On Tuesday, CNN's Piers Morgan and admitted shock jock Gregg "Opie" Hughes of Sirius Satelite Radio's "Opie and Anthony Show" got into a war of words on Twitter. At the center of the battle between these two media stars was what Hughes calls CNN's over-saturated coverage of the school shootings (and more specifically the shooter) in Newtown, CT.
This all started on Monday morning when "Opie" -- tired of the endless coverage of the shooter on all of the media outlets -- posted this video asking the media why it is not okay to show people running on the field at sporting events, but it is accepted and expected when news operations overwhelm their audiences with coverage of mass murderers like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter? (Content warning: rough language)
After posting that video, Hughes started asking many of the hosts at CNN (via Twitter) about the network's coverage of the story.
He started with Wolf Blitzer, and then continued through the on-air lineup.
Tuesday brought more frustration to the Opie and Anthony radio show as the hosts debated why CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and others had virtually moved into Newtown, CT, and all of them were covering the funerals of the victims while repeatedly showing photos of the shooter and giving more details about his life.
Hughes echoed many of the thoughts from Roger Ebert about the media's role in creating the next mass killer, and linked to a video that also supported this theory:
Tuesday afternoon, when CNN's Piers Morgan started blaming violent video games Opie focused his Twitter laser on the Larry King replacement:
Morgan responded and the battle ensued. Piers even appeared to try and tone it down by telling Opie that he listened to the O&A radio show.
A short synopsis of the exchange is below:
OpieRadio: Hey @piersmorgan stop being so ignorant! I'd blame 24 hr news cycles before violent video games for the increase in school shootings!
Piers: @OpieRadio And I bet you radio guys have barely mentioned it, right? Don't be such flaming hypocrites.
OpieRadio: Hey @piersmorgan I MEAN IDIOT I'll guarantee we've taken a way more honest approach than stupid @cnnbrk including not focusing on shooter
OpieRadio: @PiersMorgan how badly does @cnnbrk want to put Chuck E Cheese in Google Maps to find more surviving 6 year olds to interview? #NotHelping
OpieRadio: @piersmorgan you don't think @cnnbrk using the graphic "small coffins" is not sensationalizing the tragedy? At least I can sleep at night you phoney!
Piers: @OpieRadio You lead the way then, don't mention another word about it. Then you won't be such a shameless hypocrite.
OpieRadio: p.s. @piersmorgan U didn't answer my question. Does the media influence others to shoot up a school. You're not dumb but you are DISHONEST!
Piers: @OpieRadio I like you guys, but please stop being so ridiculous. You've covered this story and debated it, I've heard you
OpieRadio: @piersmorgan jesus it's not about liking us! UR blowing off an important angle! DOES 24hr NEWS COVERAGE INFLUENCE FUTURE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS?
OpieRadio: @piersmorgan your silence to my question SPEAKS VOLUMES! #Checkmate @OpieRadio 1 @piersmorgan 0 Good day sir! btw soccer sucks!
Piers: @OpieRadio it's not soccer, it's'football' - the real kind, no helmets, no pads, round ball, global audience....
OpieRadio: @piersmorgan I'd rather watch Mark Sanchez throw 4 more interceptions than that dreck! Just answer the question! Would be real journalism
Piers: @OpieRadio My answer is I think CNN's coverage has been utterly outstanding - reporting the news with empathy, compassion and dignity.
OpieRadio: @piersmorgan Good for you guys BUT that wasn't my question. I know that you know that you can't honestly answer the question! #Face
In a conversation with TheBlaze, Opie let it be known that Morgan was more than welcome to call into the radio show and discuss the issue. Perhaps the uncensored format afforded by satellite radio would provide more clarity than the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter.
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