Those who host TV shows are permitted their opinions, despite the impartiality rules for broadcasters in the UK. So they can, especially when off-air, sound off on a range of views. Equally, those who pick up on the fruit of their opinions are equally entitled to call them out, especially when those opinions cross the sensitivity and decency line. This brings us once more to Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan.
Piers Morgan not at the Leveson Inquiry
Jack Monroe - sound person
One of Morgan’s more wilful Twitter habits is to act as a one-man spelling and grammar policeman, and the vast majority of his targets thoroughly deserve the tellings-off he dispenses. But then he went after writer and campaigner Jack Monroe, who suffers from arthritis which affects their dexterity. After Morgan picked them up for typing “you” instead of “your”, he was made aware of their problem. So did he gracefully climb down?
As if you need to ask: Piers Morgan doesn’t know the meaning of “apology”. He just doubled down. After Mx Monroe told him “It's arthritis, wankjangle. Sometimes I make f.u.c.k.i.n.g. s.p.e.l.l.i.n.g. e.r.r.o.r.s with my s.o.r.e. h.a.n.d.s.”, he decided to take the piss. “Your spelling mistakes are down to your arthritis?” Well, yes they were.
Mx Monroe tried again to help The Great Man out: “Yes. Carry on Piers, this is low even for you. My RH fingers are pretty twisted. I miss keys and mistype *a lot*”. Would he care to reconsider? Would be buggery. “I'm so sorry. My ingrowing toenail makes me post insensitive things”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.
In any case, it soon became apparent that Morgan’s campaign had progressed not necessarily to his advantage as Mx Monroe informed him “You can tell your producers to stop calling me for your show until you apologise for mocking my arthritis. I'm done”.
But Morgan just kept digging himself deeper: “OK, will do. Maybe if you stopped tweeting so ferociously, your arthritis might improve & help your spelling?” And he had a gender identity mocking follow-up: “Apparently he/she has arthritis in his/her hand that causes him/her to spell words incorrectly”. What a trouper. What a total intercoursing clown.
Mx Monroe, though, need not worry: whether they are invited on GMB is not down to Piers Morgan. Moreover, they would not necessarily have to appear when The Great Man is co-hosting (ie Monday to Wednesday). As Zelo Street regulars will know, PopBitch blew the whistle on this after Morgan threw his rattle out of the pram when Ewan McGregor declined to be interviewed by him - and wasn’t the first to decline.
Several other guests have been moved to GMB editions where Ben Shephard is co-hosting, and all Mx Monroe needs to do when asked is to request they appear on one of those shows. Cuts out the smartarse and sends yet another message to ITV management that free speech is fine, but may have consequences.
Meanwhile, disability campaigners might note the casual attitude of Piers Morgan towards those affected. It’s not as if he’s too daft to understand what he’s typing. Or is it?