June 5, 2007, - 8:34 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Shame on Simon Cowell. The “American Idol” judge is generally a smart guy–a genius record label exec who made multi-millions before he ever got fame on the FOX TV show, where he is also the only voice worth listening to.
But his show, “America’s Got Talent”–which starts Season Two, tonight on NBC at 9:00 p.m. Eastern–is an insult to his country and ours. And that’s because of the starring role of Piers Morgan on the show, for the second season in a row.
Morgan, an apparent Cowell buddy (he must be, because he has no talent or anything worthy to say), is–you may recall–the former Editor-in-Chief of the UK’s Daily Mirror. He’s the former editor because he was fired in May 2004, after he stood by hoax photos his paper published of British soldiers allegedly torturing Iraqi detainees.
The photos were faux, as in faux-tography. Yet–once he was caught–instead of apologizing, Morgan stood by their veracity and claimed he’d be vindicated. That remains his position, three years later, despite the fact that it was obvious that the photos had been staged. Morgan’s actions were reprehensible, irresponsible, and endangered British–and American–troops’ lives. And they were used as recruiting tools for Al-Qaeda.
But, now, he’s been rewarded with NBC summer TV stardom, alongside Sharon Osborne, David Hasselhoff, and Jerry Springer. Never thought I’d say that crybaby, blame-it-on-Bush Hoff and Springer (who is actually a very nice guy in person–we were once on “Politically Incorrect” together, and I gotta say I liked him) were not the most despicable and sleazy celebs on a show. Nope.
Piers Morgan takes that crown. And wears it well. He’s extremely rude and obnoxious to the hard-working, talented Americans on “America’s Got Talent,” who have more talent in their fingertips than he has in his entire being. And not rude in a Simon kind of way. In a stupid way. He’s a bad judge. Just as he was a bad editor. Not sure how someone who was and is talentless and can’t even judge photos is suddenly a legitimate judge of talent.
So, Simon Cowell, why did you reward this dishonest man who endangered the lives of the Queen’s soldiers? Hard to believe, coming from a man who emphasizes about hard work and talent on “American Idol.”
More from BBC News:
Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been sacked after the newspaper conceded photos of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake.
In a statement the Mirror said it had fallen victim to a “calculated and malicious hoax” and that it would be “inappropriate” for Morgan to continue.
The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR) said the Mirror had endangered British troops by running the pictures.
Roger Goodman, of the QLR, said the regiment now felt “vindicated”.
Mr Goodman added: “It is just a great pity it has taken so long… and that so much damage has been done in the meantime.” . . .
At a news conference in Preston on Friday afternoon, the regiment demonstrated to reporters aspects of uniform and equipment which it said proved the photographs were fake.
The regiment’s Brigadier Geoff Sheldon said the vehicle featured in the photographs had been located in a Territorial Army base in Lancashire and had never been in Iraq.
He said the QLR’s reputation had been damaged by the Mirror and asked the newspaper to apologise because the evidence they were staged was “overwhelming”.
The Conservatives said they hoped lessons had been learned from the row.
Deputy leader and foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Ancram, said: ”Looking at the facts objectively, this is the right thing for Piers Morgan to have done.
“The photos that were published in the Daily Mirror have done great damage to the reputation of our troops, who are serving under some of the most difficult conditions in Iraq.”
The photos published in the Mirror on 1 May appeared to show British troops torturing an Iraqi detainee.
In one picture a soldier is seen urinating on a hooded man while in another the hooded man is being hit with a rifle in the groin.
Colonel Black, a former regiment commander of the QLR, said the pictures put lives in danger and acted as a “recruiting poster” for al-Qaeda. . . .
The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell said it appeared Piers Morgan remained unrepentant right to the end.
“According to one report Mr Morgan refused the demand to apologise, was sacked and immediately escorted from the building,” he said. . . .
“This was about the life of British soldiers, and you can’t tough it out when you’re wrong,” said Andrew Neil, former editor of the Sunday Times.
Well, you can if you’re Piers Morgan . . . and your good friend is Simon Cowell.
America’s Got Talent. But Piers Morgan has no ethics . . . or decency.
**** UPDATE, 06/06/07: Reader David alerts me that Piers Morgan was also embroiled in a “Share Tipping” scandal at the Mirror. Another reader named David says the title is incorrect. It should be “America Has Talent.” Agreed. Also, America Has Bad Summer TV Shows.
Tags: al-Qaeda, America, American Idol, Andrew Neil, bad editor, bad judge, BBC, Black, Brigadier, Colonel, Commander, Daily Mirror, David Hasselhoff, Debbie Schlussel Shame, editor, Editor-in-Chief, Geoff Sheldon, Iraq, Jerry Springer, judge, Lancashire Regiment, leader and foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Ancram, Mirror editor, NBC, Nicholas Witchell, Piers Morgan, Preston, Queen, Queen's Lancashire Regiment, regiment commander, Roger Goodman, Sharon Osborne, Simon Cowell, Simon Cowell Bud, Sunday Times, Territorial Army, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mirror, the Mirror, United Kingdom