Monday, 24 February 2014

NY Times blames Piers Morgan’s sacking on insular Americans – but Brits loathe him as well

I very occasionally use the acronym CAUC when referring to public figures who haven’t endeared themselves to me, and several people have asked me what it means. Well, roughly speaking, it means Piers Morgan. If you’re wondering why celebratory beacons have been lit on hill-tops from Land’s End to John O’Groats, CNN has announced that it’s cancelling Morgan’s abysmal talk show after ratings hit an all-time low this month. (Several editions attracted fewer viewers than we used to get for Midnight Hour, the obscure BBC Two politics programme I edited between 1995 and 1997, whose annual budget, adjusted for inflation, probably wouldn’t have paid for a single broadcast of Morgan’s ghastly gab-fest.)

That left-liberal Bible, the New York Times, knows exactly who to blame for Morgan’s demise:
It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America. (full report)
See? It’s the insularity of American hicks which is to blame for Morgan being sacked. If only he’d sucked up to them a bit more by taking an interest in the kind of things which obsess those peculiar narrow-minded hayseeds who, for some odd reason, are “deeply interested in America”, they’d have clasped him to their unsophisticated, Constitution and gun-lovin’ bosoms.

The simple fact is that appointing a vulgar, jeering, loutish, insensitive boor was a mistake. It wasn’t so much Morgan’s Britishness per se that was the problem – it was the type of Britishness he represents. Auberon Waugh would not doubt have dubbed Morgan a NewBrit – i.e. a rich, dodgy, brash, tasteless, classless, cultureless, "success"-worshipping, New Labour Neocon with absolutely no regard for history, tradition or decorum. (Funny to think that these are the very traits often ascribed - unfairly - to Americans by the snootier sort of Guardian reader.)

Of course, Morgan’s impending dismissal is a cause for rejoicing. But the downside is that the blister will have even more time to spend on British TV, which, to its eternal shame, already regularly features him interviewing meaningless trash-culture icons. Still, at least there’s a chance this particular CAUC won’t be embarrassing us abroad for a little while.


  1. "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future"[O. Wilde].

    Having seen off the ludicrous Hillary Alexander and Bryony Gordon at the D. Telegraph [they have gone, haven't they?] we now face the permanent return of Celia Walden and her Polly Filla bull-shit.

    1. Celia and Hubby feature in a joint article in the colour supp today - I couldn't bear reading it - and yesterday she was giving us a low-down on the Oscars season in LA (as if we bloody cared). I see that Morgan has promised to carry on campaigning for the reinstatement of that other prize CAUC, Kevin Pietersen. Good luck with that one.

      Bryony Gordon, having given birth (she lives round here and I've passed her pushing a pram) is still writing for the Telegraph. A friend of mine's son works for the Telegraph and assures me that she's actually jolly nice - honestly!

    2. Recently, "Smirker" Morgan faced Aussie fast bowler Brett Lee in a net in Sydney in a show of unnecessary bravado. In six deliveries Lee apparently busted his ribs and his wrist - I was praying that the bowler would bring out his "throat" ball but no such luck.

  2. In certain circles there's no greater insult that can be heaped on a Briton than to refer to him as a European...Piers has that distinction.

    Above all else, he's a prick. America's got Talent needed a prick judge...he was great. We don't need any more pricks on cable news networks.

    1. Read a good article today about how Morgan's main mistake (apart from being a prize prick, as you say) was his utter refusal to understand American culture or American attitudes. It made the point that the only Brits who really make it in the US are the ones who love the place - sneery, snotty Brits who arrive with a sense of innate superiority and expect to be applauded and admired just for being British tend to come a cropper. If true, that's great!