Piers Morgan denies involvement in phone hacking

Piers Morgan, the former News of the World editor who replaced Larry King at CNN, denies that he was ever involved in the kind of phone hacking shenanigans that brought the newspaper down.
For an MP to use parliamentary privilege and state that I write in my books that I used phone hacking for stories is a complete outrage, because anyone who reads my books knows that I state no such thing.
Indeed not! In the book, he merely described how the "hack" works, as a warning for his readers. But there was a time he was more openly proud of his newspapers' invasive reporting tactics: embedded below is the 1990s incarnation of Morgan on satirical British chat show Have I Got News For You, threatening to place one of the show's regulars under surveillance: "You'll be within long lens." (Jump to 4:47) From Wikipedia:
Later on, (a second) panelist Clive Anderson (also) confronted Morgan commenting "the last time I was rude to you, you sent photographers to my doorstep the next day", to which Piers Morgan retorted "You won't see them this time."
Such a charming fellow.


  1. “A new career might be more rewarding/ I’m a bright Brighton Pier, you’re rap’s Piers Morgan!” (from Fighting Trousers, by Professor Elemental)

  2. I can’t understand why this man would be hired for his current job in the first place. I mean, he just lobs softballs at celebrities. Couldn’t they find somebody more appealing and less morally greasy to do that?

  3. Once again I recall Stephen Fry’s joke new definition of the word “countryside” as “to kill Piers Morgan”

  4. Almost completely off topic, but if you watch the CNN interview with Louise Mensch, you may notice she’s wearing a Metallica lanyard around her neck. Someone on Twitter mentioned she’s married to Metallica’s manager.

    Is there a Metallica song that sums up this affair I wonder?

    Louis Mensch is also a successful chick-lit author, under the name of Louise Bagshawe
    Piers Morgan is overdue his comeuppance.

  5. He may be overdue his comeuppance but lying about the contents of his book and then refusing to repeat it without the protection of parlimentary privilege seems a pretty shoddy way to do it, especially for an MP. And a complete abuse of parlimentary privilege.

    1. All may not be quite as it seems: yes, Mensch’s claim is not strictly true, as Morgan’s book does not contain an admission of phone hacking. However, Mensch’s claim is simply a distorted retelling of the accusation that appeared in the Guido Fawkes blog last week. Its author certainly isn’t protected by parliamentary privilege, which rather begs the question, if Morgan is so genuinely keen to sue someone for this purportedly baseless accusation, why has he not done so already?

  6. [pedantry]Have I Got News For You is a quiz show, not a chat show[/pedantry].

    Anyway, I wish they’d get Piers back on it, it’s always fun to see Ian Hislop have a go at him without caring if he gets sued later.

  7. He doesn’t threaten to put anyone under surveillance. In fact it is a reasonable answer to the question put to him. “He’ll be within long lens” immediately follows “Actual neightbours are you going to be?”. He was merely clarifying that though he may not be in the adjacent house, he would at least be ‘within spitting distance’.

  8. News Corp is not much more than a disgusting mafia operation that so happens to have a publishing department.

    They operate with intimidation, fear, insults, and degradations of any opponent’s dignity. Between their treatment of MPs Chris Bryant – to whom Rebekah Brooks responded with gay slurs – and Claire Short – whom News Corp tore apart based on her physical appearance – it’s clear how shameless and low-down they are.

    I’m looking forward to the two Murdochs and Brooks facing criminal charges in a proper criminal court – you know, the kind of court that a “normal” person would find themselves in pretty quickly if they were to engage in crimes like these – and, hopefully, getting locked-up.

  9. From all ther period miniseries I’ve seen, it’s never a good idea to lie to the crown.

  10. christ…what an asshole.

    What is it about CNN that they constantly feel the need to have a time slot in the afternoon that MUST be filled by some form of douche, dickbag, or asshat…

    Morgan is such a punter

  11. When I was watching Piers last night on CNN it seemed to me he was participating in the coverup. I didn’t know enough of the facts to think he was involved. But I wondered if he was catering to Murdoch as a billionaire he was afraid of or a man he had worked for or might work for in the future.

  12. He needs to be knocked down a peg. I’m sure he did participate in the practice in his position. But he can deny, deny like all of those others. Someone got a pie? Maybe at the AGT Live Finale? :-)

  13. Morgan is a bald-faced liar. In an interview with Jesse Ventura he claimed Iran’s leader said that he wanted to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. This has been shown again and again to be a deliberate mistranslation. Either he’s a liar, incompetent or both (both).

  14. Erm, I don’t know the man other than from TV, but it’s a comedy show! Anything Morgan says on it should be taken as said for the laughs rather than a statement of intent. Not to say that Mr Morgan doesn’t violate Wheaton’s Law, but this particular clip is not really worth dredging up as “evidence”, but merely to provide a laugh.

    1. Ok, unlike my normal approach to this, I relied on my memory of the show rather than rewatching it. There are some uncomfortable facts for Piers that do show him to be somewhat willing to “be a dick” in his role as editor, thus providing clear evidence that he violated Wheaton’s Law. I retract my earlier comment. Sorry.

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