“I’ve tried to be very respectful about Larry [King]; he’s a legend, and I feel very proud to have followed him. But I think he just slightly needs to button it, because he’s talking nonsense. The reason we’re different is, I’m a journalist and he’s not. Larry isn’t a journalist, never has been,” – Piers Morgan.
He addresses the Leveson Inquiry’s belief that he was at best indifferent to criminal phone-hacking while running the Daily Mirror, and his own role in publishing fake photos and being fired for it, in a separate piece here. Believe it or not, he denies everything. The Leveson Inquiry’s conclusion about Morgan’s denials in the Guardian last November is worth a read. Money quote:
Lord Justice Leveson has described former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan’s assertion that he had no knowledge of alleged phone hacking as “utterly unpersuasive”, and said the practice may well have occurred at the title in the late 1990s.
Morgan was asked during his evidence to the Leveson inquiry about an interview he gave Press Gazette in 2007 when he said that phone hacking was an “investigative practice that everyone knows was going on at almost every paper in Fleet Street for years”.
In his testimony, Morgan … downplayed the comment as “passing on rumours that I’d heard” and said that there was no phone hacking at the Daily Mirror under his editorship from 1995 to 2004.
“Overall, Mr Morgan’s attempt to push back from his own bullish statement to the Press Gazette was utterly unpersuasive,” said Leveson in his report on the culture, practices and ethics of the press, published on Thursday. “This was not, in any sense at all, a convincing answer.”
Leveson was also critical of Morgan’s attitude to phone hacking.
“This evidence does not establish that Mr Morgan authorised the hacking of voicemails or that journalists employed by TMG [Trinity Mirror Group] were indulging in this practice,” said Leveson. “What it does, however, clearly prove is that he was aware that it was taking place in the press as a whole and that he was sufficiently unembarrassed by what was criminal behaviour that he was prepared to joke about it.”
But Larry King is not a journalist.