Okay, so you can watch for yourself and make up your own mind. I’m certainly not going to watch it. Heck I’ve never actually watched the horror show that was my Jon Stewart interview for Liberal Fascism, and that was at least entertaining as far as train wrecks go. (Too bad Stewart’s producers have categorically refused to have me on again).
Anyway, I don’t hold it against Morgan for wanting to talk about the news of the day and not my book (particularly given that he couldn’t even pretend to have read it). It’s his show. So if he wants to be a niggling pedant and score debater’s points by asking tendentious questions and then not letting me answer, that’s his right. I don’t think it’s edifying or even entertaining even for his very small number of viewers. But hey, he’s the winner of Celebrity Apprentice, he must know something I don’t about how to get ahead.
I don’t think I’ve ever been on TV and not had regrets of the “I should have said that” variety. It’s the nature of the medium, particularly for writers who can always come up with better lines given enough time. When he asked me about Romney’s soundbite on Bin Laden for the umpteenth time, I should have said “Hey, we fought World War II to win World War II, not to kill Hitler. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t take the opportunity to kill Hitler if we could have. That was Romney’s point about Bin Laden and the War on Terror.” But I suspect he would have kept being obtuse even if I had said that.
My only real regret is not pointing out to Piers Morgan that he proved the point I made at the outset of the interview when I explained what my book is about: Liberals lie to themselves and the world when they claim they’re not ideological.
After I made that statement Morgan proceeded to insist that he wasn’t biased or ideological and then spent a great deal of the interview carrying water for the Democrats with an alacrity that would make Gunga Din look like a slacker. All the while, he insisted that he wasn’t a partisan and couldn’t understand that I might not be one even though I’m a conservative. Oh sure, I’m nominally a Republican (so is half the country). Yes I want Mitt Romney to win. But that doesn’t mean I speak for the Republican Party. It certainly doesn’t mean I’m a Romney surrogate.
This is one of the great frustrations of media bias generally. Conservative analysts and commentators admit their biases up front, and so journalists dismiss them as biased. “Objective” analysts and commentators lie about not having biases and their statements are taken at face value. I remember when I used to be on CNN how frustrating it was to have liberal contributors be asked “What did you think of the speech?” But when it came time to ask me or another conservative it was “So, Jonah, what’s the conservative take on this?” Maybe recognizing your own biases is the first step toward taking them into account. Liberal journalists don’t think they have any biases, which makes it very hard for them to compensate for them.
It was telling that I – the admitted ideologue — was harder on Romney and the Republicans than Morgan — the self-proclaimed straight shooter — was on the Democrats and Obama. It was also very interesting to see how he didn’t really grasp the distinction between liberals and Democrats, conservatives and Republicans all the while making the case for Obama from what he thinks is the centrist position (apparently he fawned and gushed over his next guest, some liberal actress. So much for going after both “sides” equally).
Anyway, I take Morgan at his word that he thinks he’s a dispassionate journalist with no agenda or ideology. But that simply reveals he believes his own lies and proves the basic argument of my book. He might — just might — realize that if he could manage to read past the cover.