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Piers Morgan Signs Off at CNN With Defense of Anti-Gun Stand

Image: Piers Morgan Signs Off at CNN With Defense of Anti-Gun Stand

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 31 Mar 2014 11:11 AM

Piers Morgan concluded his three-year run on CNN Friday night by saying goodbye to the American viewers he may have alienated with his strong gun control advocacy.

"For those who claim my anti-gun campaign has been anti-American, well, the reverse is true. I'm so pro-American, I want more of you to stay alive," Morgan, 49, told viewers on Friday's closing episode of "Piers Morgan Live." "We've won some, we've lost some, but we gave it everything we had and I've loved every minute. Well, almost every minute."

Television critics have long cited Morgan's nationality as the main hurdle in his sustaining a loyal U.S. audience.

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"It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial," The New York Times' David Carr wrote. "After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America."

CNN announced in February it was canceling "Piers Morgan Live" because of lackluster ratings.

"It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings," Morgan told The Times last month. "Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it."

Morgan, whose future at CNN has been described by insiders as "undetermined," closed out his last moments on-the-air Friday with a simple message:

"Thank you and God bless America," he said. "Oh, and while I'm at it, God bless Great Britain too."

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