“Once talented, now safe to ignore.” Such was the damning verdict delivered against Piers Morgan by media mogul and Twitter legend Rupert Murdoch yesterday morning.
Morgan is clearly feeling unloved since his show Piers Morgan Live was axed by CNN earlier this year thanks to tanking ratings. His Twitter profile now reads “One day you’re the cock of the walk, the next a feather duster.” Yesterday he reached out to old pal Murdoch by tweeting “At least @rupertmurdoch still follows me – so I don’t feel completely ignored.”
But Murdoch snapped back with “Piers Morgan seems unemployed after failing to attract any audience in US. Seemed out of place. Once talented, now safe to ignore.”
Murdoch was rewarded with hundreds of retweets and favourites, and of course reams of twitter commentary including from former British footballer Gary Lineker, who tweeted “@piersmorgan @rupertmurdoch Surely ‘once talented’ is also a compliment? Albeit a slightly deluded one.”
Others were less diplomatic, with twitter user Sam Vincent replying to Murdoch’s tweet with “you’re half right”, and @BritishPatriot tweeting “Once talented? What ‘talent’ was that?”
Morgan himself also weighed in in conciliatory fashion with: “Thanks @rupertmurdoch … I was actually paying you a compliment! I really do enjoy your Twitter feed. But never mind…”
His words appeared to inspired a flicker of regret within Murdoch as he later tweeted “Did not mean to hurt Piers Morgan. Piers a friend and a legend.”
Murdoch is a prolific Tweeter and takes regularly to the social media platform to make his feelings on a range of issues known. Lately he has been openly mulling the future of his paper The Sun’s Page three, which features topless female models in the newspaper and launched the careers of former glamour models Samantha Fox and Jordan.
The daily slot has been dogged by a heated feminist campaign to axe it which has gained over 200,000 signatures to a petition, and prompted Green member of Parliament Caroline Lucas to wear a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo “No More Page Three” in block letters. She was told to put a jacket on and comply with Westminster’s dress code by the chairman of the session.
But the paper’s readership remains strong, suggesting that those who actually buy the paper are not offended by the semi-nude images. Yesterday Murdoch took to twitter to ask for opinions on whether the page should continue, tweeting “Brit feminists bang on forever about page 3. I bet never buy paper. I think old fashioned but readers seem to disagree.” “Page 3 again. Aren’t beautiful young women more attractive in at least some fashionable clothes? Your opinions please.”
And considering the current debate over the future of Scotland, Murdoch is clearly again in two minds, tweeting: “What happened to the Scottish Enlightenment? US owes more to it than England. How would Salmond rule?” “Okay, how would Salmond govern? Socialist paradise no. People need jobs, decent pay, streamline bureaucracy, new investment. No EU.”
However, yesterday Breitbart London reported that Murdoch was deemed to be “very close to putting the Sun behind Salmond and Yes” by Andrew Neil, former editor of the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times.
Murdoch’s backing is seen throughout Westminster as make or break for politicians, and they are keen to court him. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage was the latest to bag a rare meeting with the man, when he was invited to an audience with the man in his New York offices last week.
The Scottish Sun could potentially swing the result of the Scottish referendum in either direction as it is read by some five percent of the Scottish population, mostly amongst the poorer, Labour voting demographics. If the referendum result does follow the Sun’s line, it will be the latest in a long heritage of Sun influenced plebiscites: in 1992, following an unexpected Conservative victory in the general election, the Sun ran a famously jubilant headline reading “It’s the Sun wot won it”.