NewsBusters reported the other night that during a debate on guns, CNN's Piers Morgan falsely claimed that according to FBI statistics, Virginia had the highest murder rate in the country in 2009. Over 38 hours later, Piers apologized and admitted "It didn't."
This came at a pivotal moment in the debate as Morgan's pro-gun opponent had cited Virginia's falling violent crime rate coinciding with its rising gun sales. By labeling Virginia the number one murder state as of only four years ago, and appealing to authority to support his claim, Morgan put his guest on the defensive with a completely false statistic not anywhere close to the truth.
In his on-air apology Thursday night, Morgan simply called it an "inaccurate fact" when Virginia wasn't even in the top 20 states for murder rate that year.
This was Morgan's on-air apology: "[T]he other night I was involved in a debate on Tuesday in which I said that Virginia had the highest murder rate, according to the FBI in 2009, and it didn't. And that was an inaccurate fact and I'm happy to correct it now on air."
Hours before, Morgan had owned up to his falsity on Twitter: "My apologies to @AWRHawkins - I wrongly stated on Tuesday’s show that Virginia had the highest murder rate in America in 2009. It didn’t."