Piers Morgan Maintains Innocence in Phone Hacking Questioning

Today Piers Morgan gave what might be his most interesting performance since taking over Larry King’s time slot in January. Morgan — who edited News of the World for one year and the Daily Mirror for 10 — was being questioned by the British government about his possible involvement in the phone hacking scandal.

Throughout the questioning, Morgan attempted to justify comments he has made in the past that seem to accept the practice of hacking, while also claiming ignorance to anything illegal happening under his watch. As Forbes notes, Morgan said that just because he was editor, didn’t mean he knew anything. “I would say the average editor is probably aware of about five percent of what his journalists are up to at any given time,” said Morgan.

In one particularly masterful moment, New York reports that Morgan was asked if he had ever listened to a hacked voice mail during his time at the papers. Morgan replied, “I don’t believe so,” and the questioner — obviously annoyed — bluntly said, “It is not a matter of belief.” The lawyer’s reply was to no avail; Morgan kept on going with the denials.

Morgan also refused to give up any information pertaining to his past comment the he was once played a voice mail from Paul McCartney, left on Heather Mills’ cellphone.

He said he needed to keep his sources safe, but he might as well have been talking about himself.