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February 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

CNN announced Tuesday that Piers Morgan’s interview with Larry King will air on Wednesday night. It did not indicate whether the interview had been — or will be — pre-taped. However, it comes after King’s surprising criticism during a BBC radio interview that CNN had oversold Morgan as an unpredictable and “dangerous” interviewer. Whether Morgan will now feel obligated to demonstrate those qualities during his interview with King remains to be seen, but critics are now weighing in on Morgan’s performance and predictably hammering him more forcefully than they ever did King. Several critics had already given Morgan barely passing grades after his initial interview with Oprah Winfrey, which elicited little or nothing of news value and failed to establish Morgan as the “anti-Larry King,” as early publicity had described him. But many critics had reserved judgment until Morgan was able to find his groove. Now, they are beginning to weigh in. Last week, MediaWeek columnist Anthony Crupi, scoring Morgan’s “supercilious mannerisms,” remarked that if his ratings continue to fall, he may prove to “be as indigestible to us Yanks as a cold dish of Toad-in-the-Hole.” And today, Robert Bianco, the veteran TV critic of USA Today, tore into Morgan with scathing abandon, writing that his interviews “border on unwatchable,” often mixing forced flattery with “pointlessly cutting remarks.” Bianco did suggest that Morgan is the “anti-Larry King” in one respect — that while King was beloved by his fans for his reticence and laid-back approach, Morgan often goes to great lengths to draw attention to himself. “While there are no shrinking violets in the talk field,” Bianco commented, “Morgan exudes an overweening ego that exceeds the already high norm.”