The Media on Edge
|Jonathan Easley||December 25th 2012|
A White House petition calling for the deportation of CNN personality Piers Morgan, a U.K. citizen, over his recent comments criticizing U.S. gun laws rocketed past the 25,000 signatures it needed for an official response Monday. As of this writing, nearly 40,000 people had signed a petition demanding â€œMr. 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.â€
A petition on the White House's â€œWe the Peopleâ€ website needs 25,000 signatures in the first month of being posted to earn an official administration response. â€œI don't care about petition to deport me,â€ Morgan tweeted Monday. â€œI do care about poor NY firefighters murdered/injured with an assault weapon today. #GunControlNow.â€ Morgan was referring to yet another high-profile shooting that took place Monday. In western New York, four firefighters were shot, two of them fatally, while responding to a fire near Rochester.
Morgan isnâ€™t the only news anchor with a White House petition aimed at him. A petition to arrest â€œMeet the Pressâ€ host David Gregory for possession of a high-capacity rifle magazine had more than 2,000 signatures on Monday.
While interviewing National Rifle CEO Wayne LaPierre last week, Gregory held up a 30-round magazine to ask if it should be banned. The cartridge is illegal in Washington, D.C.
The furor over Morganâ€™s comments began after a contentious interview between the CNN host and Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America.
During the interview on his CNN show, "Piers Morgan Tonight," Morgan hammered Pratt and his defense of the 2nd Amendment and American gun laws.
"The argument I keep hearing is 'well if everybody else was armed, it wouldn't happen.' It's a load of total hogwash," Morgan told Pratt and other gun rights advocates who appeared on the show.
"How many more kids have to die, before you guys say, 'we want less guns, not more?'" Morgan added.
His comments came as Pratt and others discussed the recent Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 27 people -- including 20 young children -- were shot by 20-year old Adam Lanza.
While many of the petitions on the We the People website address legitimate policy issues, the site has also begun to accumulate its share of farfetched requests, such as the petition urging President Obama to build a â€œDeath Star.â€
Jonathan Easley writes for The Hill, from where this article is adapted.