Piers Morgan Missed His Target in America
New York Times columnist David Carr thinks that Piers Morgan got the heave-ho from CNN because of his British accent. Well, we know what Mr. Carr thinks of the rest of us Yanks, don’t we? He told fellow superior liberal Bill Maher several years ago that Alabama and Kansas are not “smart states.” And when you absolutely have to go to the Heartland, to places Timesmen call “flyover country,” you need to be aware you are dancing “the dance of the low-sloping foreheads.” That line got quite the chuckle on Maher’s cable show. Maher guffawed along with Carr.
I beg to differ with my betters. I don’t think it was his British accent that tripped up Piers Morgan and caused him to lose his CNN cable talk show. It might have had something to do with the fact that few Americans were watching him. It seems Mr. Morgan's ratings were in the tank. A mere 345,000 viewers were tuning in to his ceaseless tub-thumping for gun control.
Piers Morgan may have suffered because of his insufferable rudeness to just about everyone. His condescension may even have been off-putting to NPR listeners. If you disagreed with Morgan, you weren’t just in error; you were stupid.
Ever wonder why the United States is an independent country? Watch Piers Morgan. There is a certain kind of Englishman who is just like Charles Dickens’ Fat Boy from The Pickwick Papers. Not that Morgan is anything but fashionably trim, but he shares that pouty air of supremacy. Like the Fat Boy, I can well imagine him saying: “I wants to make your flesh crawl.” And he does.
There is certainly room for a spirited and informed debate about our Second Amendment guarantees and about what Mr. Morgan sees as our great failure to confiscate guns. According to his own network, Americans hold some 310,000,000 privately owned weapons. Those of us who legally own our weapons have believed for two-and-a-half centuries we have a moral and constitutional right to keep and bear the means of self-defense.
Disarming America would necessarily involve repealing as well the Fourth Amendment. It would be Open Season for “unreasonable Searches and Seizures.” Just consider the hullaballoo over the NSA intercepting our telephone numbers. Imagine the uproar if you allow ATF agents to kick down our doors and ransack our homes looking for contraband firearms.
Piers Morgan may not have read The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms. If he had read this seminal work, he would have learned of Americans’ reaction to earlier British weapons confiscators.
In 1775, immediately following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, author Stephen Halbrook documents, British Gen. Thomas Gage told the good colonists of Boston they could leave the city. Gen. Gage was then Royal Governor of Massachusetts. They could freely head out under the watchful gaze of their red-coated guardians. The townsmen had only to surrender their weapons and the General would allow them to join their relatives in the countryside, in “every Middlesex village and farm.”
The Bostonians obeyed Gen. Gage. Once they were disarmed, Gen. Gage ordered them to stay put. He had them trapped.
With memories like that still fresh, our nation’s Founders were determined never to allow their governors to have that power over them again. Thus, they gave us our Second Amendment. Hey, those were Bostonians like the redoubtable Sam Adams who understood the urgency of protecting our right “to keep and bear arms.”
It wasn’t Piers Morgan’s accent that did him in. It’s a matter of record that Americans don’t dislike British accents. Just look at the popularity of “Downton Abbey.” Or recall the great fondness Americans of all parties still have for Winston Churchill. There’s hardly a Royal Wedding or newborn in the Palace that doesn’t score top ratings here.
Diplomatic historian Sir John Wheeler-Bennett traveled America by rail for two years, prior to our entry into WWII. Sir John was happy to defend Britain’s war aims in Oklahoma and Montana and all those places that David Carr thinks are peopled by “low-sloping foreheads.” Sir John’s memoirs relate that nowhere in America had he been rudely treated or his accent mocked. He was never told here – as he had been told in Australia – to “get that potato out of yer mouth, mate!”
In this jobless recovery, we don’t gloat when anyone loses a job. But Piers Morgan may profit from some time away from the microphone. Perhaps he could also check out Joyce Lee Malcolm’s scholarly book, To Keep and Bear Arms. This study was published – hold onto your hat – by Harvard University Press. In it, Malcolm carefully traces the origins of our Second Amendment. Her book is subtitled: Origins of an Anglo-American Right.
That’s right. If Piers Morgan wants to blame anyone for Americans’ peculiar notions of defending liberty by defending themselves, he can blame Jolly Old England!