do not agree with his stance on registering guns. I know he knows what happened in Germany when Hitler did that. You say we don’t have a Hitler? Well, no one expected President Obama to be a rouge president but here he is. Gun registration always leads to bad results down the line. By the way. Mr. O’Reilly, like Michael Bloomberg and other rich people, has paid body guards. Sorry Bill but I can’t afford that luxury. I’ll keep my CCW.

  • D Hicks October 13, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Go away, Piers Morgan you are not an AMERICAN.

  • Glennon October 13, 2014, 11:48 am

    He needs to go back to Londonistan and join the fight for freedom…oh, that’s right he can’t own a personal weapon there!

  • Backwater October 13, 2014, 8:34 am

    O’Reilly is nothing but a wolf in conservative clothing, much like most of the neo-cons out there. Like Red List said, he has never been respectful of other viewpoints. I stopped watching him a long time ago when I realized how much of a fraud he really is. And don’t get me started on that pathetic piece of slime Piers Morgan.

  • Michael Falasca Jr October 13, 2014, 8:15 am

    The fact that you don’t regret it just shows how fucked up you are ,if you want to drive back to the UK i;ll pay for your gas !!

  • Early October 13, 2014, 5:37 am

    I didn’t realize that O’Reilly was pro gun control. Tsk, tsk… No more O’Reilly for me. Actually, I was getting fed up with his self grandizing and condescending delivery. I liked him for a while but he is as ruse to his guest as was Morgan. And if I have to listen to him shamelessly hawk another killing something book, that he didn’t even write…well…I guess I don’t have to. I watch more CNN these days anyway.

  • Red List October 6, 2014, 9:27 pm

    Um…how is O’Reilly the antithesis of Morgan with respect to civility? O’Reilly apparently has no problem asserting he knows more about a guest’s own father than the guest himself before telling the guest to shut up:

    http://youtu.be/2IwIRNM5noY

    O’Reilly has never been respectful of disparate viewpoints. Just like Morgan.

  • methadras October 6, 2014, 7:46 pm

    Mr. Morgan can take his stance because in fact he has nothing to lose. He doesn’t need to own a weapon because he isn’t a citizen. Secondly, if he can be successful in banning weapons, he has everything to gain. Thus a win/win and that’s how shallow thinkers like him operate. All the outrage without all the baggage associated with it. He can leave his studio with the self-indulgent smugness and smarm of an agitator and cater to those that butter his slice of bread.

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