The White House emphasizes freedom of expression, "a bedrock principle in our democracy"
Morgan says the interview became an advertisement for gun control
Jones declares himself a "patriot" against "Redcoat" Piers Morgan
Was it a debate? A berating? A surreal televised “stunt”? No matter what you call radio host Alex Jones’ appearance on “Piers Morgan Tonight,” one thing is certain: It’s generating a great deal of social media buzz.
On Tuesday morning, Jones was a top-trending topic on Twitter as people read about the interview, watched clips online or shared their thoughts after watching Monday night’s fiery exchange live.
The man behind a petition to deport Morgan back to the UK for expressing his views on gun control went on the attack, calling the CNN host “a hatchet man of the new world order.”
“1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” Jones yelled. “It doesn’t matter how many lemmings (mindless followers) you get out on the street begging for them to have their guns taken! We will not relinquish them! Do you understand?”
Morgan has pushed for stricter gun control regulations since a gunman killed 27 people before committing suicide last month in Newtown, Connecticut – 26 of them in a mass shooting at an elementary school, including 20 children.
“I’m in favor of a nationwide ban on military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” he said as he opened his Monday night show, before introducing Jones.
Jones’ petition, posted on the White House website, accuses Morgan of being “engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment.” It has more than 100,000 signatures.
Morgan prefaced his confrontation with Jones with a live report on Monday’s testimony in a preliminary hearing for Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes and a live interview with relatives of two victims who died in a hail of bullets from a military-style rifle in that shooting in July.
“I appreciate you having your First Amendment right. I am glad you are speaking out,” said Dave Hoover, whose nephew died in the movie theater.
The White House also made reference to First Amendment freedoms, in a statement Monday night.
“The White House responds to all petitions that cross the threshold, and we will respond to this one,” spokesman Jay Carney said, referring to petitions on whitehouse.gov that get at least 25,000 signatures. “In the meantime, it’s worth remembering that freedom of expression is a bedrock principle in our democracy.”
‘World tyranny’ warning
Jones thanked Morgan for having him on the show, and then said he and others started the petition to point out that “we have all of these foreigners” and globalist forces, including “megabanks that control the planet,” trying to take away American guns.
“When they get our guns, they can have their world tyranny,” he said.
Morgan’s attempt to interject questions ran up against Jones’ heated chatter, leading up to a crescendo with Jones reciting a list of despotic world leaders who he said took away guns: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez.
As Jones continued, Morgan looked on, tight-lipped and silent.
After 2½ minutes, Jones rounded off his monologue with a friendly offer to take Morgan out shooting, so he could “become an American” and “join the Republic.”
He also offered to climb into a boxing ring with Morgan. At the end of the interview, he imitated the Briton’s English accent, before declaring him a “Redcoat” who should go back to where he came from.
Morgan asked: “Are you finished?”
Jones said: “Yes.” Then he began a tirade against makers of antidepressant drugs.
Jones said he owns about 50 weapons. His radio show can be heard on 140 radio shows around the country, he said.
Morgan: No better advertisement for gun control
Morgan says Jones’ rant backfired, making Morgan’s point for him.
“I can’t think of a better advertisement for gun control than Alex Jones’ interview last night,” he said Tuesday on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “It was startling, it was terrifying in parts. It was completely deluded. It was based on a premise of making Americans so fearful that they all rush out to buy even more guns.”
“I think silence was the best weapon against him because he just dug himself an ever bigger hole,” Morgan said, adding that Jones “spouts dangerous nonsense.”
Jones, on his website infowars.com, had an image of Morgan dressed as a “Redcoat” next to Jones himself dressed as a “patriot.”
A summary of his plan for Tuesday’s radio show said he would discuss “his effort to defend the Constitution and the Second Amendment from attack by the establishment media as the government prepares its latest gun-grabbing assault on law-abiding Americans.” The description adds that through the interview, “we have put the globalists on notice.”
On the program, he said that 95% of people he has heard from “think that I just told it like it was” and “slammed them hard,” delivering an important message.
“I have been overworked,” Jones added, describing a busy schedule. “But I did the best job I could and I’m proud of the job I did overall.”
Responding to Morgan’s depiction of how the interview went, Jones asked whether that was because he is “a hillbilly that won’t be your slave and knows history.”
He described Morgan as being like “a mannequin, a vampire.”
Though many found fault with Jones’ performance, some found common ground with his arguments.