Anyone who’s ever watched American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent knows that British journalist-turned-TV-host Piers Morgan has fashioned himself as Simon Cowell’s even-cattier sidekick. When Morgan, who mans the chair on the U.K.’s Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, took over Larry King’s late-night slot on CNN in 2010, he immediately proclaimed he’d “banned” Madonna from his show in a clear attempt to get publicity. He called her “too vegan for TV” (evidently Anthony Kiedis and Andre 3000 aren’t) and said now that Lady Gaga exists, there was no need to speak with Madonna.
Sensing he could juice that angle for a little more free press this week, Morgan (or his research interns) tweeted a cheerful welcome at Madonna during her one-day-only stint on Twitter promoting her new album MDNA, writing, “Welcome to Twitter @MadonnaMDNAday – you’re still banned from my show. Love Piers x.”
This time Morgan’s Twitter followers weren’t the only ones who smelled the BS of a ratings grab: Madge’s manager, Guy Oseary, responded, tweeting a PDF version of an e-mail invitation Madonna’s camp had received requesting the Queen of Pop’s presence on Morgan’s U.K. show in October — 10 months after he told everyone how crappy she was. Of course, Morgan had a hairsplitting quip or two to explain the mess, but it’s pretty clear who won this one. (After that whole, messy Deadmau5 thing, we’re sure the smackdown was a welcome relief, even if it wasn’t the Queen of Pop with her finger on the tweet button.)