CNN has had Brit Piers Morgan on the air for a little over three years now. Never a ratings juggernaut, Variety reports that he is now hitting a stride, of sorts. Morgan is consistently reigning over a show that hardly anyone is watching.
The show, hosted by anti-gun crusader Morgan, continues to struggle in the Nielsens. And this month, the start of the Michael Dunn loud-music murder trial in Florida has put the issue of gun control back in the forefront. February has also produced six of the show’s smallest 10 audiences since it bowed in January 2011.
Tuesday’s telecast, which included coverage of the uprisings in Kiev and an interview with Rudy Giuliani, drew the show’s second smallest audience to date in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (50,000). It also drew just 270,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, the show’s ninth smallest gathering ever.
“Piers Morgan Live” has fallen below the 300,000-viewer mark on seven other occasions in February. And while the Winter Olympics on NBC may be to blame for some of the audience loss this month, “Piers Morgan” is drawing just a fraction of the audience attracted by competing shows on CNN and MSNBC.
Opposite “Piers Morgan” on Tuesday, “The Kelly File” on Fox News Channel drew 2.07 million viewers (including 354,000 adults 25-54) while MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” attracted 906,000 (including 227,000 in the demo).
Morgan is equal parts prissy and ill-informed, always blowing hard but hardly ever thinking. He may be the most predictable and least interesting host on cable news. When he isn’t ranting about guns, he rants about soccer on Twitter, providing proof of his opinionated ignorance across multiple fields.
Morgan also did not come to CNN with a record of integrity, but one of perpetrating fraud, unapologetically, leaving it an ongoing mystery why CNN hired him in the first place. Just what is a disqualifying resume point in CNN’s eyes? How could he have possibly addressed that in his job interview?
Calling his guests “unbelievably stupid” has not harmed him. Losing a debate on guns, his signature issue, to Nancy Grace hasn’t harmed him either.
HLN host Nancy Grace was among the guests, and she didn’t want to hear more gun-control talk from Morgan.
“Are you back on gun control again?” she asked. “If it weren’t for the British, we wouldn’t even have to have protections to carry guns. It was the British way back when they founded America. They were running through all of our homes trying to take our stuff. So we’re protected under the Constitution.
“So it’s not really right for a Brit to jump up and start talking to us about gun control.”
Morgan said he vehemently disagreed, but after a moment’s pause, he said: “Let’s not talk about gun control because Nancy’s made her statement and I was riposted.”
He wasn’t riposted, he was crushed and left to bleed out, by another of CNN/HLN’s questionable picks for host.
It is grating for Americans to hear the likes of Morgan lecture us about our Constitution and our rights. Millions of immigrants come from all over the world to learn our ways and become Americans. Morgan would rather bend Americans to his will, browbeating us on how we’re stupid and backward. That attitude just will not attract a large audience.
Morgan’s terrible ratings and their foreboding trajectory haven’t hurt him, yet. Other than reliability on leftwing causes, just what could the network see in him?