Piers Morgan, Post-Modernist

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 13 2012 @ 10:34am


We are asked to believe the following: that while the practice of phone hacking was epidemic in British tabloids, and while Piers Morgan was an aggressive tabloid editor at the height of the abuse, and while he had publicly mocked someone based on her private telephone messages, and had told others how easy it was to tap phones – he had no idea whatsoever that phone hacking was going on in his newspaper. Completely clueless. Shocked.

Then this fantastic nugget from a Mike Giglio report. It's about Morgan's purchase of the shares of a company called Viglen, a day before his own paper's financial column recommended them. The columnists did exactly the same, buying up Viglen stocks, then wrote a column which doubled their price, then cashed in. They were fired and convicted of market manipulation. But Morgan, as is his wont, kept his job, because there was no solid proof that he hadn't heard about the stock by some other means. Still, investigators – and yes, this is like pulp fiction – had tapes of his phone call to his broker. And it goes like this:

“I want to just pile into something … Viglen”; “There is something big coming on the Internet”; and, “It’s imminent, very imminent, so I want to get into these. It’s a rather convoluted route I’ve heard about it, but it’s kosher.”

When later asked to explain this formulation, spoken the day before the column appeared and the stock doubled, Morgan actually said:

‘Imminent’ to me is a bit like ‘long-term’. I would not hold too much weight to the final definition of the word.

He makes Bill Clinton look like the Dalai Lama. And somehow we're all supposed to maintain the fiction that he is ethical enough to be CNN's senior interviewer.

(Photo: TV hosts Jerry Springer and Piers Morgan arrive to BritWeek 2012's 'Evening with Piers Morgan' on May 4, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. By Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.)