Although CNN has been incessantly reporting on the scandal of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's newspaper, little mention was made of the connection one of its prime-time anchors held with the paper. CNN's Piers Morgan, who now hosts the network's 9 p.m. EDT hour, finally opened up about his former ties with Murdoch Monday night.
Morgan clarified that he was the editor of News of the World from 1994-95 before moving to another "major British tabloid" paper, the Daily Mirror, for 11 years, albeit one not owned by Murdoch. "For the record, I do not believe that any story we published in either title was ever gained in a unlawful manner, nor have I ever seen anything to suggest that," Morgan claimed.
He added that during his time with the British tabloid papers he learned much about how Murdoch operates "both when you work for and against him," and referenced the book he wrote about his years as editor. Then he discussed Murdoch's scandal with several media and law experts.
"I mean I can say from my experience editing a newspaper for him – and this was, you know, five, six years before any of this phone hacking began – but certainly when I worked for him, he wanted his editors to be tough, to be ruthless, to be aggressive, all the things you'd expect from a tabloid newspaper – but always to operate within the law," Morgan emphasized.
"And I find it impossible, personally, knowing the man, to believe that he would have known about law-breaking on his newspapers, let alone he would condone it."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on July 18 at 9:01 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
PIERS MORGAN: But first, the story making headlines around the world. The phone hacking scandal rocking News Corporation, the company led by Rupert Murdoch. It's a world I know very well. I was editor of two major British tabloid newspapers for 11 years. I worked for News Corp as editor of the News the World 16 years ago from 1994 to 1995. I was also editor for the Daily Mirror, a paper not owned by Rupert Murdoch, from 1995 to 2004.
For the record, I do not believe that any story we published in either title was ever gained in a unlawful manner, nor have I ever seen anything to suggest that. But the experience running those papers does give me a pretty good insight into how Rupert Murdoch operates both when you work for and against him. In fact, I wrote a detailed book about my time as an editor called "The Insider: Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade."