It wasn’t too long ago when MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell “interrogated” an empty chair after George Zimmerman’s lawyer walked out on an interview. We see a possible trend starting with the cable networks, as CNN host Piers Morgan features an empty chair where the Missouri congressman under fire for his “legitimate rape” comments, Todd Akin, would have sat — had he not bailed on the host’s show at the last minute Monday night.
Instead of hurriedly booking a replacement guest for the CNN show that bears his name, Piers Morgan featured an empty chair where beleaguered Rep. Todd Akin would have sat. Let this be a lesson to any Piers Morgan Tonight guests: Have the courtesy to show up!
The cameras turned to the chair where the Republican congressman, who has famously said in cases of “legitimate rape” women’s bodies magically shut down to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring, would have sat.
“Congressman,” Morgan addressed the Missouri lawmaker Monday night, “You have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it.”
The ex-America’s Got Talent host continues: “”If you don’t keep your promise to appear on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain a gutless little twerp.”
Naturally, “gutless little twerp” started trending on Twitter, and even spawned a parody account “Akin’s Empty Chair,” featuring, well, a chair with no one sitting in it.
As of Tuesday morning, @AkinEmptyChair had nearly 1,950 followers.
The chair continued to have a presence throughout the live show, with a picture of it showcased in the corner of the screen, alongside a banner that read: “Exclusive.”
CNN is reporting high-profile media types like NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell gave Morgan a “shout-out” following the show, with the New Yorker‘s Ben Greenman quipping, via tweet: “The chair has a better chance of being elected.”
Of course, not everyone was so chair-itable in their remarks to Piers.
Greg Pollowitz of the right-leaning National Review wrote: “I think the empty chair is out-debating Piers Morgan.”