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January 11, 2013

Tabloid Carnival Barker Piers Morgan Slapped Down By Ben Shapiro on Gun Rights

Piers "Geraldo" Morgan got a little roughed up last night and is very butthurt about it today. Warning: Auto-Play Video.

Via Hot Air, a Washington Post blogger calls the fight early.

Where Jones proved needy of a background screening, Shapiro was rational and on point. Where Jones failed to directly address Morganís points, Shapiro went right at them. Where Jones monologued, Shapiro got through his points quickly and shut up.

Shapiro made a point whose power was initially lost on me, so, personally, I'd like to see this fleshed out completely so that no one else misses it:

SHAPIRO: This is what I wanted to ask you, Piers, because I have seen you talk about assault weapons a lot, and I have seen Mark Kelly talk about assault weapons. The vast majority of murders in this country that are committed with guns are committed with handguns, they are not committed assault weapons. Are you willing to ban handguns in this country, across this country?

MORGAN: No, thatís not what Iím asking for.

SHAPIRO: Why not? Donít you care about the kids who are being killed in Chicago as much as the kids in Sandy Hook?

To continue that: If Morgan says he defends the right of people to own handguns because counterveiling considerations demand it -- namely, the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and engage in self-defense -- why is Morgan's acceptance of some murder (due to an important external consideration) praiseworthy whereas a stronger 2nd Amendment advocate's exact same position, applied to so-called "assault weapons," is callous and extreme?

In both situations someone is accepting a moral evil (gun deaths) because a related moral good (the right to bear arms) has priority. Morgan draws a line and says on one side of it (his own) are the righteous and the caring, but on the other side of it are the corrupt, the delusional, the paranoid and the muder-coddling. But in fact Morgan's exception for handguns results in far, far more actual murders than Shapiro's exception for "assault weapons." (A category I know doesn't exactly exist in gun terminology but this is the made-up terminology they're using.)

Anyway, great point, lost on me at first. Probably lost on others as well.

CNN is behaving in a very MSNBC-like fashion as its producers are now denigrating Ben Shapiro -- an invited guest, invited by the network to do precisely what he did, that is, offer a reasoned and strong defense of gun rights -- as a lunatic, simply because he damaged their dubious Musket Morgan brand by showing him up.

CNN is laying down its policy: Anyone who effectively disputes its foppish idiot version of Jerry Springer will be subject to a negative publicity campaign by its "objective newsman" staffers. (Also: CNN is offering l'esprit d'escalier on behalf of their purple-bruised star employee, or "staircase wit" -- "The jerkstore just called, and it's all out of you. The winner of a debate doesn't need third parties to rush in and make collateral attacks on the other guy.)

A few years back CNN announced its big attempt at brand differentiation from the other cable networks: It would offer more objective "hard reporting" and less partisan shouting and political theater.

But it's now putting all its chips on a disgraced former tabloid editor and Reality TV show whore. And what's even stranger is that Piers Morgan's ratings are very low and is show is always on the bubble of possible cancellation.

Which should tell you something about CNN's politics, in case you weren't quite sure about them. Because I guarantee you CNN would not be straining to prop up a right-leaning carnival barker who was getting abysmal ratings and losing the company money.

And not so ironically -- while CNN claims to want a more reasoned, fact-based discussion of the issues, the moment Ben Shapiro offers just that, they go into PR overdrive to brand him a maniac.

They claim they want discussions like Shapiro offered -- but in fact they want the political theater of Alex Jones, hapless pro-wrestler tomato-cans that Piers Morgan actually has a shot at beating. As Michael Moynihan says,

These are the intellectual equivalents of Mike Tysonís post-prison boxing matches; a chump fight, designed to make the former champ look good.

Update: I deleted the auto-play video. It's now clickable in the first paragraph, above. But still auto-play, of course.


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posted by Ace at 02:57 PM

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