Former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan is fiercely loyal to his friends, especially those with whom he goes back a number of years. He refused to abandon Andy Coulson after the hacking trial, visiting him in prison and defending him to the hilt since, including a memorable row with my good friend Evan Harris on Good Morning Britain - which required the intervention of co-host Susanna Reid.
It's That Man Again
Morgan has also been more than willing in recent months to put the case for US Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, obtaining interviews with The Donald and writing generally upbeat articles about the candidate’s appeal. But after the latest less than savoury revelations about Trump’s attitude to women, the thought enters that Piers Morgan might for once regret at least one of those articles.
First, a reminder of what Trump said in that unguarded but clearly recorded moment: “I moved on her and I failed, I’ll admit it … I did try and fuck her. She was married … I am automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss, I don’t even wait … and when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything”.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?
For Trump, sexual assault or maybe worse was legitimised: he was a star, and he could “do anything”. And so the candidate who already alienated the Latino and African-American communities, as well as many in his own party, has now potentially alienated more than half of his potential electorate - women.
And that brings us back to Piers Morgan and his article titled “When it comes to the women’s card, Donald holds all the Trumps. He knows What Women Want, and it isn’t Hillary”. Regret, much? The rest of the piece doesn’t help his cause, starting with “‘They say every powerful man is good in bed,’ I once asked Donald Trump. ‘That true?’”
Trump’s response might have put some interviewers off. Not Morgan. “I think there is a certain truth to that, yes. Put it this way, I’ve never had any complaints. A lot of it is down to The Look. It doesn’t mean you have to look like Cary Grant, it means you have to have a certain way about you, a stature. I see successful guys who just don’t have The Look and they are never going to go out with great women”.
Morgan clearly approved of Trump’s comments, going on to observe “I thought of this exchange when Trump launched into Hillary Clinton today about her lack of appeal to women”. Lack of appeal to women? But do go on. “The Women-Hate-Trump theory dictates that if he IS the nominee and comes up against Hillary Clinton, then he’ll be crushed not just because women loathe him but also because they all love Hillary”.
Not because he gets caught saying sexual assault is OK, though. And as Morgan asserts “I spent well over 100 hours observing Trump in his former Celebrity Apprentice boardroom lair”, one has to wonder how he didn’t see this one coming. After all, as Bill Pruitt has observed, “As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse”. Ouch!
Piers Morgan is a loyal friend to those he’s known for all those years. But this time he may have let it cloud his usually sound judgment. Donald Trump is beyond defending.