Announced as an event of the greatest importance has been yet another interview by former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, in his role as three-mornings-a-week co-host of ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain, featuring his old pal, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, still pretending to be President of the United States.
Expecting a hardball interview? Someone's laughing at you
But, as has already been pointed out, as The Donald has declined to call the Morgan interview “Fake News”, it is unlikely to be other than Softball City. And so it came to pass: the widely trailed preview of the encounter shows Morgan apparently getting Trump to get very close to saying sorry for Retweeting two items from far-right group Britain First, although he does not actually apologise. And there is another problem with the item.
Morgan takes Trump’s propensity to lie and gives The Great Man a free pass, not of course that he wants to keep the friendship intact in the hope of securing more interviews at a later date, thereby making himself indispensable to GMB, despite the visible discomfort of every co-host who has to work with him. No sirree, he just missed it.
Trump excused himself to Morgan by claiming that his Retweets of Britain First were not a big story. This was why he didn’t know anything about the group. After much stroking of chins around the more reputable part of the US media, the Washington Post observed “Analysis: Trump tells Piers Morgan that front-page news was ‘not a big story’”.
Columnist and broadcaster Mehdi Hasan, who takes interviewing seriously, was not impressed with Morgan visibly softballing The Donald: “So frustrating to see CNN, NYT, Guardian et al reporting/repeating uncritically Trump’s manifestly false claim that he didn’t know Britain First was a racist group till today”. Because he did.
As Hasan pointed out to those who casually regurgitated Trump’s claim that it might have been big in the UK, but wasn’t Stateside, “It was front page news in the U.S. and dominated cable news coverage here”. Cable News. The kind of news Trump watches.
Warming to his task, Hasan went on “Even when reluctantly apologizing, Trump can’t help but tell a lie. How can he claim to not know anything about Britain First when his retweets dominated the news coverage for days? When his press secretary defended his retweet the next day? They didn’t play ignorance card then”. Quite.
And he was not backward in coming forward to point out the gaping flaws in Morgan’s alleged interview technique: “A half-decent interviewer would have asked Trump not just why he retweeted Britain First & then refused to unretweet them for weeks, but also where did he find their tweets? Who alerted him to them? Why does he have a history of retweeting white nationalists? What’s his process?”
All of which means that Gary Lineker had it right even before the interview had taken place, when he replied to Morgan “Great scoop. Will it also be the 1st international TV interview from inside the bowels of a US President?” It just might have been.
Piers Morgan talks the talk. And he’s the first to shout down his targets in the GMB studio. But when the real challenge comes, he’s totally out of his depth. No change there, then.