This is an extraordinary – and dangerous – five minutes of “mainstream” TV. It is five minutes of a black women’s rights activist trashing Piers Morgan to his face and on his own show, Good Morning Britain, as he tries to defend the Royal Family from the fallout of the Meghan and Harry interview.
Shola Mos-Shogbamimu hurls a barrage of unprecedented invective against Morgan, calling him a “liar and disgrace”, “disgusting”, a “racist and misogynist” and all but tells him to shut up. This treatment doubtless paved the way to his walk-out a day later and his departure from the show.
Even though I agree with pretty much everything Mos-Shogbamimu says, especially the parts of about the Royal Family and Britain’s racist, colonial past, the interview nonetheless made me feel almost – but only almost – sorry for Piers Morgan, one of the most thoroughly obnoxious narcissists on TV.
I strongly urge everyone to watch this clip, but only after you have inoculated yourself from its powerful narcoleptic effects by reading my health warning below.
The segment is a masterclass in how the corporate media so capably and thoroughly manipulates us that we end up willing our own hypnotisation into a political trance.
Every moment of Mos-Shogbamimu’s attack on Morgan is being stage-managed – though not by her, she’s simply the unwitting medium through which the deception is perpetrated. View it as a sophisticated lullaby, masquerading as fearless honesty, singing us deeper into sleep.
In fact, this bedtime song has three verses, intended to transform us each time into a zombie cheerleader for a different cause: first, either for Meghan or the Royals; then, for Morgan or Mos-Shogbamimu; and thirdly, for Morgan or the Good Morning Britain execs who are really pulling the strings.
This is a trilogy of corporate media-managed celebrity drama designed to prevent us from thinking about what’s really going on in our societies, societies run by and for psychopathic corporations like Good Morning Britain’s broadcaster, ITV.
To fully understand how confected and bogus this segment is from start to finish, I suggest you carry out a small thought experiment.
Imagine for a moment this same scene playing out but not between Morgan and Mos-Shogbamimu feuding over Meghan’s personal, celebrity agonies. Imagine it taking place instead two years ago between Morgan and an equally outspoken supporter of the then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Imagine this isn’t about the issue of whether a mixed-race boy will be allowed to call himself “prince”, or whether Meghan has felt depressed and isolated by her treatment from the Royals, but about much larger matters of political and public urgency: say, the antisemitism smears used to demonise Corbyn and his party, or the sinister corporate media campaign against him.
Then imagine that, like Mos-Shogbamimu, Corbyn’s ally is given five minutes to berate Morgan, calling him a liar, a racist, a misogynist, and telling him to his face to keep quiet and listen.
Imagine further, if you can, that the Corbyn supporter not only feels bold enough to say all these things on Morgan’s own show but is allowed to get away with it. Not only does Morgan fight back with one arm very visibly tied behind his back, but his own GMB execs let the segment run and run, preventing him from shutting down the interview, either verbally or by turning off the video connection.
Can’t imagine it? Of course, you can’t. Because it would never be allowed to happen. No ally of Corbyn’s would ever be given five minutes to trash Piers Morgan while upholding the rights of working people or criticising the rigged nature of the corporate media.
The problem isn't that Piers Morgan is a d*ck. It's that, like him, we keep getting suckered into vehemently taking sides on personal dramas that are completely irrelevant to the future of humanity https://t.co/SC6GKbL4DQ
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) March 10, 2021
Car-crash TV moment
Which means, of course, that Mos-Shogbamimu got to bad-mouth Morgan at length – however justifiably – only because GMB execs wanted her to.
They used her to send a message to Morgan that he was on the way out, which is why he sits and takes the tirade sheepishly (for him). They used her to wash their corporate hands of any taint that they might condone racism. They used her to persuade viewers that GMB and other corporate media are able to hold themselves up to fearless scrutiny. And most important of all, they used her to engineer a car-crash TV moment that has dominated headlines across the media and will gain them a larger audience and bigger profits.
And all of that happened at no meaningful political cost to corporate Britain. The same racist, corrupt, war-mongering system will carry on as before.
Piers Morgan was set up, first with this confrontation with Mos-Shogbamimu and then the following day in a more restrained clash with his own weather presenter, Alex Beresford. Morgan got the message loud and clear. He was being played by the programme he fronts.
Sadly, too many of us still don’t understand that we are being played too. And unlike Piers Morgan, we have everything to lose and nothing to gain from this cynical corporate power game.