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Piers Morgan's regret over PTSD comments is a step in the right direction

‘I don’t think I should have been quite so dismissive.’

IT SEEMS ANYTHING even remotely positive infuriates Piers Morgan.

TV Choice Awards 2016 - London Source: David Jensen

But this particular idiosyncracy is made all the more apparent if the source of the positivity originates from within the entertainment industry.

High-profile individuals speaking out about their experience of PTSD in order to remove the stigma around mental health issues? Little more than indulgent whingeing on the part of the privileged.

A plus-sized model, routinely marginalised on account of her weight, daring to celebrate her body? A danger to society.

And a world-famous couple choosing to share photos of their family? Vomit-inducing.

For a man who started his career as Pop Editor for The Sun before graduating to Editor of the News of The World – a now defunct publication which revelled in the exploits of celebrities – he’s exceptionally scathing of a community which helped propel his career.

Climate Cops programme launch - London Source: Empics Entertainment

And as current co-host of Good Morning Britain – a breakfast programme which relies on the contribution of reality TV stars and uses so-called celebrity scandal as a vehicle for hamfisted debates – Piers is the living embodiment of the phrase ‘biting the hand that feeds you’.

As an individual, he is, of course, entitled to his opinion.

And as a broadcaster, he has a duty to communicate current events and a right to comment on them, but after three decades in the business, you have to wonder how much job satisfaction he gets from continuously interacting with the very people he seems to resent.

Let’s take a look at his most recent assessment of the Beckhams, for example.

Commenting on the family’s recent coverage in Vogue, the 53-year-old journalist said:

The pictures made me vomit. It’s like, really? Is there no limit here? Making their kids prance about with water pistols.

What toy would you have preferred, Piers? Water balloons? A beach ball? 

They’re constantly ramming them down our throats to prop up ever dwindling Brand Beckham. I just don’t buy it.

No one’s asking you to buy it; the Beckham family have been doing fairly well with or without your approval for more than 20 years at this stage.

“I always got on quite well with Victoria Beckham. I’ve only met David once and got on quite well with him. I just find them annoying, and they find me annoying,” he added.

They’re not the only ones.

The KP24 Foundation Charity Gala Dinner - London Source: Empics Entertainment

But ironically, the more Piers complains, the less seriously you take him.

Like a curmudgeonly family member, there comes a point when you realise they will continue to bleat whether or not anyone is listening.

And while there is no doubt that being scathing of the Beckhams is one of the more trivial aspects of the running commentary he provides on those in the public eye, we have a right to be concerned when he belittles the well-intentioned and vital contribution of high-profile individuals.

But look, there may still be hope!

Interestingly, the broadcaster this week backtracked on the aforementioned disregard for certain individual’s experience of PTSD.

Speaking to the Radio Times, he revealed that he regretted dismissing Lady Gaga’s experience of the disorder.

I remember Lady Gaga saying she had PTSD and stuff and I launched into her and sort of inferred that no one outside the military should really be claiming to get PTSD.

And were you wrong on this occasion, Piers?

I don’t think I should have been quite so dismissive of everybody. I’ve got a lot of military in my family and PTSD is obviously a real problem if you come off a battlefield but I do accept that you can have it in other forms.

Well, it’s progress – blink and you miss it progress – but progress none the less.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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