Seasoned Trekkies will not need reminding of the opening scene of the second Star Trek film: the USS Enterprise, with a young Vulcan woman, Lieutenant Saavik, in command, receives an apparent distress call from a vessel called the Kobayashi Maru. She orders the helm to plot a course to intercept, despite the location given being in the Klingon Neutral Zone, only to then come under attack and be forced to abandon ship.
We then see that this was a training exercise: the Kobayashi Maru simulation is a test of character. It is a no-win: only one of those to pass through Star Fleet training has ever disproved that, and to no surprise it was one James Tiberius Kirk, who beat the no-win challenge by rewriting the rules. This morning, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan may be wondering if he, too, can do something similar.
Because, as is becoming increasingly well-known in media circles, Morgan is in talks - informal, formal, on, off, whatever - with Gammon Broadcasting™ News ("Bacon’s News Channel”). GB News is desperate to score some ratings: its recent hiring of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had some initial success, but by his fourth show, Nige had already lost a third of his opening night audience.
So of course GB News wants Piers Morgan: after all, he got ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain level on ratings with BBC Breakfast, although the manner in which he achieved this - by flouncing off set after Alex Beresford criticised his constant bad faith attacks on the Duchess of Sussex - could not be replicated on a regular basis.
Even so, after the Guardian confirmed that Mr Thirsty would be joining GB News, they also told “Piers Morgan, who left Good Morning Britain in March, may step into a high-profile role on the new TV channel. Morgan, 56, is in protracted negotiations with management but must first deal with his contractual ties to ITV”. And there is one more hurdle to jump.
It's GB News, Jim - he's dead already
Morgan needs to maintain the saleability of his brand: just passing the character test will not be enough for him. Like James T Kirk, he needs to be able to rewrite the rules of this particular Kobayashi Maru exercise to avoid any taint from working at a rabidly right-wing channel, alongside not just Farage, but the likes of the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton.
He managed to extricate himself from his rather-too-close friendship with Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, but to go to GB News would be, arguably, worse than rocking up at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) alongside wackos like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. The Murdoch mafiosi pays FNC hosts well: one reason is that they need tempting to go there, because of the broadcaster’s credibility. Or lack of it.
And for those imagining that Piers Morgan might look on GB News as one great last payday before hanging up his contacts book (and resting his unfeasibly oversized ego), that is not in his DNA: there has to be another berth, he has to still be in demand. All that failing upwards cannot be allowed to come to an end. So there must be a way out.
Of course, there will be no heroic saving the earth involved, but for Piers Morgan, saving Himself Personally Now is just as important. Will he continue to live long and prosper?
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