Three Rupert Murdoch stooges: Piers Morgan with Rebekah Brooks (disgraced former editor of The News of the World) and Andy Coulson (disgraced former editor of the News of the World and recently arrested former communications director for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron)
Daily Beast: Members of Parliament are calling on the CNN host to return to the U.K. and disclose what he knew about phone hacking at his former paper, the Mirror.
…. Piers Morgan is certain to face official questioning in the U.K. about alleged phone hacking at the Daily Mirror while he was editor.
He will be required to answer claims by a former Mirror journalist, James Hipwell, and by Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, Heather Mills, that Mirror group reporters illegally accessed mobile-phone voicemails in the same manner that prompted the closure last month of Rupert Murdoch’s London Sunday tabloid, News of the World. But his questioners will have bigger, more general suspicions in mind as well.
… Morgan was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004 …. The new allegations leave him on the defensive, but other, more circumstantial evidence has long raised serious suspicions about what went on at the Mirror.
… Morgan is not known as a pillar of journalistic ethics. In 2000, while editor of the Mirror, he was censured by the Press Complaints Commission for his share-buying activities …. And in 2004 he was sacked after publishing photographs of British soldiers abusing Iraqis that turned out to be fake:
At the time, he was criticized for failing to make appropriate checks; later he would mount the curious argument that publication had been justified because later evidence showed that some British soldiers, in different circumstances, did abuse Iraqis.
… The allegations of the past few days make close scrutiny of Morgan’s record a certainty. James Hipwell, a former financial journalist who was jailed in 2004 in the same scandal over share dealings for which Morgan was criticized, told the Independent newspaper that hacking was common at the Mirror. Heather Mills described on BBC television a conversation with a senior Mirror Group reporter, at the time that Morgan edited the Mirror, in which the reporter admitted listening to her voicemails.
If Morgan is not already in close consultation with his British lawyers, he will be very soon.
Full post here
AP (July 20): After remaining on the sidelines of Britain’s phone hacking scandal, Piers Morgan was finally drawn into it, defending himself and his former boss Rupert Murdoch.
While Murdoch testified in London before Parliament, Morgan took to Twitter.
A former editor of the News of the World the CNN host has largely declined to address the scandal on his CNN nightly prime-time show, but he tweeted frequently in support of Murdoch throughout Tuesday’s inquiry.
….Morgan has backed Murdoch during the scandal. He said he was a “big admirer of” Murdoch and he would not “join in the kind of witch hunt that’s been going on”.
While following Tuesday’s hearing, he wrote: “Strong finish by Rupert. Love him or hate him, does anyone genuinely think he’s a crook or condoned crime? Because I don’t.”
Piers? Go hack a murdered kid’s phone. Truly, that’s your ‘journalistic’ level