Piers Morgan is TV bitcoin – for as long as anger is the most valuable human emotion, he will go on inflating himself

Naturally, the inner smallness of the real man is revealed through the tactics of the persona

Tom Peck
Political Sketch Writer
Wednesday 10 March 2021 17:23
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Piers Morgan's most controversial moments on Good Morning Britain
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Twelve years ago, a mystery person wrote some computer code and created a new digital currency. Its fixed number of digital coins were buried in a digital mine, and were programmed so that every time one is found, they become scarcer and therefore harder to find, thus rendering it highly likely that its value will inflate.

It is somewhat perplexing, for the normal person, to try to understand how that little bit of computer programming has, of today, created from nothing something that is currently valued at about 1 trillion US dollars.

Trying to work out where the value of bitcoin actually comes from is not straightforward, but the inbuilt tendency towards inflation is a big factor. People might buy it because they think they want to be at the vanguard of a new way of human living, and also because it appears to be easier than real money to exchange for, say, drugs. But mainly people buy it because they think they can just wait around for a bit and then sell it for more. Free money. And free money isn’t cheap.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, to the artificially self-inflated, more or less entirely digital, entity that is Piers Morgan.

Seeing the self-appointed and self-created chief world troll defenestrated from his Good Morning Britain perch has had many people imagining the value of his stock to have taken a sudden tumble. Said people, probably, are highly likely to be disappointed.

The media trades in the full range of human emotions and has done for hundreds of years. Happiness, sadness, triumph, disaster. Anything that can summon strong human feelings of more or less any kind has a market value, and in the marketplace you will find everything from Mozart to Nuts magazine and, yes, the TV news.

The more recent phenomenon, roughly as old as bitcoin, as it happens, is a dramatic shift in the method in which media is delivered – the deadly one-two combo of the smartphone and social media – that has inflated the value of one emotion above all others, and that emotion is anger.

Anger is the bitcoin of modern media. Now that humans tend to take on fresh information by scrolling through an infinite screed of it and pausing only at what catches their eye, the algorithms that control what appears on that screed have correctly deduced that anger is the most potent.

Piers Morgan knows this very well. It was his choice, sometime ago, to refashion himself as the world’s troll, and he has done it to devastating effect. It is more than a little depressing that normal, sensible people are capable of being driven to extreme depths of anger by the Piers Morgan persona. They expend large amounts of emotional energy interrogating his opinions as if they are real, as opposed to positions held to generate anger and thus maximise his own attention.

Once you come to understand that Piers Morgan spent a long time campaigning for gun control in the US via his show on CNN, and then when he interviewed Donald Trump spent less time asking him about that than he did trying to give him a personalised Arsenal shirt, it is very easy to liberate yourself from any vague pretence of having to take anything he says seriously.

Getting angry with Piers Morgan is like getting angry with Borat. He is an anthropomorphised version of the Henry Root letters rebooted for the 21st century – light on humour, heavy on rage, and performed under his own name.

Naturally, the inner smallness of the real man is revealed through the tactics of the persona. It is no coincidence that the targets of his highest realm of vituperation are all young women. The treatment of Meghan Markle has garnered the most attention, which has thrilled him no end, allowing him to contrive his own season finale, in which he storms out of his TV studio.

But compared to the relentless online harassment of Ariana Grande in the days immediately after children were murdered at her own concert, all this pales in comparison. That that wasn’t deemed beyond the pale for his ITV bosses, but this was, should certainly not be forgotten.

The show, naturally, will go on. At current rates, the last bitcoin is expected to be mined in around about the year 2140. At that point, in theory, its real value may stabilise. It will no longer be programmed to inflate itself.

The point at which humanity decides to stop allowing Piers Morgan to inflate himself is somewhat less fixed. For as long as we are all chemically addicted to the algorithms of anger, all this will go on indefinitely.

Trump may be gone, but the direction of travel remains clear. There are two new TV channels coming soon to the UK, for a start, that will be purposefully designed to push all the familiar buttons, to seek out the privileged and make them feel like fairness is actually oppression. And the first one they’ll be pressing is the call to Piers Morgan’s agent.

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