Everyone's favourite former Daily Mirror editor and sycophant to the rich and famous, Piers Morgan, has revealed himself to be a more radical critic of modern capitalism than I'd previously thought.
In last week's Radio Times' "Point of View" column (unfortunately, or fortunately, not online) he pretends to be defending his TV wages (for being a judge on such illustrious competitions as "Britain's Got Talent"). Thus, he starts: "According to a recent survey, just six per cent of the British public think I'm worth my TV wages." He continues, luring his corporate paymasters into a false sense of security, "the furore over the amount TV presenters get paid seems to me to be way out of proportion, and based largely on envy and cynicism, not logic." He then goes on to say that of course they're much more relaxed about it in the US, and that BBC presenters such as Michael Palin and Jeremy Clarkson are worth their money, bringing more in for the taxpayer than they cost.
Then, the bombshell. He tries to hide it through a fundamental misunderstanding of media economics, but the implication shines through:
"For commercial networks like ITV [maker of BGT], the maths is even easier. If your shows do well, then the network makes more money from advertising. You might hate me for earning what I earn, but it doesn't come from your wallet, so relax."
One may immediately think "but the money for the advertising that pays for your wittering comes from the price we pay for the goods thus advertised, so it is from our wallet!" But this is the danger of taking Comrade Morgan at face value. What he is doing, obviously, is exhorting us not to buy any products advertised in the breaks in and around his shows! Kapow! Take that, hegemonic system of desire-creating consumerism!