UPDATE: Ben Shapiro WILL NOT be on ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ on Wednesday. He arrived late to the CNN studios after his flight from Los Angeles to New York was grounded Tuesday afternoon.
UPDATE: Ben Shapiro will appear on Piers Morgan’s show tonight. The CNN team has agreed to amend the format to included two segments of on-on-one debate between the host and the Breitbart News editor as well as a “town hall” forum. Though it is a primetime show, it is expected that Morgan will take a page out of the daytime TV playbook and make an emotional appeal to the audience by featuring victims of gun crimes and their families.
Last night, CNN’s Piers Morgan invited Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro back on his program for a “balanced debate”:
Of course, last time, Shapiro vs. Morgan was a balanced debate – it was a one-on-one in which Morgan took a rhetorical beating. But taking Morgan at his word regarding “balance,” Shapiro immediately responded in the affirmative:
Shapiro then tweeted:
But when it came time to book the show, Morgan’s team refused to tell Shapiro what the format of the show would be. When Shapiro said that he expected balance — a second one-on-one interview with Morgan — Morgan’s producers balked. They did insist strongly, however, that Shapiro appear on the show, where he would be “in for the entire show” and “have a huge part.” When Shapiro again reiterated that balance would be a one-on-one, and asked for more details on what his role would be, Morgan’s producers went silent.
“This is how the left manipulates media situations to ambush conservatives,” Shapiro said. “Piers and I had a good conversation last week about gun control; if he wants a rematch, I’m always game.”
Earlier in the day, Morgan tweeted:
It seems relatively clear what Morgan’s plan was. If Shapiro was to be the centerpiece of the show but not to have any one-on-one facetime with Morgan, this was to be Morgan’s revenge for his clobbering in the last faceoff with Shapiro. During that debate, Shapiro accused Morgan of “standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook.” Morgan had no coherent response. This time, it seems, Morgan wasn’t just going to stand on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook – he was going to stack the audience with grieving parents and relatives of the victims of Newtown, then confront Shapiro with them.
That wasn’t a game Shapiro was going to play.
“The reason conservatives lose the debate,” said Shapiro, “is that they let the left control the terms of the debate utilizing bully tactics. Piers apparently can’t articulate an argument for his position without exploiting the grief of gunshot victims. If he could, he’d have a discussion one on one. I expected him to be more honest than to define ‘balance’ as a coordinated assault on a political position, using victims as props.
“Then again,” Shapiro added, “maybe I didn’t.”