Over the past year, we’ve discovered the downside of Piers Morgan’s history as a London tabloid editor: Entanglement in the phone-hacking unpleasantness, an awkward appearance before the Leveson Inquiry, the Heather Mills case. It’s all pretty ugly stuff.

Well, there’s an upside to Morgan’s Fleet Street work. It makes him among the likeliest people on American television to say just what he said on Monday night about Missouri congressman Todd Akin. The disgraced coiner of “legitimate rape” had committed to appearing on Morgan’s CNN show on Monday night, only to bag out, leaving Morgan looking at an empty chair. The tab in Morgan shone through as he addressed Akin in absentia, telling him that he’s still welcome. Then this: “If you don’t keep your promise to appear on the show, you are what we would call in Britain a gutless little twerp.” Competitors at Fox and MSNBC may wallop Morgan and his colleagues in the ratings, but they don’t insult nearly as expertly as the former Daily Mirror editor.