Former CNN host Piers Morgan debated Megyn Kelly on Monday, defending his assertion that the TIME “Person of the Year” should be the protesters in Ferguson, Mo.
“Let’s talk about Ferguson thing. Protesters, are they your favorite to win?” asked Kelly.
“They are. I didn’t like the looters, the criminals, the thugs…” Morgan said.
“What is it about arson that so appeals to you?” Kelly asked.
“No, it’s not that. I just think that peaceful protest, when executed properly, as we’ve seen all across America, often is the only way to actually effect real change. America has a massive problem right now with the justice system and the perception of it amongst the black community, and they have a damn good point,” said the Daily Mail editor. “I was watching coverage earlier of Eric Garner’s death. That man was just killed on the streets of New York in a chokehold. I don’t care what definition is, he put his arm around, he was choked to death. That is unacceptable in any normal country in the world that policeman would have to face a jury…”
Kelly pushed back, playing devil’s advocate, telling Morgan he was resisting arrest and shouldn’t have been doing so.
“We’ve seen the video, and that man is not aggressively resisting arrest. He is slammed to the floor, and he repeatedly says I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” said Morgan. “It is a harrowing video.”
“Here in New York the protesters have been quiet and peaceful,” Kelly responded. “In Ferguson we saw arson, stores looted…burn this B down and so on. So if they wind up person of the year and there’s other things like Ebola medical workers, like the guy who brought it to New York, Kaci Hickox…people are going to get upset!”
“They should get upset. But everyone in America needs to wake up to the reality of the grand jury system and the way it is played out with the Michael Brown case and now with this case with Eric Garner,” Morgan explained. “To me it is unfathomable these policemen have not had to face a proper jury.”
“Piers, lecturing people on the American justice system does not usually go over well,” Kelly said jokingly, referring to his contentious view on guns in America.
Prior to the exchange, the two joked about going up against each other head-to-head late last year into early 2014, with Kelly ultimately winning that battle for ratings.
“Before we get any further, let’s kill the elephant in the room right away. So when you started at 9:00 and you were up against me, I tweeted you saying ‘bring it, Megyn Kelly…'”
“And I was polite enough to ignore that,” said Kelly.
“…And the mere fact I’m now a guest on the show indicates that you brought it,” said Morgan, praising the Fox News host. “So congratulations.”
“Thank you very much for being such a gracious loser,” Kelly said jokingly. “We appreciate it.”
“Well, temporary loser,” added Morgan.