Morgan-Mania-Overload?

Greta Van Susteren takes a few jabs at CNN and Piers Morgan for the big posh to-do they had the other night…

Update: Well I made a mess out of that first sentence, didn’t I? Forgot the link and did a crappy editing job to boot. Fixed.

It is so different over here at Fox than CNN. I can’t imagine Fox News Channel or friend of Fox News Channel having some fancy “launch party” at a fancy NYC upper east side address with a bunch of celebrities for a new cable news show. It seems so out of touch with the rest of the country, doesn’t it?

At Fox we just get hired and go to work (and we are very glad to have our jobs!) We can celebrate later (and we have.)

What Greta seems to miss here is that the launch of Piers Morgan Tonight is very dependent upon the cult of personality of Piers Morgan and the guests he’s going after are not the guests FNC tends to go after to that degree. It’s a different target audience and it plays by different rules. If Morgan was going to do a Hannity or an O’Reilly type show or even an On The Record type show his party last night would indeed look very out of place. But considering what he’s trying to do and where he wants his show to go, it’s not that out of place really.

It is interesting to watch Greta throw out the Culture War card with that crack about “It seems so out of touch with the rest of the country”. That kind of “it’s not what we do so therefore there must be something wrong or otherwise out of whack about it” reverse snobbery is not something that I would have expected from her. O’Reilly? Oh yeah…his whole FNC career has been staked out in the Culture War battlefield. Hannity? Sure, though more in an ideological/political bent. Greta? No. Sure it probably would appear out of touch to anyone who isn’t interested in A-D list celebrity interviews or power player profiles on a day in day out basis. But not everyone feels that way…and there is a sizable chunk of people who are interested in that admittedly overly superficial world that is celebrity. Not I, but the purveyance of tabloid magazines, tabloid websites, tabloid TV news shows, and the frequent tabloidization of cable news shows those people do exist.

One thing Piers Morgan’s show has going for it that no other show on cable news does is catering to a singular demographic not catered to by any other show or channel in cable news save maybe Joy Behar’s HLN show. FNC and MSNBC spend 5 of their 6 primetime hours doing political bombast (If forced to choose, I would put On The Record over The Last Word in terms of which is less political). CNN currently spends each primetime hour doing something different. At 6pm it’s trying to fill Larry King’s shoes but without following in King’s bland boring softball throwing footsteps. You can accuse Piers Morgan of many things; being bombastic, egotisical, a sh** disturber…but one thing you can’t accuse him of is being as deathly boring as Larry King has always been on CNN. You can be successful and boring at the same time and King was. Morgan aims to be successful and not boring…the anti-Bill O’Reilly of the celebrity circuit if you will…someone who matches O’Reilly’s level of smugness and self-certitude but isn’t uncomfortable with his celebrity status to the point that he tends to shun the circuit as O’Reilly does.

There will be an audience for this. Whether it’ll be enough to overtake MSNBC and Maddow is an open question (forget about Hannity and FNC). But it should be enough to instantly make it the highest rated hour in CNN prime. When you have the format Morgan’s show does, the glad-handing and celeb parties – like last night’s – are all part of that world. It’s how you stay in contact and stay in the game in the world Morgan travels in. Call it a “necessary evil” if you will…

This morning I read the reports on this party but decided it wasn’t newsworthy enough for posting on ICN because it lacked news value…its benefit was only as PR value for CNN. But just because I didn’t think that party was newsworthy doesn’t mean I didn’t understand its significance, importance, and necessity.

Update 2: Piers, being Piers, responds to Greta on Twitter

Oops, looks like someone’s just the teeniest weeniest bit put out that she didn’t get an invite –

Dear @gretawire I think you need to get out more. We always used to when I worked for Mr Murdoch. Come and party with me, love Piers x

Probably doesn’t help poor @gretawire ‘s mood that she has to see this out of her Fox office window each morning –

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8 Responses to “Morgan-Mania-Overload?”

  1. Josh Kaib Says:

    I think GVS was just taking a good-natured jab at Morgan.

  2. I’m hoping Morgan’s show has interviews with people that aren’t part of the regular talk show circuit.

    For instance, I like Julianna Margulies but after seeing her countless times on the talkers.. I’d rather hear what Archie Panjabi (Kalinda on the Good Wife) has to say for herself.

    Please, break the cycle of redundancy.

    Also, I would recommend only 1 or 2 interviews per hour. (I’m assuming this is going to be sorta like a late night talk show without the 30 minute monologue and live band.)

    Just to be clear, I do love me some celebrities (of the actress variety) and Florence Welch! And, I think there is a plethora of possible guests from all walks of life being ignored.

  3. I think GVS was just taking a good-natured jab at Morgan.

    Maybe. But there are jabs and then there are jabs. Had she left out that “It seems so out of touch with the rest of the country” line I wouldn’t have bothered writing this entry.

  4. Josh Kaib Says:

    Piers’ show better be successful, otherwise he will look like an ass for tooting his own horn so much.

  5. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    Man, I never thought I’d actually start liking this guy!
    Anyone who gets under Greta’s skin so much that she has resort to making absurd and tacky comments is a winner in my books.

    Greta has other things to worry about anyways, like how Lawrence O’Donnell is nipping at her heels in the demo, and how she regularly sheds a sh*t-ton of Hannity’s lead-in every night.

  6. It should also be pointed out that in addition to it being a different type of show and having different needs, Morgan is a Brit. They have a different attitude toward “presenters” and a more social system, plus some occasionally cameo on entertainment shows.

    Also, though it’s often overlooked, but Larry King was one of the major CNN-US contributions to CNN-I. Everything implies to me that Piers Morgan will be getting the same treatment and this may cause someone to ask with which country, Greta feels it is out of touch.

  7. gettingpwned Says:

    i 2nd the greta needs to get out more line.

  8. So, did Greta have a retort for Morgan?

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