President Trump is very unpopular in Britain, but his style seems to win more affection.
At least, that's my takeaway from the recent success of British TV host Piers Morgan.
Morgan, of course, formerly hosted a show on CNN which centered on his showdowns with various conservatives; most notably, Ben Shapiro. CNN ultimately canceled the show when its ratings failed to grow.
Today, however, Morgan is riding high.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the former left-wing tabloid editor won an interview with his "Celebrity Apprentice" friend Donald Trump. Morgan persuaded Trump to unveil his frustrations with then-Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. It was a big story in the U.K.
Morgan seemed to realize that Trump's example offered star-making potential.
And since then, Morgan has copied Trump's style in his current role as a host on a British morning television show, "Good Morning Britain."
It has worked quite well for him.
"Good Morning Britain" has seen its ratings increase under Morgan's stewardship, and the host was honest enough to let viewers know what he's getting in return.
Earlier this year, Morgan took to Twitter (like Trump, he's a firm favorite of the platform) to reveal his annual salary stands at $30 million (which, I calculate, means Morgan takes home just under $16 million post-taxes).
Still, in the hyper-competitive British morning TV sector, Morgan is probably earning every penny of his money. After all, he makes news every other day for one showdown or another. This week, for example, Morgan has been arguing with a dating coach (Morgan called him "a dick" on air) and a transgender-pronoun sympathetic principal. Interviewing the principal, Morgan told her "I don't support this gender-fluid nonsense because I think it confuses kids."
At the end of the segment, Morgan brought up a Trump-esque poll. Skewed by the fact that it was based on viewer voters and asking a deliberately broad question "Should we stop calling female pupils girls?" the poll then showed 96 percent of respondents agreed with Morgan. The British people had ruled, Morgan said, that "I'm right."
Don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with Morgan's sentiments on the gender-pronoun issue. Nevertheless, Morgan's showmanship explains why he is finding such great success on British television. Where other morning hosts show predictable biases and worship political correctness, Morgan revels in unpredictable provocation. In turn, he entertains even those viewers who dislike him, while other hosts bore their eclectic audience.
Remind you of anyone?
Like Trump, Morgan is now seen as someone who speaks his mind and revels in ignoring political correctness. And like Trump, when his enemies try to challenge Morgan on his own terms, they tend to lose. So while Americans might not like Morgan and Britons might not like Trump, they are obviously united in what they do like: enigmatic, unpredictable rambunctiousness in public life.
Moreover, with Trump almost certain to visit Britain next year, you can bet Morgan will be at the front of the interview queue. Until then, as I noted on Thursday, Trump should take Morgan to China with him and negotiate a deal with Kim Jong Un.