On Sunday, David Carr of the New York Times reported that Piers Morgan will likely be leaving CNN in March. In an interview with Carr, Morgan conceded that ratings for his 9 p.m. show, “Piers Morgan Live,” have been low and, perhaps more important, American viewers just weren’t connecting with the ornery British host in a way that he and the network had hoped.
“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he told the Times.
It was just what Morgan’s many critics wanted to hear, particularly the gun-loving folks who had mustered up enough Morgan hate for a 100,000-plus-signature White House petition to have him deported for “attacking the 2nd Amendment.”
The response on Twitter has been brutal, with gloating and mocking tweets at Morgan pouring in at about 30 per minute on Sunday, most breathing a collective “good riddance.” Judging by many of them, it’s clear that Morgan’s pro-gun haters see his departure as a personal victory.
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â€” Capitalism Institute (@Cap_Institute) February 24, 2014
@piersmorgan Happy Trails Piers Morgan! You once again have proven that people with your views DO NOT REPRESENT the Citizens of the USA!!
â€” Ohio Conservative (@43202guy) February 24, 2014
@piersmorgan GOODBYE!!! The 2nd amendment outlasted you
â€” Callahan Hughes (@popehillarious) February 24, 2014
â€” Scott DeMonte (@s_demonte) February 24, 2014
â€” SooperMex (@SooperMexican) February 24, 2014
Not all Morgan detractors are from the pro-gun camp, however. Earlier this month, the CNN host got into a kerfuffle with Janet Mock, a transgender advocate who appeared on his show and took issue with how her segment was presented. Upon news of Morgan’s cancellation, Mock’s supporters also stopped by Twitter to wish him a farewell.
â€” Billie Radik (@billieradik) February 24, 2014
Hey @piersmorgan, can't blame trans people on losing your terrible show can you? Good luck you fucking failure.
â€” Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) February 24, 2014
â€” Gwendolyn Ann Smith (@gwenners) February 24, 2014
On Sunday, CNN confirmed that Morgan’s program will be canceled after just three years. Morgan, usually active on Twitter, had been quiet for the last several hours. On Monday morning, he tweeted a link to a YouTube video of the Monty Python classic, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
At least some Twitter users seem to be genuinely disappointed to see Morgan go, and hate him or not, the high-profile departure and subsequent tweet-lashing speaks to the risks of public failure in the age of Twitter, when detractors are almost certain to get the last word.
In the meantime, tweeters are using the hashtag #PiersMorganReplacements to toss around ideas for a successor. So far, everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Alec Baldwin to giant frog has been suggested. As the Daily Beast reported on Monday, 80-year-old Larry King, Morgan’s predecessor, said he was open to returning to the network.
CNN is owned by Turner Broadcast System, a unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX).