Former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan is not backwards in coming forwards to dish out the accusations of hypocrisy, as witness his recent exhibition of Twitter jealousy when attacking author Jo Rowling (she has lots more followers than him). But he does not fare well in the hypocrisy stakes himself, whatever the medium.
So it was no surprise to see him hoist by his own petard last year live on Good Morning Britain, when he berated press regulation campaigner Evan Harris over celebrity injunctions, only for Harris to point out that the “celebrity threesome” injunction Morgan was whining about was in the same vein as that obtained by his pals Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to keep their own illicit relationship quiet.
On that occasion, Morgan was saved by the studio crew and co-host Susanna Reid, who intervened to spare his blushes, but not before Harris had also reminded him of the Mirror’s complicity in phone hacking during his time in the editor’s chair. That last point has now been brought back into view - by Morgan himself
Ever willing to go into bat for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, The Great Man took to Twitter the other day after the Washington Post revealed leaked transcripts of two phone conversations Trump had recently, one with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the other with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto. The transcripts showed Trump to be a liar and a hypocrite, saying one thing in public and another in private.
Piers Morgan has no problem with this aspect of The Donald’s behaviour. But he does have a problem with those who have exposed it, having seemingly forgotten about that defence which he and his pals in the tabloid press are able to fall back on, and often legitimately - public interest. That was not allowed to enter.
Instead, he took to Twitter to protest in the strongest possible terms: “The leaking of @realDonaldTrump's phone call transcripts with world leaders is an absolute disgrace & very damaging to US national security”. Where was US national security damaged? The revelations show he lied about the urgency of building a border wall with Mexico, and who would pay for it. No damage to national security - only to Trump’s credibility.
The phone hacking at the Mirror, which has now been shown to have occurred at the Daily Mirror when he was editor, definitely did damage security - the security of dozens of peoples’ lives, which were ruined, along with those of their families and friends, because of the repeated intrusion by those desperate to stand up stories, get leads, and of course keep up with the competition from the Murdoch press.
Last June, Trinity Mirror had put a figure of £35.5 million forward as the cost of those illegal activities. Even if Morgan had no knowledge of the hacking, as he claims, he could at least acknowledge that it was wrong and apologise for what happened when he was there.
But leaping to his pal’s defence is far more important right now. That’s the kind of hypocrisy which Piers Morgan will not be so hot on. No change there, then.