After nearly two weeks of maintaining an increasingly problematic silence on the phone-hacking scandal that is roiling Britain and threatening to take down Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp. Piers Morgan finally weighed in last night on his show.Morgan, a former News of the World editor (he preceded Rebekah Brooks) before moving on to the non Murdoch-owned Daily Mirror, has been increasingly under the spotlight due in part to his (and CNN’s silence) on the matter, as well as last week’s story from a British blogger claiming one of Morgan’s big stories at the Mirror was the result of hacking. Both Morgan and the Mirror deny there was any illegal doing.
“For the record, I do not believe that any story be published in either title that’s ever gained in a unlawful manner, nor have I ever seen anything to suggest that. But the experience running those papers does give me a pretty good insight to how Rupert Murdoch operates both when you worked for and against him.”
Morgan went on to defend Murdoch. Sort of.
I cannot accept, although there is this huge witch hunt going on to bring him down personally, I don’t accept that he himself would be party to illegal activity… I wouldn’t want this to become a kind of valedictory…Because the reality is, of course, he’s not. He is a ruthless tough businessman who’s built this enormous empire…And he’s played — he’s played hard and fast and aggressively when he’s at it to win. Now he’s not the first guy that’s done that, who wants power and so on. I can only go on my experience.
Interesting. And interesting to see someone who actually has inside experience with Murdoch navigate the heretofore unexplored ground between loving him (WSJ) and loathing him (Michael Wolff). Alas, it would have been doubly so about a week ago when this was exploding.
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