Yes, watching Piers Morgan being told to fuck off on live TV is *exactly* as satisfying as I'd always imagined. https://t.co/4FII8sYmIt
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 11, 2017
Piers Morgan is like nuclear power – you love it, loathe it or love to loathe it. It’s potentially explosive, but we probably need it.
Whilst he may appear to be a silver-lined Katie Hopkins, spouting whichever contrary view hits him that morning
The former Editor of the Daily Mirror has spent this year securing his place as the border terrier of British media – a provocateur with a point, yapping at the heels of celebrities and Trump-haters on both sides of the Atlantic. Whilst he may appear to be a silver-lined Katie Hopkins, spouting whichever contrary view hits him that morning, he insists he’s ‘more of a pantomime villain’, determined to offer alternative views.
He does so with aplomb. Seemingly apathetic to the feelings of his targets he uses his MailOnline column, 5 million Twitter followers and position as host of Good Morning Britain to attack hypocrisy, challenge fake news and – perhaps most importantly – defend his ‘friend’ Donald Trump, who he has known for ‘over a decade’.
It’s possible that nobody was more thrilled by the election of Trump than Morgan
It’s possible that nobody was more thrilled by the election of Trump than Morgan – for Piers it was a sparkly gift-wrapped present full of opportunities to be contrary. But in this internet age full of ‘safe spaces’ and ‘echo chambers’ an international figure who seeps contrarian views through podgy fingers to our screens is critical. So, hold your stomach and let us explain why we need Piers Morgan, now more than ever.
He’s often right about Trump, and we need to listen
Defending the most unpopular new President in 40 years is shrewd for a man who lives off the oxygen of publicity
Despite regularly stating that he ‘wouldn’t vote’ for his friend Trump, Morgan has spent much of this year as an unofficial UK spokesman for the President, constantly attempting to distinguish fact from ‘fake news’. Yes – defending the most unpopular new President in 40 years is shrewd for a man who lives off the oxygen of publicity, but his assertions are usually correct.
Take, as just one example, this clip of Morgan being told to ‘f**k off’ by Jim Jefferies on US TV, after Morgan argued that Trump’s travel Ban is not a Muslim Ban.
The problem Morgan-haters have here (notably JK Rowling) is that, factually, Piers is right. 85% of the world’s Muslims are unaffected by this policy, so it is not a Muslim Ban at all. Indeed, his position is pretty solid, given he has separately condemned the travel ban, making him hard to argue against. Cleverly, Morgan wasn’t arguing whether the policy was right or wrong – but what the policy actually was and how it was being reported.
Everything I said was factual.
If you think screaming 'FUCK OFF!!!' at me changes that, then you're mistaken. https://t.co/0U9fVoTjfc
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 11, 2017
The Travel Ban debate is just one example of Morgan attempting to provide clarity. Whether it’s guns, the Women’s March, the Beckhams or Hillary Clinton, Morgan strives to provide facts to reinforce his arguments and separate fact from fiction, however unpopular it may be. But to make clear, concise and correct judgements about Trump’s Presidency – or any other contentious issue – facts need to be heard. Jim Jefferies, qualified only to make us laugh, may create a brilliant viral clip but he does not offer the whole truth.
Morgan is attempting to provide this truth
Morgan is attempting to provide this truth – or at least give an alternative perspective – to an internet world dominated by single opinions and partial facts. By doing so, he makes us all richer, wiser and better qualified to tackle the world’s future problems.
He cares about hypocrisy, and we should too
A running theme in Morgan’s musings is a strong dislike of hypocrisy, particularly amongst the famous. In a celebrity-dominated world, it is important that somebody is exposing inconsistencies and pointing out the difference between being famous and being right.
Yes, detractors would argue that he uses ‘hypocrisy’ as a neat justification to attack whoever he likes and they may have a point. But with celebrities increasingly keen to use their profile to make statements on issues outside their expertise, somebody needs to hold them to account.
Take Meryl Streep’s widely admired speech at the Golden Globes in which she skewered President Trump’s morality. Fine – she’s free to do so. But similarly, Morgan is free and right to point out that Streep gave a standing ovation to child rapist Roman Polanksi at the Oscars. Equally, it’s fair for Morgan to highlight the inconsistency of Madonna marching to ‘End the Hate’ of Trump whilst simultaneously suggesting she would blow up the White House. Viral celebrity clips inform the opinions of so many and so it is necessary to question why celebrities have certain views, what those views are and whether they are qualified to do so. Morgan relishes this; and thrives off the subsequent celebrity spats, but that doesn’t make what he does wrong or unimportant.
Morgan thrives off the subsequent celebrity spats, but that doesn’t make what he does wrong or unimportant
We need proper argument now, more than ever
The plethora of inaccurate or biased perspectives shared online has often replaced the rigorous intellectual debate we’ve had in the past. As such, there is an increased need for informed debate to ensure better policy outcomes.
Indeed, it is only through argument and appreciation of alternative views that questions over Trump’s election or Brexit can be answered. The left can protest and complain, but until they are aware of what motivates those with whom they disagree, solutions will never be found. Morgan’s constant desire – whatever his motives – to question the liberal status-quo and offer some justification for Trump’s actions is important to us all; particularly if we’re keen to prevent the more extreme from reaching power. One doesn’t need to agree with him, but one should listen to him.
Piers Morgan may not always be right; but by presenting thought-provoking arguments; based on facts and exposing the hypocrisy that riddles so much of our culture he is doing us all a favour. Yes – he has his own motives; but we mustn’t underestimate the need for somebody to challenge us, irritate us and make us think. Now, more than ever, we need Piers Morgan.