8. Piers Morgan

This unpleasant hack's history should've left him unhirable

Published December 16, 2011 3:00PM (EST)

Let’s be honest: Larry King wasn’t much of a journalist. He was a lovable character, but he managed to get the big interviews because he lobbed softballs. But as I said, at least he was lovable. I’m not sure anyone besides a toxic celebrity’s public relations team could love Mr. Morgan, who alternates between fawning sycophancy and obvious contempt. Nothing about the man seems remotely sincere besides his self-regard.

And it’s odd that he even still has a career in what we’ll charitably refer to as journalism. As a talent show judge, a history of awful editorial decisions doesn’t much matter. But I’d argue that a news interview show host ought not to have been fired from the tabloid newspaper he ran for being credulous and sloppy enough to put a massive hoax on the front page, as Morgan famously did at the Daily Mirror.

Then there’s the fact that one former Mirror reporter has said phone-hacking was an “accepted technique” at Morgan’s paper, and Morgan has written of listening to a celebrity’s voice-mail message that was most likely obtained through the practice that’s landed other British tabloids in serious legal trouble. Morgan has issued a series of increasingly carefully worded denials.

Of course, even if he never condoned the hacking of a single phone, he'd still be an unctuous, unpleasant misogynist.


Probably asking Condoleezza Rice, “What would you cook for me?”
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(Read the introduction here. Read the 2010 Salon Hack 30 List here.)

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Cnn Media Media Criticism Phone-hacking Piers Morgan Salon Hack List 2011