Former Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell abruptly walked off the set of CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Wednesday.
O'Donnell wanted to discuss more meaty issues in her new book, such as her criticisms of President Obama, while her host focused on masturbation and same-sex marriage (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Can I ask you, have you -- have you committed lust in your heart and therefore adultery?
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: Let's not even go there. Let's get the conversation back to the book. That's why I'm here.
MORGAN: Yes. But this is -- to me, it's a natural extension to ask you, for example, a very relevant question of any politician. For example --
O'DONNELL: I address it all in the book.
MORGAN: -- what is your view of gay marriage, for example?
O'DONNELL: I address that stuff in the book.
MORGAN: You can't -- you're on here to promote the damn book. So, you can't keep saying it's all in the book. You got to repeat some of it.
O'DONNELL: I'm here to talk about the book.
MORGAN: Yes. I'm talking about the book. You keep saying it's all in the book. So, tell me what's in the book.
O'DONNELL: Well, why don't you ask me questions about what I say in the chapter called "Our Follower in Chief" where I criticize Barack Obama? You know, why don't we talk about --
MORGAN: Because right now, I'm curious -- right now, I'm curious about whether you support gay marriage.
O'DONNELL: You're borderline being a little bit rude. You know, I obviously --
O'DONNELL: -- I obviously want to talk about the issues that I choose to talk about in the book.
MORGAN: Do you answer that question in the book?
O'DONNELL: I talk about my religious beliefs, yes. I absolutely do.
MORGAN: I mean, do you talk -- do you talk about gay marriage in the book? O'DONNELL: What relevance is that right now? Is there a piece of legislation? I mean, I shouldn't be voting on anything.
MORGAN: It's obviously one of the most -- it's obviously, as you know, because Michele Bachmann's views and others, it's obviously a highly contentious political issue. I'm just curious what your view is.
You keep saying it's in a book. So, I'm bemused as to why you wouldn't just say it in an interview if it's in the book?
O'DONNELL: Because I don't think it's relevant. It's not a topic that I choose to embrace. I'm not championing it right now. I've been there, done that, gone down that road.
Right now, what I'm trying to do is to promote a book that I hope to be a very inspirational story to people who are part of the Tea Party movement so that they can continue, you know, in this movement to bring America back to the second American Revolution. That's my goal. That's my focus right now.
MORGAN: So, would you agree with Michele Bachmann that we should maybe repeal "don't ask, don't tell"? You should restore that?
O'DONNELL: I'm not talking policies. I'm not running for office. Ask Michele Bachmann what she thinks. Ask the candidates who are running for office what they think.
MORGAN: Why are you being so weird about this?
O'DONNELL: I'm not being weird about this, Piers. I'm not running for office. I'm not promoting a legislative agenda. I'm promoting the policies that I lay out in the book that are mostly fiscal, that are mostly constitutional.
That's why I agreed to come on your show. That's what I want to talk about.
I'm not being weird. You're being a little rude.
MORGAN: I'm baffled as to why you think I'm being rude. I think I'm being rather charming and respectful. I'm just asking questions based on your own public statements and now what you've written in your own book. It's hardly rude to ask you that surely.
O'DONNELL: Well, don't you think as a host, if I say this is what I want to talk about, that's what we should address?
MORGAN: Not really, no. You're a politician.
O'DONNELL: Yes. OK. I'm being pulled away. You know, we turned down another interview for this.
MORGAN: Where are you going? You're leaving?
O'DONNELL: Well, I was supposed to be speaking at the Republican women's club at 6:00, and I chose to be a little late for that not to be -- you know, yes, not to endure rude talk show hosts, but to talk to you about my book and to talk about the issues that I address in my book. Have you read the book?
MORGAN: Yes, but these issues are in your book. That's my point. You do talk about them.
O'DONNELL: OK. All right. Are we off? Are we done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's still there.
MORGAN: I'm not. I'm still here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he still wants to talk to you.
MORGAN: It would appear that the interview has just been ended.
For the record, Morgan began this interview by saying:
MORGAN: I can't help but notice you did the sign of the cross as you sat down there. Was it -- is it because you're nervous about the interview? Or --
O'DONNELL: No, I did it off camera. I didn't realize you were watching. I do that just because ever since my very first TV interview, I just pray. You know, and ask for God's blessing on what I'm about to say.
MORGAN: Well, I got relieved. I was expecting some kind of devil worshipping sign.
Nice bedside manner, huh? A bit later, he predictably questioned O'Donnell about dabbling in witchcraft.
After some discussion about something that was clearly old news by now, O'Donnell smartly asked, "Did Bill Maher pay you to rerun his show?"
Clearly not getting the point that his guest wanted to discuss some things that weren't covered in great detail during last year's campaign, Morgan played O'Donnell's ad wherein she said, "I'm not a witch."
After a commercial break, Morgan played a clip of O'Donnell discussing masturbation on MTV many years ago :
MORGAN: That was from the MTV special "Sex in the '90s." I'm about to ask you a question I don't ask most of my guests, I have to be honest with you. Do you still think masturbation is wrong?
O'DONNELL: Let's not even go there.
Sadly, Morgan did go there, and then eventually moved right into same-sex marriage.
As such, the bulk of his 24-minute (including commercials) interview with O'Donnell was spent on her dabbling in witchcraft when she was a kid, masturbation, and same-sex marriage.
To be sure, O'Donnell should have expected this from Morgan who lives for the salacious, and shouldn't have been surprised by any of his questions let alone walked off the set.
On the other hand, America currently has 9.1 percent unemployment, plummeting home and stock prices, a debt explosion, a credit rating problem, and Medicare going bankrupt in twelve years.
A recent CNN poll found that only one percent of respondents felt policies towards gays and lesbians were the number one priority facing the nation. By contrast, 60 percent said the economy while another 16 percent said the budget deficit.
Yet commentators whenever they're interviewing conservatives feel the need to focus a great deal of time on social issues such as same-sex marriage.
David Gregory did the same thing with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Sunday's "Meet the Press."
This is certainly not to imply that such issues aren't important, but it does seem America's media focus so much attention on these matters with conservative guests in order to belittle their religious beliefs.
With all the problems we're currently facing, wouldn't it be better to focus on what is really concerning the public?
Or is that not good for ratings?
(H/T Hot Air)