Former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan wants his audiences both at ITV’s breakfast offering Good Morning Britain, and at Mail Online, to know that he does not merely talk about the rich and famous, he talks to them on a personal level. Thus we should know that he is not just about blagging a table at the Chiltern Firehouse in order to tell anyone within earshot about the wonders of Himself Personally Now.
This has proved a double-edged sword in the case of now disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Morgan admits that he knows Weinstein personally, but knew nothing about what his pal was getting up to on the sexual harassment and alleged assault front. And just to make sure, he has decided to lay into Meryl Streep, because she has committed the heinous sin of being far more famous than him.
“Spare me Hollywood's hypocritical horror over Harvey Weinstein – the same people, led by moralizing Meryl, gave a standing ovation to child rapist Polanksi” rants the headline of his latest Mail Online piece, once again wheeling out Polanski, which he was going to do with Ewan McGregor - “Had we done the interview, I might have asked him how his heroic support for women justified him working for director Roman Polanski, a self-confessed and convicted child abuser, on the film, The Ghostwriter” - except McGregor wouldn’t play.
But all this moralising of his own does not prevent Morgan finding himself in an extremely draughty glasshouse: after all, he didn’t only know Weinstein, he was happy to have him on his CNN show in early 2011. Not only that, when Morgan’s show featured a week of guest hosts in May 2012, Weinstein was there once more.
As I pointed out at the time when he launched his rant against McGregor, “Morgan has spoken positively of people like Jimmy Savile. He has had no trouble appearing alongside the likes of Max Clifford, Gary Glitter and Rolf Harris”. When he edited the Daily Mirror, Morgan did regular business with Max Clifford. And the screeching U-turn in his approach to Jimmy Savile was recorded for posterity by the Evening Standard.
The paper recalled another Mail Online item where The Great Man had told “As I left, Jimmy Savile came up to me. ‘Your TV shows are BRILLIANT!’ he exclaimed. ‘And as I've been in the telly business for 50 years, you can take that as an informed view.’ I’ve always loved Jimmy Savile”. By the time the full extent of Savile’s exploits became better known, he had changed his story: “The Jimmy Savile scandal grows more horrific by the minute … I never met him”. Perhaps in time he will never have met Harvey Weinstein, either.
Perhaps, also, Morgan’s mardy Meryl meltdown has something to do with his constant need to keep any kind of sexual misbehaviour discussion away from the most obvious corollary: that of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, Piers’ pal and the one who was caught on tape suggesting that, with women, someone in his lofty position was able to “just grab ‘em by the pussy”. From Morgan, Trump always gets his free pass.
All of which shows that, when it comes to sexual misbehaviour, Piers Morgan is skating on very thin ice when he starts to get all judgmental. So no surprise there, then.