Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eulogizing Piers Morgan's CNN career.

Most Americans are still contentedly unaware of Piers Morgan's UK tabloid past (including being questioned about phone hacking that occurred with Rupert Murdoch publications).

Instead they may remember his US television breakout as  Omarosa's blustering nemesis on THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, followed by a judging stint on Simon Cowell's AMERICA'S GOT TALENT.

Morgan came to CNN prior to Jeff Zucker's current "trivia is News too" regime.  The apparent reason for the hiring of Piers was that he would be a younger, more vibrant alternative to Larry King.

Essentially, Piers Morgan was obsequious, Tory-leaning and not too probing an interviewer.

The exception was his post-Newtown advocacy of gun control--something that caused CNN executives to reach for smelling salts.  Unfortunately, Morgan tossed some of this goodwill away by giving airtime to the kind of pro-gun advocates he could engage with via cartoonish confrontation. But, as CNN/HLN viewers know, outsized guests and panel "experts" are considered "good television."

Apparently former NIGHTLINE host Bill Weir is being considered for Morgan's CNN slot.

And recently, CNN tried some pilot shows tailored for Don Lemon's new social conservative persona.

 Regardless of its flaws, we'll now be looking at LARRY KING LIVE as part of an era in CNN history where news was treated with the relative sobriety of, say, Edward R. Murrow's SEE IT NOW.

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