Morgan: Allegations He Hacked, Condoned Practice Are Baseless

CNN anchor Piers Morgan said on CNN Tuesday that he has never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or ran any story based on phone hacking.

Morgan is a former editor of News of the World, which is embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal.

Parliament member Louise Mensch had suggested during questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch Tuesday that Morgan had admitted in his own book, "The Insider," that he had used hacking to get a scoop. Morgan said that was absolutely untrue. "She came out with an absolute, blatant lie during those proceedings," he said.

Morgan said he had never boasted, in his book or outside it, of using phone hacking in any stories. "For the record, at my time at The Mirror and News of the World, I have never hacked a phone, told anybody to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone," he said.

Morgan called Mensch's charge under the protection of Parliament a "deliberate and outrageous attempt to smear my name, CNN's name, and the Daily Mirror's name," while hiding behind Parliamentary privilege.

He also challenged Mensch, who was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, to find in his book where he said what she had claimed and to repeat the allegation outside of the protection of Parliament, where she can make such charges with impunity. She declined, instead saying that CNN and the U.S. news media could follow up on them.

Morgan said Mensch had no basis for any of her allegations. He said the only entries in his book about phone hacking was when someone warned him that his phone might be hacked. He said she must know that nothing she said actually exists in the book.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.