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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

February 24, 2014 - 8:23 am

You may remember where you were sitting or standing when you heard this news. Or, given Piers Morgan’s pitiful ratings, you may have to be reminded that he has a show at all. In either case, here’s some good news for a Monday: Crusading against our Second Amendment rights has finally cost Piers Morgan his primetime gig at CNN.

I received a return call from Mr. Morgan and was prepared for an endless argument over my assumptions. Not so. His show, he conceded, was not performing as he had hoped and was nearing its end.

“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” he said, adding that although there had been times when the show connected in terms of audience, slow news days were problematic.

“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

The bathrooms could probably use a good scrubbing. It would be more honest work than anything Morgan has engaged in up to now as well.

CNN is mulling over kicking Morgan to some kind of “special event interview” show. Which means that they don’t really want to fire him, even though he did not perform in his job. It must be nice to be a leftwing pundit.

If I were Jeff Zucker and had that 9 p.m. timeslot to fill now, I would not do what is expected of CNN. What he should do is learn from the network that is dominating right now. Fox is succeeding not necessarily because it is “conservative.” Fox succeeds by mixing a few elements together that work. People talk about Fox’s eye-candy factor, and there’s not getting around the fact that many of Fox’s talent are easy on the eyes. They are also sharp and in command of their air. Fox is far less predictable than either CNN or MSNBC, and by that, I mean that on any given night you will see Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly bring on commenters from all over the political spectrum. All of Fox’s hosts are serious professionals, and only one of them is identifiably Republican. But they all strive to be fair to conservative viewpoints and liberal viewpoints alike. They also mix in cultural stories and the latest outrageous legal cases, reaching into tabloid land without going full TMZ.

Morgan never even pretended to try to be fair. He is predictable, obnoxious and pretentious — and more than a shade dishonest. All of that is off-putting, and generates must-watch-whatever-else-is-on TV.

CNN would do well to find a host who is more engaging, fair and honest, highly informed and capable of dealing with all comers with sound arguments and wit, unpredictable, more of an iconoclast to both sides than a water carrier for either one. Here’s a suggestion.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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