PIERS MOR­GAN

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - RADIO WEEK -

I flew back into Amer­ica tonight af­ter a hol­i­day, not en­tirely sure if I would be al­lowed back in af­ter the pe­ti­tion to have me thrown out soared to over 100,000 sig­na­tures. But as I ner­vously ap­proached the im­mi­gra­tion counter at Ne­wark air­port, feel­ing like that drug-run­ner in Mid­night Ex­press, a burly armed po­lice­man spied me, smirked broadly and said: ‘Re­lax, Mr Mor­gan, we’re not go­ing to de­port you.’

Which was just as well, since there’s now a sec­ond pe­ti­tion, launched by a Bri­ton and for­mally lodged on the rel­e­vant White House web­site, to de­mand I stay in the United States. It ex­pressed the en­tirely log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion: ‘No­body wants him back in the UK, and it will be funny to see how an­gry loads of Amer­i­cans get.’ popped out of their sock­ets. ‘HOW MANY GREAT WHITE SHARKS KILL PEO­PLE EV­ERY YEAR BUT THEY’RE SCARED TO SWIM!!!??????’ I per­sisted. ‘Let’s try again: how many gun mur­ders were there in Bri­tain last year?’

‘HOW MANY CHIM­PANZEES CAN DANCE ON THE HEAD OF A PIN!!!!??????’ We went to a com­mer­cial break, and my pro­ducer chuck­led in my ear.‘You okay down there?’ I nod­ded, as Jones con­tin­ued to shout and scream at me, even though we were off air. ‘If this car­ries on,’ added my pro­ducer, ‘we’ll have to cut him off — he’s mak­ing no sense and re­fus­ing to an­swer your ques­tions.’

I shook my head vig­or­ously — our se­cret code sign for ‘don’t end this un­der any cir­cum­stances’. I re­alised that Jones’ ex­tra­or­di­nary be­hav­iour was turn­ing into a more pow­er­ful ad­vo­cate for gun con­trol than any­thing I could pos­si­bly say.

I even­tu­ally wrapped it up af­ter he in­formed me that Ge­orge W Bush had de­lib­er­ately caused 9/11, then sug­gested we set­tle things next time in a box­ing ring: ‘ I’ll wear red, white and blue; you wear your Jolly Rogers!’ Back­stage, Jones con­tin­ued to ha­rangue my staff in an un­hinged, ex­plo­sive man­ner un­til he was led away into the streets of Man­hat­tan by CNN se­cu­rity. He owns 50 guns — a dis­com­fit­ing thought. Pres­i­dent Obama has de­cided I can stay in Amer­ica, recog­nis­ing that I’m within my 1st Amend­ment (free­dom of speech) con­sti­tu­tional rights — not that it makes any dif­fer­ence, but I’m a le­gal US res­i­dent — to have an opin­ion on the Bill of Rights. In a for­mal re­sponse to my de­por­ta­tion pe­ti­tion, the White House said: ‘No one should be pun­ished by the government sim­ply be­cause he ex­pressed a view on the 2nd Amend­ment.’ Amer­ica’s most fa­mous TV medic, Dr Oz, gave me a phys­i­cal for a health show tonight, and con­cluded: ‘Your blood pres­sure’s too high.’ Af­ter the week I’ve had, no s***, Sher­lock! Pres­i­dent Obama to­day an­nounced dra­matic gun con­trol plans, in­clud­ing a ban on as­sault weapons and high- ca­pac­ity bul­let mag­a­zines, uni­ver­sal back­ground checks for all gun buy­ers, and in­creased fund­ing into men­tal health. The three main things that I’ve been cam­paign­ing for since the hor­ror of Sandy Hook. For all the vit­riol that’s been poured on my ‘limeyass’ head by the likes of Alex Jones, this will go some way to stem the coun­try’s gun car­nage. And con­trary to what some think, that’s been my only goal. Far from be­ing ‘anti-Amer­i­can’, I’m ac­tu­ally so fond of them, I want more of them to stay alive.

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