Piers Morgan has been unfollowed on Twitter by his former friend Donald Trump AND Morgan’s ratings on his breakfast TV show have plummeted by 43 per cent.
Who says nothing good came out of the Coronavirus crisis?
President Trump cancelled his Twitter friendship with Morgan (one of only 47 users Trump followed on Twitter) after Morgan wrote a newspaper column in the Mail attacking his “batsh*t crazy” [sic] coronavirus cure theories.
The column began:
SHUT THE F**K UP, PRESIDENT TRUMP.
You can understand Trump’s irritation. Morgan’s piece was a hysterically over-the-top response to a very dubious story (the one about President Trump’s apparent advocacy of disinfectant to cure coronavirus) which Morgan should have known better than to amplify. He is, after all, supposed to have a special relationship with the president — which is why Morgan gets the exclusive TV interviews whenever Trump visits the UK.
What Morgan did in that tub-thumping article was a betrayal of that special relationship not because he shouldn’t be allowed to criticise Trump or hold him accountable — of course, he should — but because his attack was essentially dishonest and misleading. It imputed to Trump bad faith; it accused him of doing something he hadn’t really done. Anyone who claims to know Trump, as Morgan does, would be perfectly well aware that the key is to take what he says seriously but not literally. Trump gets misrepresented more than often enough by his enemies. Why should he take that nonsense from his supposed friends?
Though Morgan never gives the impression of being particularly intelligent, he clearly has chutzpah and a great deal of animal cunning. That animal cunning ought to have told him — “Your relationship with Donald Trump is your golden ticket. Never lose it! Never squander it!” The fact that he has done so is an indication of just how badly his thinking has been warped by the current pandemic crisis. Morgan appears to have developed a bad case of Coronavirus Derangement Syndrome.
At the beginning of the crisis, this might have seemed like a canny career move. Morgan has draped himself in the mantle of the National Health Service and anointed himself Britain’s Covid Bedwetter-in-Chief. He has continually used his platform on breakfast TV, on Twitter, and in the Mail shrilly to denounce the government for its failure to do enough to deal with this worst of all plagues; to demand ever-greater rewards and protection for the heroic doctors and angel-like nurses who are, of course, braver and more worthy of admiration than Second Lieutenants leading their men over the top from the trenches in World War I; to insist on ever more stringent lockdown procedures; to pour righteous scorn on anyone impertinent enough to dissent from his Ex Cathedra pronouncements.
Morgan’s bloviations have proved mightily influential. You could argue, indeed, that he has been even more powerful a figure in the last two months than the weakened and dithering Prime Minister Boris Johnson. At times — when, for example, in mid-March Britain was frightened into a sudden U-turn on its Covid-19 policy, abandoning the more relaxed Swedish-style approach, and going for a full-on lockdown instead — panicky Piers Morgan, not Boris Johnson, has been the presiding spirit over UK policy.
Several members of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet — including his Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove — are understood to be agitating for the lockdown to end sooner rather than later. But they have a problem: in surveys, the majority of British people have declared that they’d rather stay confined under house arrest indefinitely than risk another viral outbreak. The defiant Blitz Spirit which saw the British people through the Darkest Hour of the Second World War has not, it seems, survived into the 21st Century. If this is really the case, then a big chunk of the blame can be laid at the door of Piers Morgan, who has cry-bullied and cajoled his audience into panic and hysteria which threaten to cause far more damage ultimately than the actual coronavirus itself.
Finally, though, the worm may be turning. And not necessarily to the advantage of Piers Morgan’s career. According to Guido Fawkes, Morgan’s ratings on his breakfast TV show Good Morning Britain are plummeting — just like they did before he lost his talk show at CNN.
On March 25 GMB’s viewing figures according to industry audience monitor BARB hit a high of 1.23 million, a month later by April 24 the viewer numbers have collapsed back down to 704,300. That is a 42.8% drop in people tuning in to hear him hysterically ranting.
Perhaps this a sign that after weeks of cowering like a whipped cur, Britain is finally recovering its mettle and remembering who it is. Perhaps, finally, people have had enough of being frightened silly by Piers the bully clown and have begun to see through his tantrums.
I do hope so. And I also hope that when Piers realises his mistake and tries to get on the phone to Donald Trump in order to try to revive what’s left of his miserable career the President doesn’t answer.