CNN anchor Piers Morgan is like a steam engine of ego: Feed his fires with public attention of any kind, and he’ll barrel forward even faster, billowing out a plume of black, stinky hot air into the sky in an effort to draw in even more eyes. This is what Vanity Fair media columnist James Wolcott tried to explain in a 2,000-word essay evaluating the successes and failures of his new-ish show. Calling Morgan’s interview with the Kardashians a “lobotomy session of conversation” and griping that “where Larry King Live served it up hot and crazy from the grill, Piers Morgan Tonight was handing out canned hams,” Wolcott asked: “How did we get stuck with Piers Morgan? Who is he, why is he here, is he returnable?”
In the end, Wolcott says Morgan might actually be successful, despite some of the distastefulness of his chest pounding and celebrity fawning. “I, for one, have learned never to bet against naked unadulterated shameless relentless ambitious careerism that can eat through steel wool,” Wolcott points out, not quite hiding the insult in that bit of praise.
But of course, this is precisely the stuff that Morgan loves. Attention! Of any kind! All press is good press — he should know, he edited the
London Sun News of the World. So to make sure everyone saw Wolcott’s piece, Morgan took to Twitter to link to it and respond. In 140 characters or fewer:
“No I’m not”? In response to 2,000 well-thought-out words?