Controversial talk show host, former “America’s Got Talent” judge, 2008 Celebrity Apprentice winner, and current player in the Rupert Murdoch phone-tapping scandal, Piers Morgan has stirred controversy once again by taking on the gun industry on his talk show, “Piers Morgan Tonight,” and in the process getting some gun-lovers all riled up. One of them – a fellow (if lesser) talk show host, right-wing ideologue and known conspiracy theorist – Alex Jones, is hitting back…with a deportation petition.
The below-the-belt move, one that bears all the trademark ‘integrity’ of the more zealot brand of gun afficiandos, came in response to Morgan’s repeated show segments pushing hard for stricter gun controls, particularly after the Sandy Hook School shooting. With his bully pulpit on CNN (he replaced Larry King and has slowly built a significant share of his own loyal viewers), Morgan does have the capacity to reach a wide audience with his “anti-gun” message. This should not be allowed, according to some, and Alex Jones, via his website, Infowars.com, submitted a petition to the White House demanding that Morgan be deported for “attacking the 2nd Amendment”:
British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.
So far Infowars has raised over 17,000 of the 25,000 signatures they’ve set as their goal.
Alex Jones is an interesting guy; though nowhere near as high-profile as Morgan, he maintains his own level of media buzz by consistently engaging in debates on conspiracy theories, poking sticks into the hives of those on the “lefter” side of any argument, and positioning himself as the beacon of honesty, because, as his site’s tagline says, “there is a war on for your mind.” In fact, the text box announcing the topics of Jone’s recent show read as follows:
On the Friday December 21 edition of the show, Alex continues his coverage of the unfolding drama behind the exploitation of the Sandy Hook shooting and the full-court press by the government to disarm the American people by hook or by crook and the continued brazen manipulation of the story by the establishment media.
As for the man behind the mic at Infowars, Jones’ Wikipedia page describes him as:
…a conservative and a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Jones sees himself as a libertarian, and rejects being described as a right-winger. He has called himself a paleoconservative and an “aggressive constitutionalist.” Jones has been the center of many controversies, and has accused the US government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11 attacks.
You get the picture.
As for his snit with Piers: in a piece at Infowars.com, Jones wrote a lengthy treatise about why “the law” says Morgan should be deported, including his description of Morgan’s stance on gun-control as one that would be “odious” even if he were an American citizen, but the fact of Morgan’s British citizenship seems to stir his ire:
“It’s one thing for an American citizen to ideologically assault and trash the Constitution, although odious such activity would be protected under the First Amendment, but Piers Morgan is a foreigner in a position of influence on prime time television. He is a foreign agent using his power to lobby for the constitutional rights of American citizens to be overturned.
“If I was on British television every night calling for the Queen to be dethroned and kicked out on the streets, many British people would also call for me to be deported. Morgan is subverting the very foundation of American freedom, the second amendment.”
How Jones equates a call for stricter gun control with either a subversion of the Second Amendment (a common meme) OR, more bizarrely, a call for the country’s leader to be dethroned and thrown into the street is a stretch wild enough to tell you everything you need to know him and the worldview of Infowars.
While certainly the debates on gun control are steeped in the seriousness necessary when discussing lists of the dead at the hands of gun wielders, this particular angle on the debate does come with a sense of just how extreme and ridiculous it has become. When 2nd Amendment zealots are more concerned about their “rights” (certainly ones twisted from the original intent of the 2nd Amendment) than the safety of the community-at-large, priorities are clear. And when those same zealots take the time to attempt to deport a talk show host for speaking his mind, one can’t help but wonder where next the madness will lead.
It’s unlikely Piers Morgan will be deported any time soon and, love him or hate him, his response to the petition seems exactly correct in both tone and content: