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December 24, 2012 3:44 PM Celebrity Exceptionalism

By Ed Kilgore

So today’s News of the Weird is a burgeoning petition drive demanding the deportation of CNN “personality” Piers Morgan for the sin of insulting long-time Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt “dangerous,” “stupid,” and “an idiot” for comments Pratt made on Morgan’s show in response to the Newtown massacre.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Morgan is not exactly known for outspoken liberalism. His first big gig was as editor of the now-defunct Murdoch tabloid News of the World. He later edited the traditionally pro-Labour Mirror, but that was when even Murdoch was a bit soft on Tony Blair’s “New Labour.” And Morgan’s most recent big political statement was a 2012 column suggesting that Mitt Romney might “save America.”

Moreover, you don’t have to be particularly lefty to find Pratt and his organization a few bricks shy of a load. The GOA was founded by gun advocates who considered the NRA dangerously squishy. For years its hobby-horse was mandatory gun ownership (back in the 90s I once debated Pratt on a cable show and it took me about fifteen minutes to figure out he wasn’t putting me on).

The incident is instructive as a reminder that what passes for conservatism in the UK and elsewhere is often denounced as socialistic nanny-statism by the American Right. American Exceptionalism is a dubious proposition in many respects, but in terms of the starboard side of the political spectrum, there’s nothing quite like the U.S. variety when it comes to mass hysteria.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Joe Friday on December 24, 2012 4:04 PM:

    "The incident is instructive as a reminder that what passes for conservatism in the UK and elsewhere is often denounced as socialistic nanny-statism by the American Right."

    Speaking of which, somewhere(?) somebody pointed out that when the BBC aired the loony press conference by the NRA's Pepe Le Pew, the anchors felt the necessity to TWICE inform their viewers that what they were watching was NOT a spoof, but real.

    How sad.

  • MuddyLee on December 24, 2012 4:10 PM:

    Thanks Ed - some people don't know about GOA. When ultra conservative is not enough....Merry Christmas Ed and thanks for all the good work you do on this site.

  • c u n d gulag on December 24, 2012 4:31 PM:

    Yes, GOA, by all means, press for mandatory gun ownership.

    Because nothing says "FREEDOM!!!" more than making something feckin' MANDATORY!

    Methinks you gun idiot's should spell it, "FreeDUMB!" - it'll more accurately reflect what most of the rest of the world thinks about you, and your tiny-pecker problem.

    If we can’t get any meaningful gun control, maybe ObamaCare ought to provide free p*nis-enl*rgement?

    Maybe if some of these guys had bigger, better, p*eckers, they wouldn’t need to be packin’ pistols to prove their mucho macho manhood.

  • mellowjohn on December 24, 2012 4:51 PM:

    "...a burgeoning petition drive demanding the deportation of CNN “personality” Piers Morgan for the sin of insulting long-time Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt..."

    how about just because piers morgan is a horrible interviewer? and FSM knows, we've got more than enough home-grown ones on cable "news" shows without having to import more from overseas.

  • exlibra on December 24, 2012 7:01 PM:

    I'm surprised Morgan didn't call the guy a prat; it's a Brit colloquialism that's, I'm sure, well known to Morgan as well as extremely appropriate in this particular case.

  • wvmcl on December 25, 2012 10:34 AM:

    I'm wondering if this White House petition thing was such a great idea. It's well on its way to just becoming another sounding board for the crazy.

  • Mark-NC on December 25, 2012 2:43 PM:

    Who cares what these people think? They scream if the wind blows.