By now, most of you have surely seen Piers Morgan’s already-infamous interview with Jonah Goldberg last night. If you haven’t, it’s linked below and a must-see if you want a good hard look at the face of a mainstream media frustrated by Barack Obama’s standing in the polls and pathetic handling of the one-year anniversary of the Navy SEAL operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
In my mind, at least, that’s the only explanation for Piers’ abysmal behavior. Jonah Goldberg isn’t some kind of political flamethrower, he’s a respected columnist and writer out on a tour to talk about his new book, and Piers treated him like he was a hack spokesperson for the RNC.
Piers wasn’t a host interested in his guest’s new book, he was a bitter partisan who had a series of pro-Obama talking points to get out — I guess in the hopes of salvaging Obama’s fumbling of the bin Laden football he intended to spike — and Jonah was the closest Republican handy to berate with them.
Via email, I asked Jonah what he thought of those 12 minutes:
I thought the whole interview was absurd. In short I don’t think Morgan had much interest in doing the interview. I would bet the first time he laid eyes on the book was when he briefly thumbed through it while I was on the set, right before the cameras went on. My sense of the whole thing is that he wanted me to be a GOP operative of some kind and didn’t know what to do with the fact that I’m not. What I don’t understand is why he thought his line of questions was interesting in the first place.
I don’t mind hostile interviews, but his questions were aimed at winning shabby little debating points bereft of substance.
Indeed. When Piers asked Jonah how much he thought the bin Laden raid cost, I about fell out of my chair.
On Twitter, Piers spent part of this morning attempting to defend his performance and declare his defeat a victory. He even offered to have Jonah on again, but Goldberg sees through that:
I don’t know if the invitation to come back is sincere, and I’m not really sure if I care. But I think it’s clear that if he felt like he came out the winner of the exchange he wouldn’t be inviting me back.
Anyone who watches boxing knows that it’s never the guy with his hand raised in the air who immediately demands a rematch.
Unlike Piers, I’ve actually read Jonah’s book and what was most ironic was watching the CNN host prove many of the book’s central themes true. The Left isn’t interested in honest debate. Instead they engage in all kinds of passive-aggressive rhetorical tricks to win the moment. This irony wasn’t lost on Jonah either:
The funny part is that the interview begins with me saying that liberals hide their ideological biases with false claims of moderation and centrism. He then proceeded to prove my point, over and over again.
Right now CNN is a dying network and Piers Morgan is down 14% this month and wasn’t doing all that well last month.
What happened last night is a symptom of CNN’s bigger problem, and that’s that they hide behind a dishonest shield of objectivity that only serves to insult the intelligence of the Left and Right. You can’t build an audience while sandbagging conservatives like Jonah, making partisan fools of yourself like Soledad O’Brien has, or selling your soul to aid Obama’s racially divisive re-election campaign.
For all of its flaws, at least second-place MSNBC doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that it’s deep in Obama’s tank.
If CNN wants to slow its collapse, I suggest they either come out of the ideological closet and become “MSNBC 2: Not Quite As Crazy,” or actually attempt to do objective reporting instead of doing what they are now, and that’s regularly proving themselves to be “The Most Dishonest Name in News.”