Monday, August 1, 2011

Morgan’s Mirror Faces Four Trips to Court

The Dowler family’s omni-present solicitor Mark Lewis suggests that four cases concerning phone-hacking have been filed against the MirrorUh oh, Piersy…

The Wall Street Journal say that Morgan was quizzed thoroughly about his past before he got the CNN gig, though there is speculation that this had more to do with those fake-Iraqi torture photos. Sources at the network have said there is an “ongoing conversation” about the allegations that rather than disappear, keep coming. That’s a shift from full confidence…

It may be “all a bit awkward”, because they know each other socially, but that hasn’t stopped another of Sven Goran Eriksson’s lovers, Nancy Dell’Olio, from going after Morgan. LibDem MP Paul Marsden is thought to be another case. As Guido highlighted last week, Sir Paul McCartney might want to get the ball rolling too. Rumour has it Pier’s has lawyered up for what looks set to be a rough few months…

*Graphic is artist’s interpretation of the last time Morgan was on the stand.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mirror Group Paid Blagger £442,878 for Illegally Obtained Info
65 Invoices Paid by Piers Morgan’s Daily Mirror

Guido has  – completely legally – obtained the raw data from the British Information Commissioner’s ‘Operation Motorman’ investigation.  A number crunching analysis of the data shows that between 1997 and 2003 Mirror Group newspapers were invoiced 948 times by “JJ Services”, run by Steve Whittamore, a notorious blagger who specialised in illegally obtaining personal information. For that six year period the total value of the invoices amounted to £442,878.73.

Many of these invoices are addressed to MGN Ltd, publishers of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.  Nevertheless Guido has identified at least 65 invoices, totalling £20,333.31 which are directly to the Daily Mirror. These invoices are dated between 2001 and 2002. Piers Morgan was the Editor of the Mirror throughout this period.

On Desert Island Discs Morgan told Kirsty Young that, “Not a lot of that went on. A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves,” adding, “That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.” Almost half-a-million quid suggests that quite a lot of that went on.

The “blagging” invoices are for phone records, vehicle registration records, ex-directory numbers, to monitor mobile calls, obtain phone bills and get numbers called as well as paying off bent police officers to provide information. It could be medical records, criminal records or tax records. Blagging is a criminal offence punishable with up to two years jail time. Kate Winslet was blagged and the information was used by Piers Morgan, as he admits in his 10 April 2000 diary entry in The Insider:

“I got back to the office to learn that Kate Winslet, having indicated she would come to our Pride of Britain awards tomorrow, is now saying she can’t. Someone had got hold of her mobile number — I never like to ask how — so I rang her …. ‘Hello,’ she said, sounding a bit taken aback. ‘How did you get my number? I’ve only just changed it. You’ve got to tell me, please, I am so worried now’ ”

“Never liking to ask” is what is known legally as “willful blindness” which is when an individual seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally putting himself in a position where he will be unaware of facts which would render him liable. Or contrives to pretend such. It doesn’t work in Court because the law takes the view that it is criminally reckless to fail to find out. That in a nutshell is what Piers is, criminally reckless…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why CNN Will Fire Piers Morgan

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Morgan Mocked Macca’s Misery Voicemails

Yet another Piers Morgan phone-hacking implication has surfaced from his own misguided boasts. Writing in the Daily Mail in 2006 when Sir Paul McCartney split from Heather Mills, Morgan went into some extremely voyeuristic detail about their relationship:

“Stories soon emerged that the marriage was in trouble – at one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone. It was heartbreaking. The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back. He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang ‘We Can Work It Out’…”

Who played it to Piers? How did they get it? Did he procure the illegal interception of an electronic communication – an imprisonable offence – with a maximum two-year stretch on conviction?  Looks like it to Guido.

How can Piers say he never authorised phone-hacking when he admits to listening to recordings of the voicemail of a distressed old man and his soon to be ex-wife? How can Piers say he never published anything on the back of phone hacking when he regaled this very story to the world in print under his own byline? Where was the public interest here?

It gets worse, Guido has been told Morgan played the recording out loud to the newsroom for fun. Laughing and mocking Macca’s misery.

In fact this is prima facie evidence of criminality on the part of Piers Morgan. We’re taking our dossier to the Metropolitan Police. Time for Piers Morgan to get a lawyer…

Piers in Tears

Well it looks like CNN’s Piers Morgan is rather rattled this morning. Instead of addressing his vocal and written confessions that he published hacked stories, Morgan went for the man rather than the ball.

Guido didn’t expect anything less…

One thing that did tickle though, was how quickly Morgan was to use the magazine Private Eye to try to head off some of the shit-storm that he is currently at the centre of. Lets see what he said the them in his now infamous Desert Island Discs appearance:

“Private Eye is one of the most intrusive and inaccurate newspapers in the country…”

Guido is still waiting for an answer to why Morgan wrote in the Mail that he published a story that was hacked, yet told CNN he had never done so. Maybe it’s time to take to the airwaves again Piers…

Piers de Résistance

Last night Piers Morgan claimed that his 2009 interview with Kirsty Young where he talked about phone-hacking was about generalities, not anything he himself had done. He repeated his bare-faced lie that he had never published anything knowingly based on “hacking”, which in this context is illegally listening in to mobile phone voicemails. So he denies what he said was what he said, relying on a slight ambiguity in Kirsty’s “money quote” question.

It has become, according to some US commentators, a question of Guido’s credibility versus Morgan’s credibility. That isn’t a contest Guido is ever going to lose. Guido has staked his reputation on his story that the Ulrika/Sven affair story that won Scoop of the Year in 2002 for his Daily Mirror paper was based on illegal voicemail interception. Guido has written testimony from a witness that Piers can’t dispute in any way. Himself.*
Piers is as he himself admits, cocky, that cocky quip is the nail in his coffin on hacking. His admission that

“it was the Daily Mirror, under my editorship, which exposed Sven’s fling with Ulrika Jonsson after learning of a similar message left by the then England manager on her phone”

leaves him no wriggle room. He admits publishing a prize winning story derived from a hacked voicemail intercept. Which is what Guido first claimed and Piers has lied about for weeks. He also aggressively called Louise Mensch MP a liar live on CNN, he owes her a massive apology or risks a defamation suit from her. It is over Piers, ‘fess up son. It is time for that live on CNN mea culpa…

*Source: Serialisation, by the Daily Mail, of God Bless America: Misadventures of a Big Mouth Brit: Diaries of an Englishman in the Land of the Free, bylined by Piers Morgan.

Morgan Admits Running Stories From Hacking “Third Parties”
2009 Interview Refers to “Things I Used to Get Up To”

Piers Morgan ‘Desert Island Discs’ interview with Kirsty Young

First broadcast: BBC Radio 4, Sun, 7 Jun 2009

KY: And what about this nice middle class boy who would have to be dealing with I mean essentially people who rake through people’s bins for a living…

PM: Well I…

KY: People who tap peoples phones , people who take secret photographs…

PM: I know but…

KY: …who do all that very nasty down in the gutter stuff, how did you feel about that?

PM: Well to be honest lets put that in to perspective as well, not a lot of that went on. A lot of it was done…

KY: Really?

PM: 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. I’m quite happy to be parked in the corner of tabloid beast and to have to sit here and defend all the things I used to get up to and I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do. I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide and a certainly encompassed the high and the low end of the supposed newspaper market.

Morgan of course is claiming this morning that he was speaking in generalities, clearly he wasn’t, he was talking about the things which in his words “I used to get up to”. In a very changed climate post the revelations of the Milly Dowler hacking, with criminal investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, he is now pretending otherwise…

More over at The Daily Beast.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Insider Blagger

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mirror Journo Speaks Out Against Morgan’s Version of Events

Today’s guest publication is The Australian, not normally Guido’s first choice for news, but somehow they got the interview that he was chasing all morning. James Hipwell, the former Mirror journalist whose insider information about the paper under Piers Morgan puts the former editor’s denials into serious doubt, has spoken out for the first time in five years. He claims phone-hacking was rife and that “bosses” were in on it:

“I know that for one simple reason: I used to see it going on around me all the time when I worked at the Daily Mirror. I sat right next to the show business desk and there were some show biz reporters who did it as a matter of course, as a basic part of their working day. One of their bosses would wander up and instruct a reporter to `trawl the usual suspects’, which meant going through the voice messages of celebrities and celebrity PR agents. For everyone to pretend that this is some isolated activity found only at the News of the World is ridiculous, it’s just a lie.”

Hipwell says, depending on legal advice, that he is likely to offer his insight to Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry. This is very bad news for Piers Morgan…

UPDATE: This is also pretty bad news for current Mirror editor Richard Wallace. He was Showbiz Editor at the time. Awkward…

Friday Caption Contest (Twister Edition)


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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