Last night after just three years in the host’s seat Piers Morgan signed-off for the last time. He ended his stint as Larry King’s replacement in the coveted nine o’clock time slot on CNN by revisiting his crusade for tougher gun control laws.
Unfortunately Morgan never really made an impact with viewers and was consistently a ratings loser. Even if I agree with his gun control comments, they often degenerated into rants, showing his frustration with, and inability to understand, American’s love of guns.
The fact that he carried out these harsh criticisms of a US cultural mainstay in his British accent may have irked more viewers than it pleased; Americans don’t like to be told what to do, and certainly not by a “foreigner”.
In my opinion Morgan was never the person for the post, not that he isn’t very intelligent and not that he didn’t do an admirable job, but for the very reasons outlined above. It was a matter of the proverbial square peg in a round hole.
But now the question is who will replace Morgan: Jake Tapper, Michael Smerconish, Bill Weir and Don Lemon are all being considered according to the Huffington Post. I might add Chris Cuomo to that list; as I’ve written, things don’t seem to be working well on New Day, his current home.
For my money the next nightly host on CNN’s nine o’clock show should be Don Lemmon. He’s paid his dues, has shown he can be controversial, and handle it, he’s not a “foreigner”, he’s a member of a visible minority who is also openly gay, and he’s both charming and versatile. He can handle a wide range of topics, from breaking news to Hollywood entertainment, race relations to politics. It’s time.
Not that the other gentlemen aren’t capable journalists – sadly no women are being considered according to the HuffPost piece – but in my opinion Lemon is just a wee bit better.
Of course CNN could give all of them a week or two in the host’s seat and let the viewers decide, call it CNN Idol!