WSJ: Piers Morgan Was Vetted Very Carefully by CNN

By Alex Weprin 

The Wall Street Journal (which is of course owned by News Corp.) wrote an item today about the scrutiny facing CNN host Piers Morgan regarding the U.K. hacking scandal.

Much of the item has been written about here already, but the WSJ also revealed that before he was hired, Morgan faced serious scrutiny from CNN executives that were concerned about his tabloid background:

Before signing him, CNN executives carefully read his books and thoroughly questioned him about his journalistic habits and ethics, a person close to the network said. A lot of the questioning, this person said, surrounded not telephone-hacking practices but Mr. Morgan’s firing from the Mirror in 2004, after he authorized the newspaper’s publication of photographs showing Iraqis being abused by British soldiers that the British army alleged were fakes.

Since CNN was hiring Mr. Morgan to host an interview show, rather than cover breaking news, the discussion focused on Mr. Morgan’s methods for booking guests for the show. CNN wanted to ensure that Mr. Morgan would never pay for interviews, this person said, and were satisfied with his answers.