On Larry King: “I’ve tried to be very respectful about Larry; he’s a legend, and I feel very proud to have followed him. But I think he just slightly needs to button it, because he’s talking nonsense. The reason we’re different is, I’m a journalist and he’s not. Larry isn’t a journalist, never has been.”
“Andrew Sullivan is a dick. He’s an extremely bitchy, deeply unpleasant, rather confused individual who for whatever reason despises the very spittle I put on the floor. Well, good luck to you, mate. But I couldn’t give a toss.”
In an address to New York staff earlier this week, incoming CNN president Jeff Zucker expressed support for Morgan’s decision to take a stance on the gun control issue, Morgan said. He also said that CNN needed more personality and more differentiation — all signs that Morgan’s approach is emblematic of the network’s future.
“Jeff Zucker believes you’ve got to be unafraid to expand the breadth of what news is,” he said. “There are many different ways of categorizing news. It doesn’t have to be just war and famine and serious politics. And CNN has veered too much to that in the past few years, and been too afraid to go after other stories.”
“We’re still the best when it matters, when the big stuff happens. But we have been a little bit slow to react to the competition, and we should have more personalities on the network unafraid to express opinions. It should be more lively, independent programming, unique to each hour. Because when there’s not much happening, having that on a repeat cycle hour after hour after hour is dull television.”
Asked if he believed that he could one day compete with the likes of O’Reilly and Maddow, Morgan said, “absolutely.”
“Bill O’Reilly is like a comfortable pair of shimmeringly angry slippers, but you know every night what you’re going to get,” Morgan said. “It’s consistent. It hits all the right buttons if you like that kind of thing. And while I don’t agree with a lot of it, I thoroughly enjoy watching it and can admire the professionalism. The same with Rachel Maddow, I can watch it without agreeing with some of the things she says, but absolutely admire the professionalism.”
“I prefer to be a slightly uncomfortable pair of slippers. You’re going to come to it every night, but it’s not going to be the smoothest pair of slippers you’ve ever tried on.