The Cutline

Piers Morgan lashes out at critics, including blogger who claimed to have smoking gun

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Cutline

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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?"

Unlike his categorical denial on CNN last week, Morgan this time out took to Twitter to paint his accusers as "lying smearers"--by smearing them back.

"I don't mind being wrongly smeared with all this #Hackgate stuff," Morgan wrote. "I'd just rather it wasn't done by liars, druggie ex-bankrupts and conmen."

Morgan also went after Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade.

"As for 'Professor' @GreensladeR in today's Guardian, he admitted faking Spot The Ball for Robert Maxwell so no Mirror reader could win," Morgan wrote. "And that is a very serious crime of fraud that I'm sure you and [Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger] agree the police should investigate?"

Last week, during an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Morgan said: ""For the record, in my time at the News of the World and the Mirror, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone."

"I'll be making no further comment on this #Hackgate nonsense," Morgan wrote Wednesday. "But important for everyone to know exactly who these lying smearers are."

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