Obnoxious Piers Morgan Is the 'Anti-Larry King'

Host faces mammoth task as show begins tonight, writes Brian Stelter
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 7:00 AM CST
In this publicity image released by CNN, Larry King, host of "Larry King Live," poses with newly announced CNN host Piers Morgan in Los Angeles, on Wednesday, Sept. 8 2010.   (AP Photo/CNN, Mathieu Young)
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(Newser) – Tonight, Piers Morgan takes over Larry King’s time slot—but he won’t take on King’s style. Morgan is "in many ways the anti-King," writes Brian Stelter for the New York Times: "obnoxious, obsessively prepared, and eager to tape his interviews in advance as often as he can"—so clips can get as much buzz as possible. One example of his brasher approach: In an interview to air Tuesday, he asks Howard Stern if he’s "just a domesticated little pussycat" who’s "physically impaired." Stern, ready to talk, replied, "I’m not sure how much you can get into this. CNN’s a little uptight." Morgan's response? "Let’s try it."

His interview with Oprah, which airs tonight, was one of her “toughest” ever, she said. Morgan has a “sly and brilliant way of charming the juicy sound bites out of people,” said magazine editor Tina Brown. Morgan hasn’t been shy about self-promoting, knowing the weight of his task: If he improves CNN’s 9pm ratings, “I’m a genius. If I don’t, I’m a half-wit. There is no middle ground,” he says. Rounding out his first week: interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Ricky Gervais, and George Clooney. Click to read about the first question he plans to ask Gervais.

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