Last night, Australian comedian Jim Jefferies scorched Piers Morgan on Real Time With Bill Maher for claiming that there was no Muslim ban instituted by President Donald Trump. Jefferies and the show’s host, Bill Maher, laid into Morgan for being an unapologetic supporter of Trump’s controversial travel ban.
The exchange started near the end of the 60-minute program when Maher asked a question about the election. He wondered about critics calling former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton the “lesser of two evils” and demanded an apology in light of Trump’s rocky first three weeks in office, which included a hastily issued executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Morgan immediately jumped on Maher’s apology demand and asked, “Why?” Incredulous, Maher pointed out that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have stacked her cabinet with the likes of Betsy DeVos and Rick Perry. Jefferies joined in and mentioned Trump’s Muslim ban, and that’s when things got really interesting.
Piers started by imploring Maher to “calm down” and went on to say that there is no Muslim ban. Jefferies pounced on Morgan again with a litany of f-bombs, leading to a personal back and forth not usually seen on the show. As the rest of the panel joined the fray, Morgan refused to back down, calling Jefferies out for spreading fear and paranoia.
“This is the kind of hysteria I’m talking about. Eighty five percent of the world’s Muslims are allowed into the country,” Morgan said.
“This is what you do, Piers. You say, ‘He hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that, he’s not going to do all these things,'” Jeffries shot back at Morgan. “Hitler didn’t kill the Jews on the first day. He worked up to it, mate.”
“That is the exact ridiculous, hysterical, over-the-top nonsense,” Morgan countered. “It’s ridiculous. He’s not the new Hitler.”
“You just like that you won The Apprentice and you have a famous friend, mate,” Jefferies said in reference to Piers Morgan winning season seven of The Celebrity Apprentice in 2008.
Moments later, Jefferies punctuated his point by giving Morgan the middle finger while the crowd cheered him on.
Morgan was clearly bothered by the exchange as evidenced by his continued defense of Trump after the show with a series of tweets aimed at Jefferies.
Throughout his career, Piers Morgan has been no stranger to controversy, having engaged in public spats with numerous celebrities and politicians. Over the years, Morgan has been in feuds with Sun journalist Jeremy Clarkson, transgender advocate Janet Mock, actor Hugh Grant, and pop queen Madonna. But his support of President Donald Trump seems to have amplified the animosity directed toward him, and Morgan has relished the attention by responding in kind.
Stemming from his appearance on Bill Maher, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling retweeted the video and wrote how watching Morgan being put in his place “on live TV is *exactly* as satisfying as I’d always imagined.”
Morgan was quick to pick up on Rowling’s tweet and engaged in an epic Twitter war that did not end well for him.
“This is why I’ve never read a single word of Harry Potter,” Morgan said in his opening salvo.
Rowling countered by poking fun at Morgan for having a premonition that one day she would “roar with laughter” at seeing him being ridiculed on live television. Morgan tried to defend himself by declaring that what he said on the show was “factual” and that a comedian hurling obscenities does nothing to change it. Rowling landed a big blow by drawing reference to Morgan being fired as the editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 for fabricating photos of British soldiers torturing Iraqi children.
Rowling ended the exchange by reminding Piers Morgan of her victory over him for Book of the Year at the 2005 British Book Awards.
[Featured Image by Louis Lanzano/AP Images]