Last night, ethically murky Twitter troll Piers Morgan was thoroughly embarrassed on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
The editor-at-large of the Daily Mail and UK morning show host has spent the past year-plus defending the largely indefensible actions of Donald Trump. You see, Morgan is a celebrity hanger-on, and Trump is his longtime pal, having granted him entrée into the world of U.S. reality television with a winning stint on his program Celebrity Apprentice. It eventually landed Morgan a CNN talk show before people caught on to his brand of bullshit, and chased him out of America (Morgan had previously lost favor in the UK for presiding over a series of questionable journalistic practices while editor of the Daily Mirror, including printing fake photos of British troops torturing Iraqi prisoners, a shady investment scheme, and phone hacking allegations).
On Friday’s Real Time, Morgan continued playing the role of sad Trump apologist, appearing to defend the president’s botched Yemen raid before parroting POTUS’s bogus statistics concerning the U.S. murder rate. The most heated exchange, however, came when Maher, Morgan and his fellow panelists discussed Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban”—an executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Morgan, as is his wont, regurgitated the White House spin that “there is no Muslim ban,” adding that “85 percent of the world’s Muslims [weren’t affected].” This is a misleading statistic. As I wrote, “Yes, a large percentage of the world’s Muslims are not affected, but when it comes to Muslim refugees immigrating to the United States, from 2014-2016, 82 percent came from the seven countries outlined in President Trump’s executive order. Furthermore, Rudy Giuliani confessed on Fox News that Trump had asked him how to institute a Muslim ban ‘legally.’” Morgan’s “Muslim ban” comments prompted Aussie stand-up comedian Jim Jefferies to yell at him to “fuck off,” before later shouting, “You just like that you won The Apprentice and you have a famous friend, mate.”
The exchange appeared to tickle J.K. Rowling, the billionaire bestselling author behind the Harry Potter franchise, who tweeted the following:
This appeared to get under Morgan’s notoriously thin skin—a man who regularly searches for his name on Twitter to defend himself against critics. Morgan tweeted back, “This is why I’ve never read a single word of Harry Potter.” Rowling, who is far wittier than Morgan, proceeded to mock him with this great burn:
But wait, there was more:
J.K. Rowling, you are an international treasure.