Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Morgan-Jones interview is a delicious media moment

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Everyone seeking a rational, common-sense approach to gun legislation should take a minute to watch the recent exchange between CNN host Piers Morgan and radio personality Alex Jones. In a later interview with Politico, Morgan called the Jones interview an advertisement for gun control.

Morgan isn’t a particularly good interviewer, nor does he break journalistic ground on his chat show, which is typically a mix of celebrities, politicians, and people famous for being famous. But booking Jones was a brilliant move. Morgan, who does little more than let the camera roll in the Jones interview, records what comes off as a madman’s anti-government rant.

The founding fathers knew, Jones warns, that government tyranny is a cruel reality that we must arm ourselves against. No weapons or amount of them should be off limits. And any effort to control gun ownership weakens our democracy and individual rights, and worse, leaves us vulnerable to despots and oligarchs.

Jones has built a media empire that is neither conservative nor liberal. He offers listeners more of a comic-book Armageddon view of the world with libertarian overtones. His stories tend to take the basic facts of recent world events and frost them with populist conspiracy warnings about World War III, pandemics, and world domination by a secret group of industrial titans.

Whether he really believes this stuff is anyone’s guess.

Morgan was targeted by Jones for his strong pro-gun control stance and comments Morgan made following the Newtown, Connecticut shootings last month that left 26 people dead — many of them small children.

Jones urged his listeners to sign a petition to deport Morgan because of Morgan's efforts to undermine the Bill of Rights. The petition has more than 100,000 signatures.

Morgan, however, managed to show in the Jones interview the unbalanced face of the anti-gun-control lobby. Jones made Tom Cruise jumping off Oprah’s sofa seem perfectly normal. Though I'm not sure we learned anything from the interview, it must have set off alarms in the pro-guns camp. Even Glenn Beck has distanced himself from Jones.

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