Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

How Morgan's Fabricated Story Almost Ruined This Reporter

Hacked and Attacked: How Piers Morgan's Fabricated Story Almost Ruined This Reporter

by Greg Palast
8 August 2011

The September 29, 1998 cover of Piers Morgan's newspaper, the Mirror, targeted reporter Greg Palast.

I am not surprised that Piers Morgan has been outed for allegedly hacking phones (listening, in one case, to personal messages between Heather Mills and Paul McCartney.) I learned about the creepy antics of this one-man TV-host crime spree the hard way: as a victim of his crime-and-slime form of "journalism."

On September 29, 1998, Piers Morgan's Mirror ran a screaming full-page headline: SEX SCANDAL ROCKS LABOUR CONFERENCE. His paper had caught a rival paper's reporter who'd broken into the hotel room of a comely, young, rising star of the Labour Party. The reporter was caught there half undressed.

I was that reporter.

And the story was a complete load of crap. But Morgan, "editor" of the Mirror, ran the report on Page One, and pages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 - even though he knew it was fabricated. He knew because he had fabricated it.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's press chief personally thanked Morgan for running the bogus story.

This was not the first time Pirate Morgan had worked me over. Months earlier, on Page One again, he ran a full-page photo of me (one that made me look bald!) under the words THE LIAR in letters bigger than the Mirror's headline, Hitler Defeated.

(Private Eye, the Onion of Britain, ran a response - a photo of me under the headline, IS THIS THE MOST EVIL MAN IN THE WORLD? by "Piers Moron.")

O.K., I'm bald. But I am not a liar. I was in that hotel room to get a story, not get the young lady's panties. But I did not break in. That's what Morgan would do. A sworn affidavit by the hotel clerk said the female in question had left me a key with instructions to meet her in her room.

In other words, I was set up like a bowling pin.

As an investigator, it is quite embarrassing to have fallen so easily into a honey trap, but the honey was quite something: I was lusting after information about her mentor, the man known in England as The Prince of Darkness, Peter Mandelson, or I should say, the Right Honorable Lord Mandelson.

I'd already busted open a story about how Mandelson, Blair's claw, Blair's Karl Rove, had aided a "cash-for-access" scheme by his lobbyist cronies. He helped fiddle a bid for a contract to run Britain's National Lottery to give the deal to the guys who ran the Texas Lottery. (If you smell George Bush's connection, you'd be right.)

The story I wrote for The Observer (The Guardian's Sunday paper), "Lobbygate: Cash For Access" won my co-writer Antony Barnett and I the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize - and nearly won me time in a lock-up: The Daily Mirror encouraged Mandelson's gal to file charges against me with the constabulary for breaking into her room - though they knew she left me the key.

This is not just fun and games. Piers' phony file on me was used by Reliant Corporation of Houston to attempt to discredit my investigative reports on their frighteningly dangerous operation of nuclear plants. (A judge in Holland threw the book at them.)

Maybe you don't care, but you should. Reliant is the company, under a new corporate alias, which has just been approved to receive the first multi-billion-dollar loan guarantee from the Obama administration to build a new nuclear plant. (Reliant's partner, by the way, is Tokyo Electric Power.)

Obviously, there's a hell of a lot more to this story. I could write a book - and I am. I've decided that, in the public interest, I will add a chapter to the book about Pus Moron, the nuclear hucksters of Houston and why it was that I was half undressed. (There really is an innocent, or nearly innocent, explanation, I promise you.)

Of course, by the time my book comes out in November, Piers may no longer be prancing about on CNN, but breaking rocks on a chain gang. However, CNN is reported as concluding that Morgan's fibs and fabrications - this is Morgan's third run-in with the law - would have "no effect" on his hosting on their network. This only confirms my experience with US television executives that when they need a new on-air journalist, they just wait for a toilet to overflow.

*************

Greg Palast directed the fraud investigation of BP and Exxon in the grounding of the Exxon Valdez for the Chugach Natives of Alaska. Palast's investigative reports can be seen on BBC Television Newsnight. See them at www.GregPalast.com.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 



Peter Dunne: What Has Happened To Tolerance?

An unpleasant aspect of our current national character has come to light in recent times. When it comes right down to it, no matter what our pretences to the contrary, tolerance for a different point of view, or approach to things, is not a commodity in great supply at present, right across the political spectrum... More>>

Keith Rankin: Inflation Fears, Bullshit Costs, And Inappropriate Policy

It is true that New Zealand – and the rest of the world – now faces substantial inflation pressure. As the 2020s unfold, the biggest macroeconomic story – as in the 1920s after World War 1 – is likely to be about how we address these pressures... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: When Football Did Not Come Home

They were in with a shot. The English team, deliriously floating on chants of Football’s Coming Home, had made it to their first major tournament final since 1966. The UEFA European Football Championship would be decided at Wembley against an Italian side unblemished by defeat since September 2018... More>>


Climate Explained: Is New Zealand Losing Or Gaining Native Forests?

Apart from wetlands, land above the treeline, coastal dunes and a few other exceptions, New Zealand was once covered in forests from Cape Reinga to Bluff. So was Europe, which basically consisted of a single forest from Sicily in southern Italy to the North Cape in Norway, before human intervention... More>>




Sydney Mockdown: The Delta Variant Strikes

It is proving to be an unfolding nightmare. For a government that had been beaming with pride at their COVID contract tracing for months, insisting that people could live, consume and move about with freedom as health professionals wrapped themselves round the virus, the tune has changed... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why The J&J Vaccine Isn’t An Ideal Back-up Option, And Haiti

The news that Medsafe has given approval to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine means the government is finally putting a backup plan in place, after the series of close shaves it has been experiencing of late in getting its deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine... More>>