The Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking scandal has thus far mostly stayed a British phenomenon (though today’s USA Today cover suggests it’s slowly creeping into the American consciousness).
That may change however if CNN’s Piers Morgan gets dragged into the mix.
Americans only familiar with Morgan’s role as CNN’s prime time talk show host may not be aware that the native Brit began his media career in the tabloid world.
Specifically the British tabloid world of Rupert Murdoch.
Morgan started out at the Murdoch-owned Sun and then in 1994, at the age of 28, took over as editor of News of the World. Two years later he left to take the helm of the not Murdoch-owned Daily Mirror.
That’s where the hacking may come in. Emphasis on may.
A widely read British blogger who writes under the name Guido Fawkes posted a story today claiming that a Mirror award-winning story, published under Morgan’s editorship (yes, they give awards in Britain for celebrity scoops) and revealing a love affair between TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson and then England football manager Sven Goran Eriksson, was the result of phone hacking.
The Mirror has denied it has hacked anything.
Morgan’s ties to the now-embattled British tabloid world, meanwhile, are multitude (he’s written his own book about it).
BNET notes that Morgan has been vocally supportive of recently arrested Andy Coulson who succeeded him as editor of News of the World.
And further points out that during Morgan’s tenure the Mirror employed private investigator Jonathan Rees, whose behaviour was such the London police saw fit to bug his office from 1999 onward. At one point the police recorded Rees paying police for information and then selling it the Mirror and the NOTW.
Of course, thus far this is all just rumour.
However it is notable that Morgan has yet to cover the story on his show despite his knowledge of the inner workings of the British tabloid business. Tonight he is interviewing Billy Ray Cyrus.
When and if Morgan weighs in remains to be seen, but one gets the sense the time for hoping this story will blow over is passed.
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