The New York Post has reported that CNN host Piers Morgan will walk the plank. It is unknown if there was the figurative sword to prompt him or if he is willingly jumping ship. According to the daily tabloid, even Morgan appears to not know when the last episode will be aired.
The vague explanations in the Post as well as the New York Times and most other outlets do not state if he is being fired, if he quit or how the planned termination of the nightly news commentary, Piers Morgan Live, occurred. What is known is that the ratings have plummeted and that shows in the same time slot on MSNBC and Fox News are far higher.
Shortly after the initial announcements, however, CNN broke the news that Morgan had indeed been fired from the news channel. It remains unannounced the exact date of the final episode. CNN Chief Jeff Zucker has yet to release a statement on the development. News of the show’s ending was announced earlier on Sunday by the head of CNN communications, Allison Gollust.
After crossing the Atlantic to replace Larry King three years ago, it seems to come as no surprise to some that he is stepping down so soon. The former newspaper editor from London has acknowledged that his method of presenting news and commentary is not favored by Americans.
One of the main issues he has discussed and which is said to rub Americans wrong is the fundamental right to bear arms. Many say that when discussing the hot-button issue, his attitude approaches derision for those who demand to maintain their firearms. Speaking to the New York Times’ David Carr, it was a topic he openly admitted has probably contributed significantly to his show’s low viewership.
The animosity appears to run deep and both ways. Morgan’s accent, which many call “posh,” is but one thing that seems to get Americans riled up. Others have expressed distaste for his open preference for football—which Americans call “soccer”—and cricket. But the worst part of the affair still seems to be the issue of guns, which is always a difficult topic when a British citizen argues that Americans should relinquish their right to have firearms.
It should go without saying that the reason many Americans love their guns is because without them, U.S. history would probably not have the preface “U.S.” in the term. It’s easy to get someone to walk the plank when they are unarmed, and Piers Morgan seems to understand that his take on guns may have been what sent many viewers to other shows.
It has been implied by USA Today that for all the discussion about Morgan’s apparent gun debate with the American public, there could be another reason the show is ending. An interview in late 2013 was said by the national newspaper to be part of the investigation regarding hacking into cell phones. While he has not been charged, it is believed that the police are still working on the case that ended the News of the World, a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch and at which Morgan worked until 1995. Regardless of whether he walks the plank here or is forced to do so elsewhere, Piers Morgan is what most journalists seek to avoid: being the news.
By Randall Fleming
Follow Randall Fleming on Twitter: #BreweryObserver