Piers Morgan stands firm on deportation petition

Piers Morgan was standing his ground last night as the petition to have him thrown out of the United States gathered momentum.

Morgan, who has long been a controversial figure in the UK after some questionable journalistic practices came to light and a general sense of him being a bit on the smarmy and slippery side defined his public image on our fair shores. When CNN took him on as the replacement for Larry King, the expectation was that he would excel in the soft touch celeb interview.

However in the wake of the latest school massacre and the furious debate about gun control, he waded straight into the fray, calling called Gun Owners of America chief Larry Pratt “an unbelievably stupid man”.

More than 68,000 people have signed a petition to get the TV host deported for the comments on his CNN talk show. There has been a staggering outpouring of outrage and vitriol over his intervention in the gun debate – as the gun lobby cocked and loaded their anger in his direction. The petition was posted on the White House website claiming Morgan is attacking the US constitution. It quickly passed the 25,000-name threshold required for an official response so it will be interesting to see just how the White House chooses to respond.

Morgan hit back on Twitter, joking he would host the show from outside the US. But the real scandal here is that in their righteous indignation to maintain the rights apparently granted (in the 18th Century) to each citizen to bear arms, the assault weapons brigade seem to have forgotten another basic right enshrined in the Constitution. The debate may continue over the exact meaning of the Second Amendment and whether the founding fathers envisaged a world of fully automatic weapons. But the meaning of the First amendment is very clear. Freedom of Speech. The same freedom the right wing use to bend truth into a very flexible concept.

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