The avalanche of twitter criticism of Piers Morgan, following his CNN interview with trans activist and author, Janet Mock, was unfair, says Kay Bear Koss.
So, there has been so much viral chatter about the ‘horrible’ interview this Piers Morgan did with Janet Mock, I figured I better go hunt it down and see it for myself.
From the twitter conversation between Mock and her supporters, and Piers Morgan himself, I was prepared for the worst, but I was shocked at what I saw. Morgan was incredibly welcoming, accommodating, engaged and interested, even if some of his questions or ways of phrasing something made me cringe.
But is that his fault? Recently Laverne Cox corrected Katie Couric about what questions are appropriate or not; if Janet Mock didn’t want to answer any of Morgan’s questions, or had been brought there to talk about her activism but instead was given the bait and switch, she had the ability to steer the conversation the way she wanted, or simply refuse to answer.
Watching the interview, both Mogan and Mock seem very at ease and, even given some of the cringe-worthy phrasing and banner taglines, you wouldn’t expect it blow up online as a terrible trans experience. I can see why Piers might be a bit bemused or perplexed by Mock’s comments.
Then both sides escalated into massively inappropriate round of responses and retorts.
Morgan invited Mock back to explain herself, and I totally understand his frustration. I actually found myself a bit frustrated by Mock as well. In the second interview, Morgan says he doesn’t get why he’s being vilified for being transparently supportive. Mock gives what comes across as a smug smile and replies, “Well, maybe you don’t get it because you aren’t a transwoman”.
Morgan’s honest reply to that is: “So explain it me, explain what I did wrong”.
What more could anyone hope to ask for in a disagreement, than the other person asking to be corrected? Morgan went on to ask Mock why she didn’t correct him during the interview, and again, it felt like he was genuinely curious. Her only response was that she was scared.
Well, fair enough. I’d be nervous being interviewed by CNN too. But I don’t call myself an activist, nor am I launching a book. If his cordial and incredibly supportive interview was enough to make her scared, she might want to rethink her career choice. God forbid she was being interviewed on Fox News.
Janet Mock makes a point that being offensive and being kind aren’t mutually exclusive, and that’s true enough. But when she expounds on that, stating someone can be a good person, with good intentions, but just ignorant of the issues… well, Janet, that’s why you were there, as a representative of a minority population that many people have had no interaction with. Most people don’t know all the intricacies of preferred pronouns and titles and whatnot – things that aren’t even [thank God] codified by some decree, but vary from person to person.
Mock’s follow-up interview with Morgan felt to be all talking points on her part, while he was honestly trying to figure out what he had done wrong. She corrected him before he even finished sentences, and really seemed to be looking to be offended.
I respect everything that Janet Mock has accomplished, and truly hope she continues- but so apparently does Piers Morgan, and I have to agree with him that attacking and vilifying someone who is trying to be a supporter does no one any good.
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