- Television broadcaster
- Believes that conservatives tend strongly to be racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic, and unintelligent
- Outspoken opponent of civilian firearms ownership
Piers Morgan was born in England on March 30, 1965 and grew up in a politically conservative family. After studying journalism at Harlow College, he worked briefly at Lloyds of London before joining the Surrey and South London Newspaper Group in the 1980s. In 1989 Morgan was hired as entertainment editor of The Sun. In 1994-95 he served as editor of Rupert Murdoch’s weekly tabloid News of the World, and in 1995 he started a nine-year stint as editor of The Mirror. Morgan’s tenure there ended in 2004, when he was fired for publishing fraudulent photographs that showed British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners-of-war. In 2006 he became a judge on the television program America’s Got Talent. That same year, he launched First News, a weekly paper aimed at seven- to fourteen-year-olds. On January 17, 2011, he replaced Larry King in CNN television’s evening lineup with his show Piers Morgan Live.
With a worldview rooted in the premise that conservatives tend strongly to be racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic, and unintelligent, Morgan has given credence to “the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women” while fervently denouncing “the bigotry that pervades the Party.” He has described members of the Tea Party movement as “extreme right” practitioners of “archaic politics”; “not among the brightest of spellers”; “intransigent” and “racist” activists with agendas “bordering on bigotry”; and akin to fascists—“Where,” he muses, “is the similar mob to Mussolini’s and Hitler’s in the modern democratic era?… The Tea Party?”
In a March 2012 interview with former Democratic Senator Arlen Specter, who had referenced Tea Party conservatives as “cannibals” in his newly published book, Morgan encouraged him to “start taking a few of them out for us” and “bury a few more bodies.”
Notwithstanding his use of such imagery, Morgan has been an outspoken opponent of firearms—particularly since the December 2012 elementary-school shooting that killed twenty children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. “[T]he single biggest contributory factor in gun violence in the United States is … guns,” says Morgan “There are just too many of them, and it’s far too easy to buy one.” Lauding his native Britain for having “banned all assault weapons and handguns” (emphasis in original), he asserts: “I see no reason for any civilian to own assault rifles—I would ban all of them.”
In May 2013, Morgan told his television guest Ben Shapiro that he (Morgan) supported “people having [a] right to bear arms” in the form of handguns, but was “seriously against the right to have military-style assault weapons to blow kids’ brains to pieces in school.” When Shapiro asked why Morgan didn’t support “a full ban,” given that “handguns kill 6,000 people a year” while “assault weapons kill 300,” Morgan replied: “Listen, we’ve discussed this. The UK has 40, 50 gun murders a year, America has 12,000. Why don’t we try our way?”
In January 2014, Morgan suggested that because many mass shootings are perpetrated by people younger than 25, it would be wise to prohibit everyone under 25 from purchasing or owning guns.
Morgan has referred to National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre as “America’s Most Dangerous Man.” He has derided Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt as “an unbelievably stupid man.” And he has scorned Second Amendment Foundation leader Alan Gottlieb as an “idiot” whose mindset is “the reason that so many people get killed by guns in America.”
An avid admirer of many prominent leftists, Morgan in December 2011 noted that President Barack Obama had “so many pluses”—i.e., “he’s personable, he’s handsome, he can be funny,” and “abroad he has this great image for America.” “A lot of things are just perfect about Barack Obama,” Morgan summarized.
Similarly, in 2012 Morgan adulated Bill Clinton as an “oratorical genius” who was “right up there with Churchill, Kennedy, MLK, and Mandela.” After hearing Clinton deliver “one of the great modern political speeches I have ever heard,” Morgan tweeted: “It’s at times like this, I find it bafflingly self-defeating that America insists on its 8-year rule for Presidents. If he can’t be President again, can he be British Prime Minister? This is a serious proposition.” Moreover, Morgan told Clinton himself that many Americans were wondering, “Why do we have this goddamned 22nd Amendment [which limits a presidency to two terms]? Why couldn’t Bill Clinton just run again and be President for the next 30 years?”
Morgan supports the notion that government should play a major role in regulating people’s behavior. In June 2013, for example, he praised New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. “Isn’t he right to be a nanny?” asked Morgan. “… I think there’s often a time when there should be a nanny state. Yes, people need nannying … and they [nannies] demonstrably improve the quality of life of people.”
By Morgan’s reckoning, government involvement in people’s lives should extend also to the realm of healthcare. In an April 2012 interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum—who had pledged that, if elected, he would immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)—Morgan scolded Santorum for “telling 30 million Americans who are now hoping and expected to be brought under health care cover in America when they couldn’t have afforded it otherwise: ‘You’re not going to get it…. [M]y first act as President would be to throw that out so you guys don’t get health care.” In October 2013, Morgan told Obama spokesman Jay Carney: “I come from a country where everybody gets free health care if they want it. So I totally subscribe to the ethos of what you’re doing.”
When Republicans in December 2012 proposed a small cut to the food-stamp program that had expanded to a point where it was serving a record 47 million Americans, Morgan revisited the theme of Republican heartlessness, casting GOPers as villains who were “prepared to slash investment into … food stamps in an effort to try and protect—as it seems to many people—the wealthiest two percent from paying more tax.”
Morgan has characterized backers of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage exclusively as a union between one man and one woman, as a “homophobic” law. He suggests, moreover, that opposition to same-sex marriage is “a bit offensive” and “not American.” In May 2012 Morgan mocked Catholic League president Bill Donohue’s declaration that Catholicism, while classifying homosexuality as a sin, demands that parents should nonetheless love their gay children. “I almost would respect them [Catholic leaders] more,” said Morgan, “if they came out and [honestly] said, ‘I hate gay people, I hate everything about them.’”
Following a March 2012 interview in which guest Kirk Cameron—an evangelical Christian actor—had said that gay marriage was “unnatural” and “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization,” Morgan said: “I object to the language that some of these religious people use against homosexuals. You know, when they start talking about [how] it’s destructive to civilization and all that kind of thing—it’s just deliberately inflammatory, bordering on bigotry.”
Also in March 2012, Morgan chastised Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, as “one of the most judgmental people in American politics.” “I find this weird streak of dramatic intolerance to certain groups of Americans,” he said, and “I can’t imagine … that a key part of your … life lesson to [your children] would involve tolerance of people.”
In December 2013, shortly after reality-TV personality Phil Robertson (a self-identified conservative Christian) had publicly expressed his view that homosexuality is sinful, Morgan tweeted that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “shouldn’t protect vile bigots” like Robertson.
Morgan, who is Catholic, once said to former Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy, author of the book Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic: “Most Catholics are in recovery, aren’t they?”
In July 2012, Morgan suggested that “if a country’s in real financial strife, as America is right now,” it would be sensible to have “those at the richer end of society paying a little bit more [in taxes] than those at the poorer end.” He also asserted that “the Bush tax cuts demonstrably didn’t do a lot of good for the American economy.” Further, Morgan has described Americans For Tax Reform president Grover Norquist‘s steadfast opposition to tax increases as “intransigent,” “crazy,” “farcical,” and “laugh[able].”
On February 23, 2014, it was announced that Morgan’s daily television program would be cancelled within a matter of weeks due to its poor ratings; the show’s audience had fallen from 2 million (when he first replaced Larry King) to approximately 270,000.
In the aftermath of a June 2015 incident where a white gunman shot and killed nine members of a black church in South Carolina, Morgan tweeted: “What would I do with white people who use the N-word? Jail them.”
For additional information on Piers Morgan, click here.