The Cutline
  • Morgan (CNN)

    Piers Morgan, the CNN host and former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor, has responded to the claims of a UK-based blogger that a recently unearthed BBC recording proves Morgan was aware that reporters were hacking into the phones of sources during his time as a tabloid chief.

    The recording turned out to be a 2009 interview with the BBC in which Morgan, when asked about dealing with "people who rake through bins for a living, people who tap people's phones, people who take secret photographs, who do all that nasty down-in-the-gutter stuff," said that "not a lot of that went on."

    More from 2009 Morgan:

    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 pretence 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.

    On Wednesday, Morgan did not respond directly to the claims of pseudonymous blogger Guido Fawkes, who told Forbes on Tuesday that he was in possession of said incriminating recording. Instead, Morgan sought to discredit the source of the claim.

    "For those who don't know who @GuidoFawkes is, here's his bio," Morgan wrote. "Not exactly Woodward/Bernstein is it?"

    Read More »from Piers Morgan lashes out at critics, including blogger who claimed to have smoking gun
  • Our list of stories that should be on your morning media menu:

    • Guido Fawkes' smoking gun on Piers Morgan's alleged phone-hacking connection is not quite the smoking gun me made it out to be. (Forbes)

    • Though Morgan does seem to have admitted that some Daily Mirror stories were based on phone hacking. (The Telegraph)

    • With the spotlight aimed on News Corp.'s news outlets, why isn't anyone talking about iPad tabloid The Daily? Staffers "describe a sense of drift and uncertainty." (New York Observer)

    • Here are the cable news ratings from President Obama's debt ceiling speech Monday night--Fox News finished on top. (TVNewser)

    • Anderson Cooper dishes on his forthcoming daytime show. (Broadcasting & Cable)

    Read More »from FIRST CUTS: ‘Sense of drift’ at The Daily; Cooper dishes about daytime
  • Murdoch (AP)

    It's hard to believe it was only a week ago that News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch sat before Parliament, telling a select committee that he had "perhaps lost sight of" News of the World among his vast media empire's countless properties and its 53,000-plus employees. Murdoch's goal was to put some distance between himself and the phone-hacking scandal that's engulfed News Corp.--and to put forth an image that runs counter to his long-established reputation as a tyrannical mogul.

    "This is the most humble day of my life," Murdoch said.

    But a story published in today's New York Times--which looks to dispel the notion that Murdoch is a detached owner--asserts that Murdoch "remains at his core a hard-nosed businessman with the instincts of a tabloid reporter." That's the CEO's image, the Times reports, among "many former and current employees, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to make Mr. Murdoch angry."

    That last part appears to be key; to what degree Murdoch is (or was) involved in the day-to-day operations of his newspapers is up for debate. But current and former employees from the executive suite on down seem to all fear him.

    Their accounts are in line with those that have started to emerge elsewhere in Murdoch's global empire in the scandal's wake.

    Read More »from Why do people fear Rupert Murdoch?

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