'Piers Morgan Live' to be canceled
CNN announced recently that it plans to end the news show "Piers Morgan Live," possibly as early as this month. Morgan, who replaced Larry King in the network's lineup just three years ago, has postulated that his American audience does not afford him the credence to speak to issues facing our nation due to his English background.
"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," Morgan said.
The New York Times' David Carr, who spoke to Morgan personally about the end of the show, seemed to echo this sentiment.
"When I find Mr. Morgan telling me what it all means," Carr said in a recent article. "I have a... reflex to dismiss what he is saying."
However, it should be noted that CNN has not fired Morgan; the news anchor says he has been actively working with the CNN team to find another role for himself within the network. It is simply the show-which Morgan says "has taken a bath in the ratings"-and not the man himself, whose performance CNN is displeased with.
CNN is seen by many Americans as the preeminent news network, especially given Fox's noted conservative leanings and MSNBC's increasing reputation as a highly liberal network. Morgan brought a lot more than his nationality to the network-his background on shows like "Britain's Got Talent" and "You Can't Fire Me, I'm Famous" gave him the chance to establish and refine his biting wit and natural charisma. He used these skills to host a show where he established an organic rapport with his audience. Morgan's conversational style worked well for him at first, but he quickly alienated much of his audience when his increasing fervor made the conversation feel more like an argument.
Morgan has a firm, impassioned stance on many American cultural issues-particularly gun control, which has, for lack of a better term, something of a loaded history. His inability to rein in the vehemence and emotion with which he presents his takes on the issues has created a charge that repels viewers who look to CNN as a refuge from emotionally-loaded, sensationalized journalism.
The beginning of the end for Morgan seemed to occur right after the massacre at Sandy Hook, when his proverbial battle cry-"more guns are not the answer!"-created quite a backlash. While Americans of course accept contributions to American media from individuals not native to the country, Morgan's failure to demonstrate some sensitivity toward the history and polarity of the gun control debate seemed to highlight his foreignness, thus diminishing his authority in the eyes of many viewers.
As a frequent viewer of Morgan's show, I will certainly miss the chance to keep up with global and domestic affairs via Morgan's candor, passion, and more-than-occasional snark. The end of Morgan's show, however, also makes a very powerful statement on the American mindset-one that is not only thought-provoking for the American citizen, but that CNN should be mindful of in finding Morgan's replacement.
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