CNN's Morgan denies role in hacking saga

2011-07-20 09:07

Los Angeles - CNN talk show host and former News of the World editor Piers Morgan on Tuesday angrily denied claims by a British lawmaker that he had taken part in phone hacking during his years as a journalist in Britain.

Morgan, who hosts the US nightly talk and current affairs show Piers Morgan Tonight, said he may have been a victim of hacking but that he had never hacked a phone himself.

"That MP (member of parliament) just claimed I boasted in my book of using phone-hacking for a scoop," Morgan said on Twitter during Tuesday's hearing by a British parliamentary panel in London on the scandal engulfing newspapers in Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire.

"Complete nonsense. Just read the book," Morgan tweeted. "I've never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone."

Morgan, who edited the now-defunct News of The World in 1994-1995, was responding to remarks by British MP Louise Mensch at Tuesday's televised grilling of Rupert and James Murdoch, which was seen around the world.

Mensch stated that Morgan had boasted in his 2005 book The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade of having won a scoop for his Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper by using a code to gain entry into another person's cell phone.

Defending Murdoch

Morgan said Mensch had got her facts mixed up.

In the book, he wrote that he suspected he was a victim of phone hacking. "I wrote in my book that someone warned me phones could be hacked, so I changed my pin number."

Morgan, who said little during the first two weeks of the phone hacking scandal in Britain, said on his show on Monday that he did not believe that any story published in either the News of The World or The Daily Mirror under his editorship was obtained by unlawful means.

He also defended Rupert Murdoch, saying that he found it "impossible, personally knowing the man, to believe that he would have known about law-breaking on his newspapers, let alone would he condone it."

Morgan, aged 46, also worked on Murdoch's daily newspaper The Sun between 1989-94 before moving to The News of the World and then The Daily Mirror in London from 1995-2004.

He took over veteran Larry King's slot on CNN in January 2011 and is also a judge on the TV show America's Got Talent.

- Watch a clip of Morgan taking on British MP Louise Mensch, who accused him of being involved in phone hacking.

  • Gorilla - 2011-07-20 09:32

    This phone hacking thing is all getting a bit much. anyone know how easy it is to get into someones cellphone messages? It's scarily simple, if you've not changed your default code on your message service (which no-one really does) it's just a question of dialing the number and getting into it. It's really not a huge covert operation that involves MI5 or CIA people in your pocket.

      ChrisKhoza - 2011-07-20 09:46

      Come again, how do you access someone's cell messages?

      Umfubi - 2011-07-20 09:47

      No, it isn't difficult, but that doesn't make it ok or legal. Those bastards hacked into the phone of a young girl who had been murdered, in the hope of finding out stuff to publish... and then when her mailbox got full, they had the criminal impudence to delete some of the messages they had heard already, to make room for more. All to find out something juicy to publish. That is called not only immoral, greedy and unethical, it is also tampering with potential evidence. Anyone with the mindset to do this kind of thing for their own filthy benefits is about a thousand levels below scumbags.

      Parko - 2011-07-20 09:51

      Still a big deal if the media is doing it. Shows intent. As for Piers Morgan .....lets see how he wiggles out of this

      Gorilla - 2011-07-20 10:03

      Guys. I'm not saying it's good, just saying it's easy. You think reporters get all their stories playing by the rules? People lap up gossip and people get paid big money to provide it.

      lenand40 - 2011-07-20 11:15

      It is still criminal and illegal, as you have no right to access that person's private communications.

      Gorilla - 2011-07-20 11:21

      lenand40. Are you all stupid? Where in any of my posts did I say it was legal. Read my posts again and I'll get back to you... there'll be a test, so concentrate, I know it'll be hard but do your best.

  • Ross - 2011-07-20 09:46

    The MP's crawled out of the housing estates, had their two minutes of fame and should now crawl back into their hovels. Mommy say's "look Mary and Johnny Daddy is on the telly", we will celebrate tonight with bangers and mash.

  • Stochos - 2011-07-20 10:09

    Morgan the wanker is guilty. Why is still on TV anyway!

  • TribalSoul - 2011-07-20 10:14

    I'm actually enjoying it all. It's like reading a great conspiracy novel! In fact it has a lot of content similar to Stieg Larsons's novels, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo :-) I have my popcorn and coke out reading all of this :D

      Chutshela - 2011-07-20 16:00

      @TribalSoul ja neh...i was telling a friend of mine earlier tht this is better than any Reality show on TV..screw Sony Entertainemnt, channel 400 is always on @ my house.... the attack on Murdoch yesterday and the wife klaping that guy finished me. i keep replaying the clip.

  • spacecowboy - 2011-07-20 10:14


  • Terence - 2011-07-20 10:16

    6 months ago the M.P`s doing the questioning would have jumped through a hoop backwards just to be considered to attend Murdochs Christmas Party, now they think they are clever asking him about who authorises the petty cash in a Multi Billion Global clomgonerate.Doesn`t say much for the standard of British Politicians (or anybody else`s come to that!)

  • Peter - 2011-07-20 13:47

    Anyone know how one changes one's "message service default code" in order to make one's phone reasonably hacker-proof?

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