The BBC is facing a backlash on social media over its decision to invite Piers Morgan onto Question Time on 12 July:
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) July 12, 2018
The general reaction to Morgan’s appearance is one of disgust:
he is just Yuck
— UpNorthSense (@UpNorthSense) July 12, 2018
— Jill Ashley-Jones (@JillAshleyJone1) July 12, 2018
Yet people’s personal feelings towards Morgan are not the main reason the BBC is receiving such a heavy backlash. Question Time is a debate, and a debate requires panellists to listen to each other’s opinions before offering their take on the particular subject.
The fact is that many people feel Morgan is incapable of doing this:
No point in having a panel as piers will talk over them and bully them as normal
— john howlett.EFC (@johnhowlett4) July 12, 2018
Excellent, we get to listen to this nobody shout down everything and everyone with his ‘shock jock’ nonsense. #thanksforthewarning
— Malc Haines (@Ramageland) July 12, 2018
And his bullish arrogance means people feel he will bring nothing to the table:
This guy should be banned in all media. It is strictly idiotic and arrogant. Does not contribute to anything interesting. Should be forgotten. Please do not forget that arrogance is always a consequence of ignorance!
— Andrea (@Campanini_uk) July 12, 2018
His reputation precedes him
People’s accusations are based on the fact that Morgan continually stoops to using personal attacks in debates. On the morning of 12 July, for example, Morgan attacked journalist Ash Sarkar in a debate about protesting the visit of US president Donald Trump:
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 12, 2018
As The Canary reported, Morgan continually talked over and attacked Sarkar, pursuing the tired argument that if you don’t protest one thing it’s hypocritical to protest another. He then falsely stated that her “hero” was Barack Obama, leading Sarkar (not a supporter of Obama’s political ideology) to label him an “idiot”.
This supposed interview seems to confirm the Question Time audience’s fears:
Interview? That was just Piers Morgan talking over someone.
— Paul Terrifier-man #FBPE (@drpaulitious) July 12, 2018
And the Sarkar interview is not a one-off. Morgan recently compared vegans to terrorists in an interview with veganism campaigner Joey Carbstrong:
Analysing the interview in The Canary, Sam Woolfe wrote:
During this debate, Morgan disapproved of vegans using inflammatory language, like ‘meat is murder’, but then compared vegans to terrorists. Morgan said, of course, he is against animal cruelty. But rather than taking a hard look at the ethical issues associated with dairy production, he resorted to personal attacks.
Regardless of Carbstrong’s past, Morgan showed that he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
He who should not be welcomed
The BBC has clearly invited Morgan on because of his close relationship with Donald Trump. Morgan ‘bagged‘ the first international TV interview with Trump. But many don’t see this as a good thing:
'Bagging an interview' usually implies some kind of cleverness. These two like each other because they are similarly bigoted and smarmy. And being a 'columnist for Mail Online' is something to be ashamed of. #bbcqt disappointed in you.
— Anita Chiquita (@tiddleypom) July 12, 2018
And the thought of him eulogising over Trump is a horrible idea for some:
Pierced Organ sycophanticly eulogising over the tangerine sex offender?
I'd rather watch an ancient incontinent mongrel bark at it's own farts!#FuckYouMrPresident
— #CoalisDeadCymru (@judas_twit) July 12, 2018
But the real danger is that anti-Trump voices will be drowned out by Morgan’s bullying tactics:
Judging by the Sarkar interview this morning Morgan is just going to attack and talk over anyone who criticises Trump. Expect a lot of people to be shouting at the TV.
— Nye Jones (@nyejones92) July 12, 2018
It’s no wonder people are calling for a Question Time boycott:
Oh for fuck's sake! There are so any political commentators out there begging to get facts across to an eager viewership -but no, still, you KEEP feeding us the same wankers. No more. Telly watchers of Britain, I implore you, for your own sanity, boycott @bbcquestiontime
— Keith Randall 2018, Official Year of Hope FBPE (@KeithRandall10) July 12, 2018
Question Time is a debate. Its role is to give the public different opinions on important issues, allowing people to make up their mind on where they stand.
Yet Morgan has continually shown that he is incapable of debating with people fairly and instead resorts to personal attacks and talking over people. The thought of him not allowing anyone to criticise Trump is sickening.
No wonder the BBC is facing a social media backlash.
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