Allegations continue to surface that CNN host Piers Morgan knew about the phone-hacking techniques used at British tabloids, reports Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast.
In a BBC radio interview from 2009, Morgan admitted to knowing about some of the news-gathering practices that are now under investigation in the U.K. and are being looked at by a Justice Department inquiry in the U.S., the story says.
"He did not specifically admit to the interception or ‘hacking’ of voicemail messages," Grove writes. Nevertheless, "Morgan didn’t disagree that that phone-‘tapping’ and other ‘down-in-the-gutter’ tactics might have been employed in the attainment of sensational scoops."
On the broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s "Desert Island Discs," interviewer Kirsty Young pressed Morgan, a former Fleet Street editor, about tabloid practices. “People who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs … who do all that very nasty, down-in-the-gutter stuff — how did you feel about that?” she asked, according to the story.
Morgan responded: “Well, to be honest, let’s put that into perspective as well. Not a lot of that went on. … A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves.” He added, "That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.”
Morgan said his remarks on the BBC program were consistent with comments he has made more recently. “Millions of people heard these comments when I first made them in 2009 on one of the BBC’s longest-running radio shows, and none deduced that I was admitting to, or condoning illegal reporting activity," Morgan said in a statement. "As I have said before, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone.”