Morgan, who worked as an editor at both the now-shuttered News of the World and the Daily Mirror prior to his TV career, replied, “Well, to be honest, let’s put that into perspective as well. Not a lot of that went on…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.” The Daily Beast makes two points: One that Morgan has tried to distance himself from the illegal reporting practices that seem to have been a part of Fleet Street practices, and two, that in the interview, Morgan added, “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 pretense about the stuff we used to do.” After being contacted by the Daily Beast, Morgan continued to deny involvement. “There is no contradiction between my comments on Kirsty Young’s Desert Island Discs show and my unequivocal statements with regard to phone-hacking,” Morgan said in a statement…As I have said before, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone.”
The Daily Beast story is a worth while read if only to watch the media feed on its own. As Politico noted, “What’s interesting about these interviews is that they are not some secret document – they are very public press reports. They show just how comfortable Morgan felt being open about how widespread phone-hacking was, back when it was royals and celebrities who were the only ones known to have been hacked. Milly Dowler changed everything.” Now, it appears, we’ll watch and wait for more changes. One note: It would be fascinating if Morgan were to take hold of the story and do a show on it.