Robert Blake and Piers Morgan star in 2012’s most combative TV interview (so far)


Morgan: inquisitor of Robert Blake. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Maybe ever? Ah, what the heck. Let’s just say ever, because portions of this back-and-forth have made me so uncomfortable that I just want to write this quickly and get to the video clips so the rest of you can squirm like I did. Well, assuming you haven’t seen them and squirmed already.

Blake appeared on the CNN program to discuss his autobiography. Naturally, Morgan wanted to talk about the 2001 murder of Blake’s wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, a crime of which Blake was acquitted in 2005.

But Blake didn’t particularly want to discuss that in detail because, as he told Morgan in the clip below, her death is “not the most significant thing in my life.”

When Blake asked Morgan if he thought his guest was telling the truth, Morgan said he didn’t know. That really set off Blake: “Nobody tells me I’m a liar ... you said you might not know if I’m telling the truth, what the h*** is the difference?”

To be fair to the former “Baretta” star, he remained calm during other portions of the interview, including the moment when Morgan asked Blake if he was sane.. His answer was a little unconventional — he said he thinks he’s a “mutation, or subspecies” — but he didn’t blow his top. (Just in case we missed it, the quick ticker typists at CNN posted an update within seconds that plastered the words: “I Think I’m a Mutation” right underneath Blake.)

For the record, Blake appeared a few months ago on “Tavis Smiley” and also got defensive — though not nearly as much as he did with Morgan — when Smiley asked if he was “at peace with God” about what happened on the night Bakley was murdered.

Watch Actor Robert Blake, Part 1 on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.

For the further record, Morgan is getting a ton of publicity about the interview, a fact noted proudly today on his blog. So, uh, win-win?

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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