Thousands of Americans want British citizen Piers Morgan to be deported for expressing his anti-gun views on his CNN show.(Photo: Jae C. Hong AP)
Oh boy, wait until the British chattering classes hear this: A
surprisingly large number of Americans have signed White House petitions
to deport British citizen Piers Morgan back to the U.K. because he
criticized America's gun-loving culture on his CNN talk show.
they do that? Not bloody likely, but people are having nasty fun with
the idea anyway, while Morgan is treating it with his characteristic
amused disdain. And his CNN show gets more attention.
Morgan's many enemies among the British media would not be too happy to see him back but they probably don't have to worry.
foreigner already resident in the U.S., with a green card and
authorization to work, could be deported for, say, committing a serious
crime or being a communist. But it's unlikely he could be run out just
for expressing an opinion on TV, as that would seem to violate another
part of the Bill of Rights called the First Amendment.
Still, more than 44,000 people have signed two petitions
on the White House website, calling for Morgan to be deported for
allegedly "attacking" the Second Amendment following the Dec.14 Newtown
massacre, in which 20 children were among those shot to death by one man
with multiple guns.
"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," one petition reads.
petitioners seem to be serious, but there have been some fairly wacky
petitions filed on the White House's We the People webpage thus far. So
far, no response from the Obama administration.
many Brits of all political persuasions, Morgan thinks America's
attitude towards guns is nuts. Last week, when he interviewed Larry
Pratt, director of Gun Owners of America, the conversation got hot when
Pratt suggested more guns are the solution to gun violence.
"You're an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?" Morgan responded.
but nothing unusual in the British media, which has regularly attacked
Morgan for, among other things, his alleged involvement in the British
phone-hacking scandal (he denies it). But rudeness isn't a ground for
Morgan, a prolific user of Twitter, has been
tweeting up a storm since the petitions appeared. Words like
"ridiculous" and "goon" and "bring it on!" have been mentioned in his
feed. He joked about anchoring his show from Jamaica if he got deported.
But he also posted serious arguments, or as serious as you can get in
"Wanting America to ban assault weapons &
high-capacity magazines isn't 'anti-constitutional' - it's called
'common sense," he tweeted today.