Chelsea Handler gave Piers Morgan a mouthful of criticism on the interviewer’s CNN slot. Handler accused Morgan of not paying attention to his guests and bluntly told him it was why he was soon going to be out of a job. Morgan took it in his stride, laughing heartily and responding with a “wow.”
Handler, on the show to promote her new book Uganda be kidding me, was not joking when she launched into the British interviewer. Handler seemed to take offence when Morgan asked her how she passed the time when she was not working and what would she be doing after the show. Handler answered that she was working and that she “had to come and tolerate this nonsense.” Morgan seemed to find this amusing, hitting back that the nonsense was designed for her to “flog her tawdry book.” Handler agreed with Morgan on that point, outlining her schedule of book signings, live stand-up and being on the road, labeling herself a “workhorse.”
Morgan then changed the topic to Handler’s tweeting, saying she did it “amusingly.” Handler quipped she wished Morgan did before attacking him for his own tweeting during commercial breaks. She told off the interviewer for not being able to pay attention for more than 60 seconds before she went for the final kill-telling Morgan he was “a terrible interviewer.”
Handler’s giving Morgan a mouthful will not have phased him. Morgan, an experienced broadcaster and former editor of the U.K’s Daily Mirror is no stranger to mud-slinging. Neither is Morgan new to being criticized for his interviewing skills. The veteran media hound, who has interviewed stars as famous as Simon Cowell, Elton John and Charlie Sheen, fired back that Handler was simply not interesting enough to hold his attention. Handler told him that her interest factor was not the point. Interviewing was his job, she said. And maybe his not being interested in his guests was why his job was “coming to an end.” Morgan laughed heartily, no doubt pleased about the fiery exchange and the column inches it would gain.
Handler had appeared on Morgan’s show before but in much friendlier circumstances. The comedienne, a talk show host herself, even interviewed him once before, on her show Chelsea Lately, telling him he was “obnoxious” after he praised her looks, and asking him why he did not understand why everybody hated him, but that exchange was of a far more lighthearted nature than this most recent one.
Handler’s giving Morgan a mouthful will certainly help in the publicity of her book. Not that the Chelsea Lately presenter needs any help in that department. Her four previous books have all been on the New York Times Bestseller list, and three of them hit the top. However in an industry in which there is no such thing as bad publicity, the Handler-Morgan exchange will help sell quite a few more copies and keep it at the top of the list a little longer. More importantly though, the exchange may also help Morgan out when it comes to finding a new job. While it was anything but a glowing appraisal of his interviewing skills, no one who saw the interview is going to be unaware he is in need of a new one.
Commentary by Christian Deverille