Piers Morgan petition tops 70,000 signatures
While the petition to deport British CNN anchor Piers Morgan has just topped 70,000 — almost three times the number of signatures needed to require a formal White House response — an alternative petition still has a ways to go.
The petition to "Keep Piers Morgan in the USA" has a mere 80 signatures, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Its cause: "We want to keep Piers Morgan in the USA. There are two very good reasons for this," the authors of the petition write. "Firstly, the first amendment. Second and the more important point. No one in the U.K. wants him back."
"Actually, there is a third," they add. "It will be hilarious to see how loads of angry Americans react." . . .
Morgan became a lightning rod in the ongoing gun control debate when he spoke out against pro-gun advocates last week. Morgan called Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners for America, "dangerous," "stupid," and "an idiot." The next night, he told John Lott, the author of More Guns, Less Crime that he needed "to stop repeating a blatant lie about what happens in other countries." . . .But the funniest thing is the British petition by Brits who say that they don't want Piers back in Britain. From the UK Daily Mail:
First Piers Morgan became the subject of a petition calling for him to be deported from the US for upsetting the gun lobby there.Now a counter-petition has been started, asking for America to keep him – not because he’s popular there but (allegedly) because no one here wants him back.The broadcaster is at the centre of a row after criticising pro-gun campaigners on his nightly US chat show in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were shot dead. . . .Another article in the UK Daily Mail has a similar discussion including a reference to my December 19th appearance on this show:
He called Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners for America, an 'idiot,' 'dangerous' and an 'unbelievably stupid man' after he argued that more guns would cut crime.In another debate on gun controls, an exasperated Mr Morgan shouted downeconomist John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime and accused him of 'lying' over gun crime trends in foreign countries including Britain. . . .The UK Guardian goes back over the history of even an earlier appearance that I made on Morgan's show:
On 14 December, the day of the primary school shooting, Morgan used his nightly broadcast to lambast the pro-gun lobby, shouting down John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, in an angry exchange. . . .UPDATE: Now Piers Morgan is threatening to leave the US if we don't change our gun control laws. Morgan also likes to paint himself as the victim of attacks from gun groups.
In conclusion, I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don’t change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don’t have to worry about deporting me. . . .UPDATE: James Taranto weighs in. My only comment is that Piers' behavior went on before December 18th.
On his Dec. 18 show, NewsBusters.org notes, Morgan "rudely and disgracefully tore into guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, calling him 'an unbelievably stupid man' who's 'dangerous,' concluding the interview by saying, 'You shame your country.' "
The following night, Morgan switched to a Donahue-style live-audience format, during which he berated guest John Lott, a scholar who has studied gun-control laws and found that they increase rather than reduce violence. When Lott makes that point on the program, as TheRightScoop.com recounts, Morgan "calls Lott a liar and never gives him the chance to even explain. Lott kept trying to explain, but Piers kept interrupting and finally asked him to show respect as they wanted to move on without giving Lott the chance to explain."
Americans treasure our Second Amendment rights, so it's hardly surprising that an attack on them from a foreign national--especially one from the United Kingdom, against whose tyranny the Constitution was initially designed to protect--stirred up some anger. The result, according to the Associated Press: "Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for . . . Morgan to be deported from the U.S."
In response Morgan tweeted: "Ironic U.S. gun rights campaign to deport me for 'attacking 2nd Amendment rights' - is my opinion not protected under 1st Amendment rights?" We tweeted back: "Your opinion is protected, your presence in the U.S. is not." . . .