Is this the smoking gun linking former News of the World editor Piers Morgan to the phone-hacking scandal that led to the shutdown of the veteran tabloid and has been shaking News Corp to its core? Not exactly, but it does raise some doubts about the CNN anchor’s recent statements that he knew nothing about the shoddy practices while at the helm of the British paper. In a 2009 BBC radio interview obtained by The Daily Beast, Morgan is asked about questionable newsgathering methods employed by tabloid reporters like him. “And what about this nice middle-class boy who would have to be dealing with, I mean, essentially people who rake through people’s bins for a living?” the interviewer asked Morgan. “People who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs .. who do all that very nasty down-in-the-gutter stuff — how did you feel about that?” Morgan’s answer: “Well, to be honest, let’s put that into perspective as well. Not a lot of that went on. … A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves. …That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.” In response to the post, Morgan issued a statement today dismissing any accusations. “My answer was not specific to any of the numerous examples she gave, but a general observation about tabloid newspaper reporters and private investigators,” he wrote. “As I have said before, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone.”
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