Piers Morgan “interviews” Lott: Last night, we experienced the greatest pain which can be dispensed by modern American “journalism.”
Once again, we found ourselves watching as CNN’s Piers Morgan interviewed John Lott about guns. Broadcast journalism doesn’t get worse.
Morgan keeps bringing Lott on his show to argue with him about guns. Here’s the problem:
Lott tends to oppose most gun regulation—and Morgan starts to melt down after only a moment or two with this noxious guest.
Last night, Morgan struggled as Strangelove once did, trying to restrain his passions in the interview’s early moments. But whenever Lott appears on this show, the “interview” ends up like this, with Morgan asking multiple questions, interrupting constantly and refusing to let Lott speak:
MORGAN (2/27/13): In 1996, as you know, there was a horrendous mass shooting in Australia. Thirty-five people killed. They brought in extensive gun control and gun bans in Australia. In the period leading up to that, in the 10-year period, there were 18 mass shootings in Australia. Do you know how many there have been since the gun ban was brought in?That was the perfect defining Piers Moment: “I'm going to keep talking, so I suggest that you keep quiet!”
LOTT: It depends on how you define them. I know you're— The way you're going to define them—
MORGAN: Actually, it's very easy. It's very easy to define. More than four people killed in a shooting. Do you know how many there have been in Australia since they brought in the gun ban?
LOTT: Okay. Do you know how many there have been in New Zealand?
MORGAN: Can you answer my question first? Then we'll move on to—
LOTT: The way you define it, you are going to say it is zero.
MORGAN: How many mass shootings have there been in a country—
LOTT: I just said.
MORGAN: —before they had a massacre and changed their laws? There was 18. Now, how many have there been since 1996?
LOTT: OK. No, no. You are going to let me talk for a second. The point is—
MORGAN: Answer the question.
LOTT: I just did. If you look at New Zealand—
MORGAN: How many since '96?
LOTT: I already said it a couple of times. I said the way you define it, it is zero. But the point is—
MORGAN: Zero! So just to clarify—just to clarify—
LOTT: No, sir—
MORGAN: You agree with me! You agree with me! In a country that brought in extensive gun control and gun bans following 18 mass shootings culminating in 35 people being slaughtered, there have been zero, zero mass shootings since. Here's my second question.
LOTT: No, no, no, no! You can't go and ask three or four questions—
MORGAN: Mr. Lott—
LOTT: You have made many factual statements. Let me respond.
MORGAN: I'm asking you my questions! You are going to answer my questions—
LOTT: Let me respond!
MORGAN: —and not the ones that suit you and your agenda.
LOTT: No, no! Wait a second, sir–
MORGAN: Let me ask you a second question. You don't have to answer it, Mr. Lott, but I will ask you this question because it is very important for the premise of your argument. Let me ask you this question–
LOTT: You have spoken about 80 percent of the time since the break.
MORGAN: I'm going to keep talking, so I suggest that you keep quiet.
Too funny, also too sad.
This goes on and on and on and on whenever Lott appears on this program. Matters only got worse last night as the foolishness continued. Needless to say, the transcript can’t reflect the sour, pained look on Morgan’s face as he talks over his deeply vile guest.
To state the obvious, there is no reason why Morgan has to invite Lott to appear on his show. But he constantly does, and the interaction always ends up in a major mess. Morgan constantly interrupts and asks multiple questions; Lott rarely gets a chance to make his points.
His points may not be any good. If so, there’s no obvious reason to keep bringing him on as a guest. It would also make sense to let him speak, then to refute his points. But of one thing you can be sure:
Any time Lott says, "But the point is," an interruption is sure to follow!
This is the shape of our failing broken-souled corporate culture. Last Sunday, we saw that the entertainment industry can’t even manage to stage one entertainment program per year. Last night, we saw the way CNN thinks it should conduct interviews.
Morgan may be right in his views about gun regulation, although he often argues poorly, as Lott is able to note in the few words he gets to speak. But as a journalist, he is a clown, especially when it comes to this topic, where he can’t control his absolute certainty that he is completely right.
As a journalist, Morgan's a clown. Surely, CNN knows this.
Are screaming, stupidity and mass interruption really that good for CNN’s ratings? Set aside your own views about gun regulation:
When you watch Morgan screech over Lott, you’re watching the fail of the west.