Matt Salmon, the gay son of a Republican congressman, says that CNN’s Piers Morgan and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell canceled interviews with him because he refused to criticize his father, who is not a supporter of same-sex marriage. The rejection of guests because they won’t serve as props to further the host’s simplistic narrative isn’t confined to CNN and MSNBC. I experienced it with a well-known Fox News talk-show host.
But using a son as a prop to bash his father seems to carry the joke too far. Moreover, O’Donnell and Morgan are missing the real story of the Salmons and the Portmans — the loyalty that stems from family love. Matt Salmon is loyal to his father; Rob Portman is loyal to his son.
We know that bad behavior from dysfunctional families makes for good television ratings. Behavior from well-functioning families — no longer purely a dog-bites-man story — might do so, as well. But perhaps not for the audience that watches Piers Morgan and Lawrence O’Donnell.
Via Eliana Johnson.