Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones on gun control: Who won wild debate?

'Piers Morgan Tonight' featured ultraconservative radio talk host Alex Jones, who is a key figure behind a petition to deport Mr. Morgan because of the CNN host's pro-gun control stance.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File
In this December 2011 file photo, Piers Morgan, host of CNN's 'Piers Morgan Tonight,' leaves the CNN building in Los Angeles.

Ultraconservative radio talk host Alex Jones appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Monday talking about gun control, although “talking” is a word that might not really describe what went on. Mr. Jones shouted, ranted, and preached in a voice so loud that Rush Limbaugh is a whispering golf announcer by comparison. Jones did everything but wrap himself in an American flag – though he did offer to fight Mr. Morgan while wearing red white and blue trunks.

“You’re a hatchet man of the New World Order.... You wear the Jolly Roger,” he snarled at the very British Morgan.

Why are we bringing this up? Well, first of all, the very loud Jones is a key figure behind a White House petition to deport Morgan because of the CNN host’s pro-gun control stance. US citizens can file a petition on the White House website to do pretty much anything. If they get 25,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House promises it will respond to the nature of the citizen complaint.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 106,000 signatures were attached to the Morgan petition. “British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment,” it reads. “We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

The White House issued a statement following the Jones CNN appearance, promising to deal with the Morgan petition.

“The White House responds to all petitions that cross the threshold and we will respond to this one. In the meantime, it is worth remembering that the freedom of expression is a bedrock principle in our democracy,” said a statement from White House spokesman Jay Carney.

But if anything, the White House should be happy that Jones is getting so much publicity for his attacks on Morgan’s pro-gun control stance. That’s our second point. The National Rifle Association might be furious: Jones is so outrageous and vituperative that the gun lobby must believe he’s counterproductive.

For example, here is what Jones said after Morgan asked the simple question, “Why do you want to deport me?”

“We did it to point out that this is globalism and the megabanks that control the planet and brag that they’ve taken over and Bloomberg, AP, Reuters, you name it, brag that they’re going to get our guns as well – they’ve taken everybody’s guns but the Swiss and the American people, and when they get our guns they can have world tyranny,” Jones said.

At another point, Jones gave a disquisition as to how even mainstream media have proved that the 9/11 attacks were the work of a longtime criminal conspiracy within the US government that was also responsible for the Gulf of Tonkin incident that President Lyndon Johnson used to get the United States more deeply involved in Vietnam. The Bush administration was involved, he said: It allowed the hijackers to enter the country.

He delivered much of this screed in a singsong British accent meant to mock Morgan, whom he called a “redcoat here trying to tell us what to do.”

He also attacked his host for using notecards. We are not making that up.

“You’re not going to pull on American heartstrings. We know your script,” Jones said.

Who is Alex Jones? He’s a Texas-based radio personality who says his show is broadcast on more than 140 stations nationwide. He also maintains a string of conspiracy-theory websites that claim the US government was at the heart of the Oklahoma City bombing as well as 9/11. In the flesh he’s so bombastic you think he’s overacting and can’t really believe his own diatribes, except for the fact that he’s been doing this for so long (some 15 years) that it would be hard to maintain the facade.

After Jones’s unhinged appearance, Morgan said on air that he thinks fewer and fewer Americans believe in such people. “A tipping point has been reached,” he said.

Morgan has long called for a renewal of the ban on assault rifles, as well as tighter restrictions on gun sales.

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