Bettina’s Take: Tina Brown Hosts Launch Party for ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’


Deborah Norville Piers Morgan Diane von Furstenberg Diane Sawyer Barry Diller

Tina Brown hosted the launch party for the widely anticipated Piers Morgan show Piers Morgan Tonight, and the guests who came to cheer him on did not disappoint.

"Not only can he hold up Larry King's suspenders, but he can hold up his own and everyone else's in this room," our hostess said upon introducing the guest of honor.

True to form, Morgan proceeded to give a speech that was at once articulate, wry, warm, funny, moving, and showed a healthy competitive spirit.

"He wants to be as good as he can, he wants to win, and it will make the show great," said CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz.

I asked Morgan's manager, John Ferriter, who the dream guest list would include. "Piers made a list of five people, and we've already booked three," he said proudly. "Oprah, Howard Stern and George Clooney."


Who are the other two? If I told you, I'd have to kill you—and hopefully there are a lot of you reading this.

Of Morgan's ability to get his guests to tear up, Ferriter said, "You can't make people cry if they don't want to." Hmmm … Can we book John Boehner right now, please?

Having seen Arianna Huffington on talk shows— and most recently on the cartoon Family Guy—I asked if she would be Morgan's guest. "The show hasn't even started," Huffington answered cryptically.

Others in the room, including Christiane Amanpour, Bill Bratton, Charlie Rose, Diane Sawyer, Monica Crowley and Bill Siegel, and Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, were terrific options for the interviewee seat.

Only one guest, who shall remain nameless, seemed confused: "I thought we were toasting Simon Cowell," she said, but was actually relieved to see that a serious, respected and seasoned journalist was taking over the coveted show.

I, personally, would like to see Piers Morgan interview Simon Cowell and, most of all, Mel(tdown) Gibson.

Photo: Deborah Norville, Piers Morgan, Diane von Furstenberg, Diane Sawyer and Barry Diller