CNN host Piers Morgan battled it out with MSNBC contributor Touré over the Trayvon Martin case Friday night in an explosive interview that capped a back-and-forth Twitter spat between the two.
Things got underway after Morgan’s Thursday interview with Rob Zimmerman, the brother of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who said he shot the Florida teen in self-defense.
“Piers did not challenge Robert Zimmerman the way a professional journalist should,” tweeted Touré, who has said he believes Zimmerman murdered Martin.
Morgan responded, “Oh Toure, you’re such a tedious little twerp.”
With that, the two were off, trading barbs and insults throughout the day Friday about the other’s journalistic abilities. It came to a head when Touré agreed to appear that night on Morgan’s show to air his grievances face-to-face.
In addition to his criticism of Morgan’s handling of the interview with Zimmerman, Touré charged that Morgan’s British roots bar him from truly grasping the impact of the Martin case.
“These are things that hurt as an American very deeply and you are too new to this situation to fully understand what’s really going on here, and what’s really at stake for America,” he said.
“What a load of fatuous nonsense you speak, Touré, don’t you?” Morgan shot back. “You think you have the only right to speak about what’s serious in America? You think that I don’t have a right as somebody from Britain who’s spent the last six, seven years here –”
“Six whole years!” Touré mocked. “You have the right,” he began, repeating that there are things Morgan can’t understand about the situation.
“What don’t I understand?” Morgan demanded. “What don’t I understand? Let’s deal with this.”
“You are showing clearly you don’t understand the depth of the pain in the American soul that is at play in this situation,” Touré said.
“What a load of nonsense,” Morgan retorted.
When Touré replied that there are “subtleties” Morgan is unable to grasp, Morgan asked whether Touré believed George Zimmerman murdered Martin.
“Yes,” Touré replied, earning more journalistic criticism from Morgan for making a judgement before all the facts are known.
Watch the 15-min. segment below. A condensed version is available here.