Just when it seemed that long-time interviewer Larry King and his successor, Piers Morgan, had settled into nice, quiet lives after both left the Cable News Network, along came an interview with radio “shock jock” Howard Stern on Wednesday, when King asserted that CNN should have hired American Idol host Ryan Seacrest instead of making the mistake of putting a “Britisher in prime time.”
Soon after, Morgan snarled back in a series of tweets in which he said he had always tried to be respectful to his predecessor but noted that King has been “a constant poisonous twerp towards me for three years, and I'm bored with it.” He added that there is no such word as "Britisher'” before growling that “research and facts were never your strong point, were they, Brooklyner?”
Also during the radio interview, King said he had “mixed emotions” regarding Morgan's tenure in CNN's 9 o'clock weeknight slot from January 17, 2011, until his final broadcast on March 28 – during which he continued his ongoing crusade for more gun control.
The 80-year-old broadcaster defined his version of “mixed emotions” as when “your mother-in-law goes over the cliff in your new car.” As he has done in the past, King complained that Morgan made himself too much a part of the show.
“Too much ‘I,’” he stated. “I always said, if you turn on an interview show on television, 95 percent of the time you should see the guest. If 95 percent of the time you see the host, there’s something wrong with that.
“That may be the way it works today, or maybe things have changed,” King added. “So it wasn’t my kind of show. He was nice to me. I went on his show two or three times. He wasn’t unfriendly to me.”
Always tried to be respectful to @kingsthings - but he's been a constant poisonous twerp towards me for 3 years and I'm bored with it.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 8, 2014
In his online responses, Morgan grumbled to King that “you don't need to KEEP bitching about me. It's over. Relax.
“As for our respective egos, one of us changed his name legally to 'King.' and it wasn't me. So get over yourself,” the British interviewer stated before noting that “Larry King averaged a 176 in the demo in his last year at CNN (2010), and I averaged 218, 170 and 173 in my three years.”
Morgan then asked: “Why should I show any respect any more” when King “has shown zero to me? Game on, Brooklyner.”
It didn't take long for other posters to join the fray. @Heminator said “Piers Morgan vs. Larry King may be the single most pathetic media feud ever,” and @sarahmoga said the clash of celebrities “is making my day.”
“Wait a minute,” @chakams posted. “Piers Morgan is having a go at Larry King??? Wonders will never cease.”
"Wow,” @Shakboi stated while noting that the situation "feels really weird.”
Posters soon began taking sides in the debate. “Larry King is far better and more famous than you,” stated @dterryfle1. “Admit it!”
Morgan replied: “I don't think he's either, actually.”
@OfTooth asked the British interviewer: “Are you bragging about becoming irrelevant in three short years, while it took Larry King 25?” Also, @DMBurns04 noted that “one of you retired after a long successful career, and one of you didn't. Get over yourself.”
"Larry King doesn't make every single thing he talks about into a conversation about Piers Morgan,” @presidentstevie charged. “You're a hack.”
"Maybe if you hadn't lost so much of King's audience, he would be respectful to you,” Ame_In_Jersey asserted.
Some people latched onto Morgan's use of the “b” word and threw it back in his face.
"America understands a chain-smoking-womanizing liberal,” @ShannitysHair declared. “We just aren't ready for a gun-hating, pompous ass bitch.”
@gcornejo81 explained that “Larry isn't bitching, he´s just saying he didn't like your show, just like everybody else.” “Nobody likes you, Piers,” @JimStokes_91 agreed.
"Somewhere," @rundonkeyrun posted, Piers Morgan "is crying while rubbing linseed oil into his cricket bat, all the while bitching about Americans and our sweet guns."
“Going into bullying now, huh?” @DdeLegge asked. “All he did was point out the obvious. You're self-indulged.”
Finally, @SwamiG8R took another shot at Morgan, stating that he “always has to have the last word,” proving King's point.
As of Thursday afternoon, King had not responded to the online back-and-forth, but he might do so during his 30-minute Politicking With Larry King program that airs on the ora.tv website Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. If he does, we'll pass along his comments and any further developments in this odd feud.