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Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

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Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by sharonl on 20.12.11 22:33

Leveson inquiry: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

The former Mirror editor appears live from Los Angeles to talk about phone hacking – and gets gently filletted
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/dec/20/leveson-inquiry-piers-morgan-hacking

Michael White

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 20 December 2011 20.15 GMT
Article history




Piers Morgan gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry on phone hacking via video-link. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images


Piers Morgan should have been a very happy camper on Tuesday as he gave video link evidence from Los Angeles to the Leveson inquiry on phone hacking. He was appearing live on TV to talk about his favourite subject (himself) in front of an audience quite large by the standards of his US cable talk show.

There were almost 50 people squeezed into claustrophobic court 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice, and hundreds more, possibly thousands, lightly glued to rolling news channels at home.

Though the session went much as high-court veterans would have predicted with any over-confident witness whose chutzpah had made him rich (Russians oligarchs are slugging it out down the corridor), it was enjoyable all the same. Morgan, a former editor of the News of the World (1994-95) and of the Daily Mirror (1995-2004), started off all smiles, joshing with Lord Justice Leveson and the lawyers.

Sensing that he had been gently filleted, he finished on a whinge, saying it had all been so unfair. He felt like a rock star being confronted "with a back catalogue of all his worst hits", he told the judge.

He was right about that. The purpose of the afternoon's exercise was to confirm that the ageing rock star – he is now 46 and first edited the NoW at 28 – stood by his two witness statements and two volumes of self-promoting memoirs. He did so, more or less.

Stage two was to ask him to square his pristine "what me guv?" tone with years of insider tales of naughty Fleet Street ways, including that of phone hacking and of pinching Elton John's household rubbish bins.

"Binology" as the inquiry called it. Morgan, who can be as lofty as a broadsheet columnist when it suits him, said he had not previously heard the expression.

So simple, yet to TV's grand inquisitor the filleting seemed to be a surprise. He made no fatal admission, but the cumulative effect of shifty denials and self-contradictions was awful. If a jury had been on his case, he might have been a goner – poetic justice in some tabloid pubs – but Leveson was in no hurry to reach his own verdict.

In one sense Morgan was right too about the unfairness. He was testifying from what looked like an anonymous hotel conference suite, a wall light artfully placed above his head like a halo, at what was 5.30am local time. It is the low-adrenaline hour at which police often choose to make their raids.

The host of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight might have been getting off-camera advice (it looked that way), but even for such an accomplished cheeky chappie it must have felt lonely.

At one point towards the end of his 90-minute session Morgan protested that David Sherborne, the lawyer for the hacking victims, was "massively self-inflating the importance" of a particular character – a Welsh lorry driver who had failed to interest the Mirror in his discovery that mobile phones could easily be hacked. It sounded like a description of his own career but Morgan, by this time rather ratty, dismissed the driver's Leveson evidence as "slighty barking" and "one sandwich short of a picnic". After all, no national newspaper had printed his claims, he pointed out.

Precisely so, suggested Sherborne. Though the day's heavy lifting had been done by Robert Jay QC. As counsel for the inquiry, he is a brief who could make drying paint look quite exciting, but he knows his stuff.

The driver's claim was made in 1998, three years before Morgan's first admission to his Diaries that he'd heard of a "little trick" about using PIN numbers to hack mobile phone messages.

Had the Mirror's staff done it? "To the best of my recollection, I do not believe so," and similar evasive formulations were repeatedly offered.

Editors did not get mixed up in detail and sources, but his reporters' contracts required them to stay within the law, he explained. The rest was Fleet Street gossip and only two newspapers had admitted hacking, the NoW – and the Guardian, which he dismissed as the self-appointed "Bishop of Fleet Street" for exposing the scandal.

He kept returning to the awfulness of the Guardian in the same way that he was keen to stress that James Hipwell, the Mirror's City columnist in whose share tips he had invested £67,000, was a "convicted criminal"; his claims of endemic hacking could therefore not be trusted. "We know that, you've told us several times," Leveson interjected.

A slew of anecdotes, mostly from Morgan, by word or keyboard, pointed in the other direction on most points of evidence, not to mention ethics about which he was decidedly shaky.

Printing the contents of rubbish bags thrown into the street was only "on the cusp of unethical", let alone illegal, he suggested. I'm not sure you're right about the law, observed Leveson mildly. The rock star was unimpressed. "I mean, it's rubbish, isn't it?"

And so it proceeded. When Morgan admitted (the memoirs again) to listening to a "tape recording" of Paul McCartney pleading with Heather Mills (naturally it was Piers who had introduced them), he refused to tell the inquiry where he heard the tape, or from whom it came: this was to protect his source – or is it sauce? But he insinuated that it might have been Mills herself, which would have made the transaction legal. Maybe, I'll ask her, said Leveson. And he will.

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by aiyoyo on 21.12.11 1:20

Piers Morgan is a prat with a hugh ego and the Inquiry is wasting taxpayers money grilling him to no avail.

He's not going to reveal anything unless the Inquiry has proof of Mirror's hacking. As expected he has turned LI into a mini "watch-me-celebrity) show and players at LI paled by comparison to his performance.

I wonder who is paying for costs of his long distance conferencing?

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by PeterMac on 21.12.11 6:57

Interesting that they had a go at him about the insider dealing of the shares. That has been off limits for the press for some time, (except Private Eye, of course)

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by sharonl on 21.12.11 7:52

Yet another candidate for the McRouge gallery.

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by Me on 21.12.11 9:17

@PeterMac wrote:Interesting that they had a go at him about the insider dealing of the shares. That has been off limits for the press for some time, (except Private Eye, of course)

Yet the Eye haven't printed the letter I sent to them in relation to their Street Of Shame piece in the last issue where they were having a go at the Star for their headlines over the McCann case.

I wrote in pointing out that even though the Star is an odious rag the headlines (in the main) matched the PJ's findings and subsquent Judge's finding in the Amaral book case.

They haven't printed it which i find it disappointing, given their track record of covering stories that the traditional media won't touch.

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by Miraflores on 21.12.11 10:07

@Me wrote:
Yet the Eye haven't printed the letter I sent to them in relation to their Street Of Shame piece in the last issue where they were having a go at the Star for their headlines over the McCann case.

I wrote in pointing out that even though the Star is an odious rag the headlines (in the main) matched the PJ's findings and subsquent Judge's finding in the Amaral book case.

They haven't printed it which i find it disappointing, given their track record of covering stories that the traditional media won't touch.

I share your disappointment Me - I too was sorry about the tone that Private Eye took over the McCanns. I expected more of them - just being open minded instead of singing from the usual hymn sheet.
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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by Pershing36 on 21.12.11 10:25

Piers Morgan is a horrible man. I can never forgive him for printing those staged and fake pictures of supposedly the British Army beating up a Iraqi prisoner.

He still today refuses to admit they were fake.

How many of brave young men serving in the army were put at risk by his selfish action.
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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by PeterMac on 21.12.11 12:25

"Miraflores"
I share your disappointment Me - I too was sorry about the tone that Private Eye took over the McCanns. I expected more of them - just being open minded instead of singing from the usual hymn sheet.
I think, given the high profile of C-R, and the fact that Hislop has been told he will go to prison if he is ever found guilty of libel again, that the Eye is keeping a low profile, probably on the advice of their lawyers !
I also have no doubt that they are following the case in great detail, and expect to see a 16 page pull out exposé within days of the circumstances changing.

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Piers Morgan - ( think Viglen) in the news again

Post by PeterMac on 02.07.12 14:31

Private Eye are going to love this !

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/usa/9361012/Piers-Morgan-brings-worst-ratings-to-CNN-prime-time-slot-in-21-years.html
Piers Morgan brings worst ratings to CNN prime time slot in 21 years
Piers Morgan’s US talk show on CNN is facing an embarrassing climb-down after viewing figures dropped to the worst levels the network has seen in at least 21 years.
By Amy Willis, Los Angeles 9:07AM BST 28 Jun 2012
When the prime time show replaced Larry King’s 9pm slot 18 months ago audience figures trebled. But after a successful few months, numbers have tumbled to a record low.
In May, figures for Piers Morgan Tonight dropped to their lowest in 15 years with only 39,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic tuning in to watch the former Daily Mirror editor.
The figures demonstrate a major slide for the British television personality whose show launched to a massive advertising campaign in January 2011.
His debut show attracted 2.1 million viewers – 521,000 of which were between 25 and 54. Since then, the programme has lost 27 per cent of its audience and 32 per cent of the 25-54 demographic.
Despite the dwindling numbers, the former Daily Mirror editor remained defiant this week, brazenly retweeting a comment suggesting the ratings failure was worse than “a Moody's analyst with an undiagnosed brain tumour".
The 60-minute talk show has featured a number of television personalities from Glee’s Jane Lynch to Charlie Sheen as well as high-profile political guests such as the Dalai Lama.
And the comments !! (Edited by me)
Disgustme
Piers Morgan is a stuck up pr*ck.

sir_cat
I'm an American! I only say this so that you'll know that when I say that Pierce "does not get America", I'm speaking as an expert.
Pierce is simply off the mark with his questions, his tone and his selection of guests. Jane Fonda.. about as interesting as dermatitis... And when he had Chelsea Handler on, I thought he was going to lick her like a school boy... His eyeballs almost popped out of his head when she asked him if he had been circumcised. What the hell did he think he was going to get from a woman like Chelsea! And he really does not get America and guns.
Pierce [and most Europeans and damn near all Californians and liberal media folks], listen!!! The reason I have guns is because the chance of a policeman being around at the moment someone breaks into my house is almost ZERO! The odds of a policeman being there at the exact moment my house is being burglarized only goes up from ZERO if the burglar himself is a policeman.

The majority of Americans will never vote for making owning a gun illegal! The only non-Americans who think this can happen are those foreigners who spend most of their time in NYC or Ca.

My bumper sticker reads..
Caution!
Don't be a jackin..
'cause I'm a packin!

limeyexpat
I remember that they actually had him on one of the Sporting Channels as a guest football commentator/ analyst ????? Give me a break, did he even play the game in school ? What on earth would qualify him to even appear on a Sports show ????

Roman Phoenix
Maybe if you lift the ban on Madonna and she can come on the show and do a sh!t on your face, I'm pretty confident that will fix the ratings.

RightWingRevolution
No suprise there. The Americans don't particularly like the British. They like to hear a good old American accent like Larry King, not some stuck up, arrogant Limey like Piers Morgan.

limeyexpat
agreed

Streaky
We hate him too, don't worry.

Des Risdon
I used to look forward to LKL (here at 6pm) but after seeing replacement PM a couple of times I haven't bothered since. Don't care for his style.

lindseysellsorlando
Love him or loathe him and I do not care either way, he had Casey Anthony, on line, from the hidden cave that she seems to have crawled into. This is an infamous case over here where her child went missing, was not reported for a month and found dead - she blamed everyone else for it. She went to trial and found innocent with the odds stacked against her! I wish to point out that she is most hated woman in America and everyone is trying to find where she is hiding out. Cannot say what Joe Public will do to her if they find her.
So like I said love him or loathe him he has had his fair share of 'hot topics' on his show and to get Casey - THAT was something!

sir_cat
lindseysell... you bring to mind a point.. the difference between Piers Morgan and Larry King is simple. Larry King was himself interesting. When he had a guest on who was a dud, his personality could carry the hour. Piers himself is about as interesting as listening to a toilet flushing over and over!
Pithy that!
And the only Americans who have the slightest interest in "the Queen" [we loved the real Queen - Frrrrrredddy] or Prince Charles is a handful of folks who live in NYC or Palm Beach.
Piers, listen.. if you never mention Prince Charles or his mum, or his two kids Beavus and Butticus, again on American TV, 99,9999% of your audience will not even notice the omission! A few Canadians may care but Americans really don't care that the good Prince and Cammelbreath are raising money for climate change or rose cultivation in the moors, so, please just keep that kind of insider info to yourself while you are here. pssst.. a secret, most Americans think that Prince Charley looks like the cartoon character on the cover of Mad Magazine...

Sorry, but no real American will ever take him seriously!
Good examples of British in America.. Stewart Varney and Christopher Hitchens and John Lennon - 99.999999% of Americans thought John was cool.
We prefer devils over saints!

escapedroger
Banish him to the inner circles of hell, the loathsome creep.

Swiss Bob
He'll soon be back, on the BBC and in the Guardian.

donotresus
This could not happen to a nicer tool. Congratulations Morgan, another cock-up.

mort
It appears that CNN's commissioning people should have spoken to almost anyone in the UK about what would happen if they employed the loathesome Morgan... but didn't.

johnfrancis
Hopefully this doesn't mean that the UK is going to have to put up with Morgan (or his wife!) again.
They've found their natural home I believe; the good ole USofA.
Let them stay there.

limeyexpat
Noooooooo....you can have him back !!!!!

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Re: Piers Morgan confronted by 'worst hits'

Post by aquila on 02.07.12 14:45

@Pershing36 wrote:Piers Morgan is a horrible man. I can never forgive him for printing those staged and fake pictures of supposedly the British Army beating up a Iraqi prisoner.

He still today refuses to admit they were fake.

How many of brave young men serving in the army were put at risk by his selfish action.

It was just another story to Piers Morgan. Another day in the newsroom. Another dollar. Never mind hey, he's a celebrity now along with Tony Blair (no blood on his hands!!!) and earning millions from celebrity/media culture.

Another list of dead today in the news. British troops killed in avoidable/fake wars. I hope the one who made it happen and the one who had no conscience about reporting rubbish other than to sell a rag are having a jolly good dinner today and managing not to swallow a fish bone or break a leg tripping over their egos.
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