Should CNN Fire Piers Morgan?

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Dec. 26 2012 12:10 PM

Should CNN Fire Piers Morgan?


This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Mark Rogowsky, Internet Entrepreneur, @maxrogo:

For what? For having an opinion?


For having the temerity to express that opinion? For having an opinion you don't like? For telling Larry Pratt, director of Gun Owners of America, "You're an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?"

Or for tweeting, "Wanting America to ban assault weapons & high-capacity magazines isn't 'anti-constitutional'—it's called 'common sense.' "

I only ask because the petition to deport him seems to be based on his "anti-Bill of Rights" stand on guns. And it appears that the petition seems to fly in the face of that whole First Amendment freedom of speech thing.

Oh, and just to be clear, Morgan's ill-chosen words came after an exchange in which Pratt refused to acknowledge that the 12,000 gun murders in the U.S. is, in fact, more than 35 (both in absolute terms and per capita). And Pratt's response—aside from refusing to acknowledge this obvious truth was:

"We only have the problem in our cities and unhappily in our schools where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves. I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible."

That's when Morgan called him stupid.

Morgan didn't spell out the part about how Newton, Conn., isn't a city, but a town of fewer than 28,000. Nor that Columbine, Colo., is a "census designated place"—not even a town—that is smaller still at just over 24,000. Or that Virginia Tech is in the town of Blacksburg, population of less than 43,000—about the same size as Webster, N.Y., where a nut started shooting at firefighters the other day.

He might have spelled that out in response to the comment about cities, but I suppose Pratt would have explained, "that's why I brought up schools," as if Adam Lanza had anything to do with Sandy Hook Elementary School before he decided to massacre its precious students and its brave teachers.

Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

So, while I'm not naive enough to believe that gun laws can solve America's problems with gun violence on their own—and I don't think Piers Morgan is either—I suspect that he's not alone in thinking that Mr. Pratt is an idiot, that his comments were idiotic, and that someone just needed to come out and say it.

In fact, I believe no one has been more persuasive in making the case for some restrictions on certain weapons, magazines, and ammunition than NRA head Wayne LaPierre has been. His arguments and proposals, so facile, so preposterous, so determined to turn us into a Third World country make the case better than any anti-gun zealot could hope to.

I have to confess I rarely watch Piers Morgan (really, really, really rarely) and don't care for his style when I do. I thought Larry King was utterly pointless, and I'm not particularly sure Piers Morgan has given that program a lot of reason to exist. But if he should be fired, it's because CNN could make more money in his time slot doing something else, not because he called some guy stupid. And if they dare make him apologize, he should be crystal clear that he's quite certain his guest is in fact stupid, but that he should have chosen far more delicate language to make the point.

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