The age of Independent Television, which for the UK meant that beginning in the 1950s, was meant to herald a great competition which would drive up broadcasting standards, and for some time this was true, in no small part due to the recruitment and training of professional and principled journalists to both the fledgling ITV, and the established BBC. Things have changed in the 60 years since then, and not always for the better.
No further questions, m'lud
Serious broadcasters nowadays all provide a breakfast offering, and competing with the BBC’s established and audience leading show is ITV’s Good Morning Britain. GMB had a rocky start; ratings took a while to tick up, and the tabloid press, led by the spite brigade at the Daily Mail, passed frequent adverse comment on host Susanna Reid.
Now Ms Reid has been joined by former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, and although this guarantees that Morgan’s pals in the press establishment cut GMB some slack, his behaviour - coupled with his blatant bias - should be giving the broadcaster cause for concern, especially what passes for his interviewing.
Morgan does not so much talk with interviewees; rather he talks, or more usually shouts, at them. There is no process of discovery in the average interview; Morgan has already made his mind up. If he deems it necessary, he just carries on shouting down everyone else until the time slot allocated is exhausted. Zelo Street has covered this before.
Back in April 2016, Even Harris of campaigning group Hacked Off was invited on to GMB. It was made clear at the outset that Morgan had not wanted him there. Much of what Harris had to say was shouted down as Morgan repeatedly lied about Harris’ and Hacked Off’s stance on the Whittingdale revelations.
ITV did nothing about that; nor did they do anything about many other Morgan shout-downs. So no-one should have been surprised when The Great Man used the same technique with Ash Sarkar today. After asking “where will you be marching tomorrow” while discussing the protests against the visit by Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, there was hardly time for her to answer before the shouting began.
“Did you find Obama deporting three million people unconscionable?” he demanded. Ms Sarkar answered in the affirmative. She was not an Obama supporter. She had also protested against that action. Morgan was not listening. “Where was your protest march against Obama?’ he demanded. He then - surprise, surprise - lied about Ms Sarkar.
“I’d go and check out some basic facts about your hero Obama” he sneered (loudly, natch). Obama was not her hero. But that was not the point. Morgan, despite Ms Reid trying to interject a little balance, was shilling for Donald Trump. Hence his attempts to deflect by bringing up The Donald’s predecessor.
Piers Morgan claims he has never endorsed Trump. But he defends Trump to the hilt, just as he was prepared to shout down Evan Harris in defence of his Old Media pals. In doing so, he debases ITV’s brand utterly. And that’s not good enough.