"Piers Morgan, host of CNN’s "Piers Morgan Tonight" and a former editor of two British tabloid newspapers, on Tuesday called a British lawmaker’s allegations that he participated in phone hacking ‘nonsense,’" CNN says on its website in an article written by "the CNN Wire Staff."
First, today’s accusation’s against Morgan. The CNN article notes: "Louise Mensch, a Conservative member of Parliament on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, made the allegations [that Morgan participated in phone hacking] during a hearing before the committee Tuesday," July 19, 2011.
Here’s what Mensch said: "Piers Morgan, who is now a celebrity anchor at CNN, who [does] not appear to have [been] asked … any questions at all about phone hacking, is a former editor of the Daily Mirror. He said in his  book ‘The Insider’ recently, and I quote, that that little trick of entering a standard four-digit code allows anyone to call that number and hear your messages.
"In that book he boasted that using that little trick enables him to win scoop of the year for a story about (former England national soccer team manager) Sven-Goran Eriksson. So that is a former editor of the Daily Mirror being very open about his personal use of phone hacking … and indeed he is (a) former News of the World executive."
According to the CNN article: "’That MP just claimed I boasted in my book of using phone-hacking for a scoop,’ Morgan posted on Twitter just after Mensch spoke. ‘Complete nonsense. Just read the book.’"
He further tweeted: "I’ve never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone," the article said, adding that Morgan said, "I wrote in my book that someone warned me phones could be hacked, so I changed my pin number."
TVWeek has not seen a copy of Morgan’s 2005 book, whose full title is "The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade."
However, The Daily Beast, in writing last week about Morgan’s book, said the book did contain a bombshell allegation: "In 2003, both Morgan and Brooks were summoned to give testimony to the Culture and Media Select Committee about the standards of tabloid journalism. Morgan felt the Committee was ridiculous and said nothing at all incriminating. However, he recalled [in his book] that ‘Rebekah excelled herself by virtually admitting she’s been illegally paying police for information. I called her to thank her for dropping the tabloid baton at the last minute. She apologized: "That’s why I should never be seen or heard in public." ‘ ”
Brooks, who was the editor of the tabloid The News of the World during the phone-hacking incidents, has claimed she knew nothing about them or any other alleged improprieties. She later became the top executive at News Corp’s U.K. subsidiary, News International, a post from which she resigned last Friday. She was arrested by Scotland Yard on Sunday, questioned, and released without being charged.
Last night (Monday, July 18, 2011) on CNN, Morgan seemed to recant what he wrote in 2005. Morgan said, according to the CNN article, " ‘I was editor of two major British tabloid newspapers for 11 years. I worked for News Corp. as editor of the News of the World 16 years ago, from 1994 to 1995. I was also editor for the Daily Mirror, a paper not owned by Rupert Murdoch, from 1995 to 2004.’ Morgan said he did not believe that any story published in either newspaper was gained in an unlawful manner, ‘nor have I seen anything to suggest that.’
Perhaps Morgan forgot what he wrote about Brooks in his book. Or perhaps The Daily Beast also misquoted what was in his book.
Maybe it would be a good move for CNN to have one of its other star reporters, such as John King or Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer, do a significant interview with Morgan to discuss these matters.