One might have thought that, having come off second best in a very public social media exchange with one of those mere women, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan might have thought better of repeating the experience. But that thought would have been sadly misplaced, after he once again took the bait dangled before him by the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr. It did not end well for The Great Man.
Ms Cadwalladr had been reading an Observer piece from yesterday by former Guardian head man Alan Rusbridger, in which he considers the background to the Hal and Megs story which has consumed so many column inches of late. The strapline, “There’s a reason why the Royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it”, gives a flavour of his argument. Ms C decided to comment, and tag Morgan in for good measure.
“‘Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan, one of most vehement critics of [the] royal couple, does not find time or space to let his viewers know his name crops up [very] many times in the generic phone-hacking litigation particulars of claims’ So strange [Piers Morgan]!” Might something be adding an edge to Morgan’s opinions here?
It might be enough to get him to demand that she Look Over There: “Ahhhh, so now all criticism of Meghan is down to alleged historic phone-hacking from 20yrs before Harry even met her... of course! Have we moved on from racism?” Ah, but there are two participants in the Hal and Megs story, and one of them is taking legal action against papers including the Daily Mirror (when Morgan was editor). And well he knows it.
So Ms Cadwalladr was not taking any crap from him (as before). She decided to issue a little editorial guidance of her own: “Oops! You missed out a bit [Piers Morgan]. Let me help. ‘All criticism is down to alleged historic phone-hacking from when I was editor & which Mirror has not admitted but has paid millions of £ in settlements before Harry even met her.’” And Harry was one of those allegedly hacked (see above).
What say The Great Man to that? “Hi Carole, your newspaper [The Guardian] hacked phones”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, whatever the Guardian or its staff may or may not have done does not excuse what happened at the Mirror. And Two, not only is the Guardian NOT Ms Cadwalladr’s paper (she writes for the Sunday sister title), the hacking was confined to one - publicly justified - episode.
That involved David Leigh, who admitted doing it to the Police. He was pursuing a corruption enquiry. Not someone chasing Sleb goss and tittle-tattle. In any caae, Ms C was unimpressed. “And this has what to do with me? Nothing. Whereas, hmm, weren’t you editor of the Mirror during the period that Prince Harry has issued legal proceedings claiming he was hacked? Isn’t that at least worth mentioning once in a while?”
And just to make sure, she added a video from the Leveson Inquiry hearings with the comment “This has nothing to do with anything. And certainly nothing to do with Prince Harry taking legal proceedings against the Mirror for phone hacking during the period in which Piers Morgan was editor. But here’s Jeremy Paxman explaining how Morgan taught him how to hack a phone”. Morgan had by now sensibly beaten a retreat.
You can’t shout and bluster your way round Twitter. I’ll just leave that one there.
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