In the past few years, it is unquestionable that Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has caused countless controversies and scandals, whether that has been Papoose Gate, degrading the challenges facing transgender people, or making sexist comments about his colleagues live on air. However, within the last few months, people who I have previously seen constantly criticizing Morgan on social media for his repugnant behaviour have now been commending him for holding ministers accountable for their recent poor performances.
In a survey carried out by The Student, 93% of participants stated that a year ago their opinion of Morgan was “poor” due to his arrogance, misogyny and closed-mindedness; however, 71.4% of those participants now say that their opinion of Morgan has improved since the broadcast of interviews grilling ministers for their appalling policies during the pandemic. Let’s not forget Morgan’s scathing interview with Matt Hancock over the government’s refusal to give school children living in poverty meals before a sudden U-turn providing insultingly deficient food packages. This interview stirred thousands of people on social media who reposted clips from it praising Morgan’s interrogation.
In other interviews Morgan held more members of the Cabinet accountable such as ministers Priti Patel and Gavin Williamson calling for both of their resignation. Many of the participants of the survey expressed their surprise at Morgan, who in the past has been outspoken in his right-wing views (even at one point supporting Donald Trump) now grilling Conservatives. All of a sudden, Morgan has begun to side with the popular opinion of the British public after stirring trouble for so long.
But why are we praising Morgan for challenging politicians over issues that are based on human decency? Although challenging Hancock on the government’s U-turn on school meals was an excellent example of holding power to account, his outrage at children not having any food to eat is a reflection of basic human decency rather than being a commendable person. Especially considering the countless offensive opinions that Morgan has declared in the past, it is too soon to praise him when, at most, he has just stated a few agreeable things. One participant in The Student’s survey even went as far as to say that these explosive interviews are just for publicity rather than accountability.
What’s more, Morgan is being applauded for challenging ministers over issues of human decency, whilst co-host Susanna Reid, who has arguably done that precise thing all her career, has received little praise in comparison; evidence of Morgan’s praise being due to his recent outspokenness on a few key issues rather than him turning over a new leaf.
Ultimately, is it that Morgan has finally changed his tune or is his new challenging of politicians just based on common sense and decency? Bear in mind in a year’s time (or whenever this mess of a pandemic is finally over), it is doubtful that people will still be commending him when he returns to spewing misogyny and transphobia. Despite this, regardless of Morgan’s intent behind his explosive interviews, the interview with Hancock was viewed over 30 million times on social media, raising awareness of the government’s catastrophic policy of school meals, suggesting that whatever Morgan’s intentions were behind the interview, the outcome was positive.
Nevertheless, despite Morgan’s interviews having been an effective way of holding the government to account, the public praise that he has received is in no way commensurate with simply doing the bare minimum.