Game, set, and twat: Whether it’s Meghan or Naomi Osaka, Piers Morgan’s MailOnline-enabled bullying has a pattern...

... the mediocre hack’s mediocre hack hates women who don’t dance to his tune.

If someone had a blog and Twitter account where they relentlessly attacked a series of high profile women — many of them women of colour — for perceived slights and their refusal to pay the writer attention, we’d usually call that person a bully and a troll, and if they persisted in that behaviour they might even find themselves facing legal consequences.

But Piers Morgan has a TV career and a MailOnline byline so he’s given impunity to mock, abuse, and denigrate women while claiming he’s just a ‘critical voice’. His latest target is Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old tennis player who is currently ranked number 2 in the world, is the reigning champion of the US Open and Australian Open, and became the first woman to win back-to-back grand slams since Serena Williams in 2015.

By contrast, Piers Morgan is a mediocre hack who owes his controversy-baiting career to Simon Cowell who pulled him out of the dumper of history and plonked him on the America’s Got Talent panel after he was frog-marched out of Fleet Street for slapping faked photos on the front page of a national newspaper. That incident was the last in an ignominious run at The Daily Mirror and, before that, in the Murdoch press, which I have covered extensively in the past.

Morgan’s latest creepy obsession was triggered — I use that word deliberately — by Osaka’s decision not to speak to the press during the French Open at Roland Garros because interviews were affecting her mental health. She subsequently withdrew from the tournament altogether after winning her first match, having been fined $15,000 for not speaking to the media and warned she was at risk of being expelled from the event.

In her statement yesterday, Osaka wrote that she had suffered “long bouts of depression” since she defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open Final and received significant media attention. She continued:

I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.

Nothing in either of Osaka’s statements support Morgan’s sneering labelling of the player as “Narcissistic Naomi” or “world sport’s most petulant little madam”. Once again a 56-year-old man is using his vast and undeserved media platform to bully and harass a woman half his age. And — surprise, surprise — it’s actually just a new front in his obsessive one-sided war on the Duchess of Sussex.

Beneath the frankly unhinged headline, Narcissistic Naomi's cynical exploitation of mental health to silence the media is right from the Meghan and Harry playbook of wanting their press cake and eating it, Morgan writes:

Naomi Osaka is a brilliant tennis player…

… She is also the highest-paid female athlete in the world, raking in $55.2 million in the past 12 months, $5.2 million from tennis winnings and $50 million from endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Beats by Dre, Mastercard and Nissin…

… Unfortunately, Ms Osaka is also an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions.

How else to explain her extraordinary decision to announce she will no longer participate in media press conferences, supposedly to protect her mental health?

Morgan is pretending that he doesn’t know that money is not an impregnable suit of armour to protect your mental health. Osaka could be the richest woman in the world and still face anxiety and depression. In fact, at just 23, the pressures of her performance-driven, endorsement-laden life are arguably more likely to lead to those feelings than a ‘normal’ one.

But rather than seeing Osaka as a young woman in an extraordinary position who is struggling with those demands and finding the hectoring, hostile, and entitled attitude of the press hard to handle at the moment, Morgan calls her “petulant” and continues:

[She] was fined $15,000 for refusing to appear in front of the media… Of course, given that she earns around $6,000 an hour, Osaka will recoup this fine while she sleeps tonight, rendering the fine utterly meaningless.

What's not meaningless is her frankly contemptible attempt to avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott.

Morgan departed Good Morning Britain after the row that followed his comment that he “didn’t believe a word” of the Duchess of Sussex’s statements about her mental health during the Oprah interview. Now, the mental health analyser has logged on again and he has determined that Naomi Osaka does not meet his standard of distress. Sadly, he secured his professional qualifications in this area by scrawling a certificate in crayon on the back of a Pizza Express kids menu.

He claims that after reading Osaka’s Instagram post about press conferences, which he calls “an orgy of narcissistic twaddle”, “several times” he experienced “mounting fury”. Remember, this is a 56-year-old man contorting his melted waxwork face into an angry rictus over a 23-year-old woman he doesn’t know choosing not to appear at a press conference. I am not convinced that Osaka is the narcissistic one here.

Morgan continues:

One thing’s very clear: This has got nothing to do with mental health.

What Osaka really means is that she doesn’t want to face the media if she hasn’t played well, because the beastly journalists might actually dare to criticise her performance…

… This is straight out of the Meghan and Harry playbook of wanting to have the world’s largest cake and eating it, by exploiting the media for ruthless self-promotion but using mental health to silence any media criticism.

One thing’s very clear: This has got nothing to do with Naomi Osaka.

What Morgan really means is that he’s still beetroot red over a perceived slight by Meghan back in 2016, which he only started ranting about after he didn’t get an invite to her wedding and was “ghosted”. That came after two years of him tweeting about her as a “friend”.

Piers Morgan is simply using Naomi Osaka as another way to wage his sad fuck guerilla war against the Sussexes. And Osaka is just the latest in a long string of young women to fall short of his weirdo expectations.

He berated Lady Gaga on social media, attacking her after she spoke about dealing with PTSD after being raped, and goaded her so much that she agreed to an interview clearly in the hope of getting him to stop.

He attacked Arianna Grande after the Manchester Arena attack and kept up his bullying for six months until she agreed to have dinner with him after what he said was a “chance meeting”. After she had conceded to spending time in his fetid presence he shifted tack and started creepily calling her his “soulmate” — she was 26 at the time.

These obsessions with young women are often framed as “feuds” in the press, but they are, in fact, byline-enabled stalking. Morgan has a huge platform and he abuses it to get women to concede to him, to make mollifying noises, to pretend that they are his friends just to get him to stop.

The only difference between Piers Morgan and a street harasser screaming at a woman to smile is that MailOnline and ITV pay him handsomely for the privilege. Tonight, Morgan’s ‘Life Stories’ interview with Keir Starmer goes out on ITV and he’ll once again get a chance to dominate the headlines. His views are given credence by the political elite even as he continues to abuse women for attention and praise.

It’s a tactic he’s used for decades, stretching back to his time on The Sun’s Bizarre column, where he insisted on inserting pictures of himself cuddling up to celebrities. His ‘feud’/obsession with Madonna has run on for decades, beginning in his Fleet Street days when she didn’t give him the exclusive on her first pregnancy and continuing right up until now.

As with Lady Gaga, Morgan has repeatedly mocked and dismissed Madonna for saying she was raped in the past. However, unlike Gaga, Madonna has refused to pay homage to Morgan with an interview. He preemptively ‘banned’ her from his CNN show back in 2011 though she had shown not one scintilla of interest in appearing, and tried to reignite interest in his hatred for her in 2016 by saying he would end “the feud” if she apologised to him. He’s still waiting for that call.

Morgan’s attack on Osaka, which is simply another attempt to get at Meghan, came two days after a Daily Mail interview with Jan Moir in which he grumbled:

[Meghan] thinks she’s beaten me? She might be in for a surprise because I suspect I’ll be back soon. If Meghan thinks she has cancelled me or won the battle, she is in for a big shock. I’ve never been more popular.

It made me think of this moment in Mad Men:

Michael Ginsberg: What do I care? I got a million of them… a million…

Don Draper: Good. I guess I’m lucky you work for me.

Michael Ginsberg: I feel bad for you.

Don Draper: I don’t think about you at all.

Meghan is Draper. Morgan is a total Ginsberg — smug and self-satisfied, convinced that Meghan is as obsessed with him as he is with her, certain that they are having a feud between equals and not the same dynamic as every woman cursed with a sad but sinister stalker.

And while Morgan acts like he’s a brave truth-teller, he only dares pump his horseshit opinions into MailOnline’s open sewer once he’s fairly sure that there are enough other media bullies taking the same line. The Australian’s tennis correspondent Will Swanton filed his misogynist screed a full day before Morgan got round to his.

There’s a clue as to how Morgan expects young women to act around him in the latest instalment of his journals — The Diary of Samuel Creeps — which are published in The Mail on Sunday.

Recounting his visit to what sounds like a truly mind-numbing party (“…drinking cocktails, nibbling canapés and having actual ‘fun’ in the garden of the Notting Hill home of Gabriela Peacock, nutritionist to the stars.”) he describes an encounter with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie:

Princess Beatrice arrived with her husband Eduardo. They announced her first pregnancy today, and both seemed ecstatically happy.

‘Please thank your mum for her supportive texts when I left GMB,’ I told her. ‘She’s always been very loyal to me, and I greatly appreciate it.’

‘Well, you’ve been very loyal to her,’ Beatrice replied, ‘and she appreciates that too.’

I’ve always had a soft spot for Fergie.

Princess Eugenie, who gave birth to her first child three months ago, joined her sister. ‘If you two need any parenting tips for your expanding Royal creche, I’ve had four kids so am something of an expert,’ I suggested.

Their regal eyebrows shot up in synchronised horror. ‘No, we’re good thanks, Piers,’ came the firm, unified response.

I’ve known both Princesses since they were very young, and they’ve been through a lot of tough times in the media spotlight, especially lately over their father Prince Andrew’s shameful friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

But they never complain, or give whining interviews, or publicly trash their family, and they’re always incredibly nice, polite and good fun – which all makes such a refreshing change from their narcissistic, self-pitying, family-abusing, spoiled-brat cousins over in California.

Piers Morgan wants to be treated as famous rather than infamous, and likes women to indulge his antics and act as if they’re amused by his sweaty-handed attention. Fergie — a woman devoid of discernible talent beyond tolerating her ex-husband’s second career as the top Yelp! reviewer at Jeffrey Epstein’s houses — is a-ok with Piers because she sucks up to him. Similarly, her daughters are delightful because they’ll tolerate Morgan’s dad jokes and fetid familiarity.

Morgan is not a journalist, a truth-teller, a maverick, or a commentator in anything but bad faith. He’s nothing more than a misogynist with a MailOnline byline and some big money contracts. Don’t let him pretend to be anything else.

Share