Morgan’s insipid interview style failed to win viewers, however, and his ratings were in the tank when the Sandy Hook shootings presented him with the opportunity to seize the moral high ground. The fact that he succeeded in seizing only the high grounds of righteous indignation and inflammatory rhetoric will have been of little concern to Morgan. He has seen how a combination of mock outrage, contempt for opponents, disregard for the facts, and preening self-regard worked for the likes of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, and he has sought to emulate the formula.
Conservatives, unfortunately, have fallen for Morgan’s shtick. And the more they rise to his bait, the more coverage Morgan gets — allowing him to absurdly claim that he’s influencing the debate.
Satisfying as it was to see Ben Shapiro put Morgan in his place, even when conservatives get the better of him they’re still conferring credibility by treating him as someone worth their time. And when lunatics and conspiracy theorists claiming to speak for conservatives, such as Alex Jones, tangle with Morgan, he’s able to come away looking reasonable, while gun owners and conservatives in general are tarred by association.
Supporters of gun rights need to get their message out; there are well-informed and serious people on the other side of the debate with whom they need to engage. Piers Morgan isn’t one of them — stop granting him the publicity.