Piers Morgan has responded to his now infamous television battle with fellow journalist Toure by dismissing the claim that his nationality prevents him from understanding or even commenting on the Trayvon Martin case. On last night’s Last Call with Carson Daly, the talk show host reflected on his Johnny-come-lately ability to generate nappy comebacks and revealed all that he wished he’d said – most notably that Toure would never have gripes like that with Nelson Mandela.
During their debate, the pair sparred over Morgan’s approach to handing his interview with the brother of accused murderer George Zimmerman. They leveled a series of insults at each other – some convincing, others pointless – that did very little to advance the cause of justice for Trayvon. But one particularly glaring jab was Toure’s insistence that because Morgan is not from America, he has no understanding of our culture and therefore has no room to comment on the situation. At the time Morgan simply scoffed and hit back with another insult, but on last night’s show he said that he wished he’d been quick enough to reply .
I wish I’d said to him, ‘You know, I have spent six years longer in America than Nelson Mandela. I don’t think you’d be saying to Nelson Mandela he has no right to comment on the Trayvon Martin case.’ That would have been a killer response to Touré.”
There are two things that fascinate me about the Toure/Piers Morgan incident. First, the two unabashedly engaged in an ego war and let the true purpose – justice for a murdered child – fall by the wayside so deliberately. But the second, infuriating aspect is that Piers Morgan is still sitting around thinking of snappy comebacks instead of putting his mind to solving the real problem. Toure is no prize here and it certainly isn’t Morgan’s job to take the lead as an activist in this case, but to go to another (rather shoddy) talk show and conjure up Nelson Mandela to justify himself instead of to point to the struggle towards justice? He should be ashamed.