Media critic Howard Kurtz, like many of us, watched the dust-up last week between conspiracy nut Alex Jones and CNN’s Piers Morgan.

In The Daily Beast, Kurtz says the televised “debate” between the two was a “sideshow” of a “more serious debate about guns and violence“:

Practically frothing at the mouth, Jones worked himself up: “Hitler took the guns, Stalin took the guns, Mao took the guns. Fidel Castro took the guns. Chávez took the guns, and I’m here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms.” …

Why give Jones that kind of platform? The fight “trended worldwide and on Twitter for 48 hours,” Morgan told CBS’s Gayle King, and has been viewed on YouTube 5 million times. In Morgan’s view, such confrontations ensure that “the arguments against gun control are laid bare for what they are, which in my view is a dangerous farce.”

Well, maybe. But the spectacle also brought enormous attention to Morgan, as he undoubtedly knew it would.

Larry King, who used to host the time slot on CNN now filled by Morgan, recently said as much. “The show is a lot about him as much as the guests… He’s so different from me,” he said.

Noteworthy: Kurtz also hosts his own show on CNN.