English journalist Piers Morgan’s position as host of a CNN news/talkshow (Piers Morgan Tonight) has now been ongoing a couple weeks shy of two years and for the most part has been relatively low-key and uncontroversial since taking over from Larry King, but he now has to deal with a barrage of complaints and a petition for his deportation after comments he made following the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings.
An estimated 70,000 Americans have so far signed an e-petition directly to the White House asking for the host to be banished from the country, after an interview in which he told a gun advocate that he was ‘a dangerous man’.
Morgan is now under fire from people mainly from the petition’s pro-gun organisers, who all claim that the words used in the live interview constituted: “…a hostile attack against the US Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment [right to bear arms].”
Morgan has since responded through several tweets in the past week, mainly responding to the death of two on-duty firemen in New York from a gun attack. He wrote in his numerous comments: “I don’t care about petition to deport me. I do care about poor NY firefighters murdered/injured with an assault weapon today. #GunControlNow. Americans murdered with assault weapons in movie theaters, temples, schools, shopping malls – now, as they put out fires. Where does it end? Come on America, ENOUGH: Ban assault weapons & high-capacity magazines, and enforce background checks on 100% of gun sales. Do it now.”
He had also added more humorously on Christmas Day: “Merry Christmas! Even to those who want me deported.”
However, not all have seen his actions fit for deportation, as people mainly in England have organised a tongue-in-cheek counter-petition (with over 4,000 signatures at the time of writing) that claims no-one in his home country wants the former Britain’s Got Talent judge either, though valid points are raised about how the original petition ignores the First Amendment (right to free speech).
That petition (made due to the White House website being available for input internationally) stated of the case for Piers Morgan not to be expelled: “There are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, the first amendment. Second and the more important point. No one in the UK wants him back. Actually there is a third. It will be hilarious to see how loads of angry Americans react.”
While the popularity of the first petition has reached a point where it is said for it to be mandatory to be reviewed by government officials, it is highly unlikely that it will be passed, but while those in favour of deportation may have a good point in defending a long-standing statutory right of their country, have they never heard of the timeless phrase ‘sticks and stones’? The interview that kick-started the argument can be seen below: