Piers Morgan is put on the defense once again in regards to the phone hacking scandal. British political blogger Paul Staines, who blogs under the name Guido Fawkes, has recently unearthed a 2009 interview with BBC's "Desert Island Discs", in which the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host seemed to admit being in the know about tabloids' shady actions.
Asked by host Kirsty Young about how he felt about people who "rake through bins" and "tap people's phones" to dig up dirt for the tabloids, the 46-year-old said at the time, "To be honest, let's put that in perspective as well."He added, "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. I'm quite happy to be parked in the corner of tabloid beast and to have to sit here defending all these things I used to get up to, and I make no pretense about the stuff we used to do. I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide, and certainly encompassed the high and the low end of the supposed newspaper market."
Seeking to clarify the 2009 remarks, Piers released a new statement on Wednesday, July 27. "There is no contradiction between my comments on Kirsty Young's Desert Island Discs show and my unequivocal statements with regard to phone-hacking," the former News of the World editor stated.
"Millions of people heard these comments when I first made them in 2009 on one of the BBC's longest-running radio shows, and none deduced that I was admitting to, or condoning illegal reporting activity," he continued. "Kirsty asked me a fairly lengthy question about how I felt dealing with people operating at the sharp end of investigative journalism."
"My answer was not specific to any of the numerous examples she gave, but a general observation about tabloid newspaper reporters and private investigators. 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."
Piers also posted a series of tweets berating both Guido and Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who dragged him into the phone hacking scandal. "I don't mind being wrongly smeared with all this #Hackgate stuff, I'd just rather it wasn't done by liars, druggie ex-bankrupts and conmen," so he wrote in one of the tweets.
Around a week earlier, the TV personality has also demanded apology from Louise who insinuated that he might be involved in the hacking. One of his tweets at the time read, "Read my book yet @LouiseMensch ? If so, are you ready to make a public apology for your lies about me today?"