The most trusted name in news? Not this morning.
CNN's new marquee newsman Piers Morgan—lest we forget, a former editor of The Sun, The Daily Mirror and, ahem, the News of the World (who vets these guys again?)—was dragged into the Parliamentary hearing on Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. this morning, when a British MP suggested not so subtly that the former tabloid man was not only aware of the deplorable phone hacking practice, but, quite literally, wrote the book on it.
Specifically, his own.
Conservative MP Louise Mensch insinuated this morning that Morgan may have participated in the hacking during his tenure at the tabloids, borrowing a passage from Piers' own seemingly incriminating autobiography.
"Piers Morgan, who is now a celebrity anchor at CNN, who do not appear to have asked him any questions about phone hacking, is a former editor of the Daily Mirror," Mensch said. "He said in his book The Insider recently, and I quote, that that little trick of entering a standard four-digit code allows anyone to call that number and hear your messages.
"In that book he boasted that using that little trick enables him to win scoop of the year for a story about [England national soccer team manager] Sven-Goran Eriksson. So that is a former editor of the Daily Mirror being very open about his personal use of phone hacking…and indeed he is a former News of the World executive."
Morgan, naturally, wasted no time in letting the claims stand, immediately taking to his Twitter page to defend himself against the allegations and clear up his good name, clarifying that he the only involvement he had with phone hacking was suspecting he was a victim—not a perpetrator.
"That MP just claimed I boasted in my book of using phone-hacking for a scoop. Complete nonsense," he wrote. "Just read the book.
"Ms. Mensch is completely and utterly wrong," he continued. "She clearly hasn't read my book. Can someone please give her a copy? #Murdoch."
And hey, what good is being dragged into a scandal if you can't squeeze in a little free promotion.
"To check veracity of Ms Mensch's ridiculous claim, read The Insider: Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade. Published by Ebury. #Murdoch…Great read."
The MP, it should be noted, later apologized for the accusation about Morgan, admitting that she had misread the passage.
And just so there was no lingering doubt, he spelled out his case.
"I've never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published stories based on the hacking of a phone," he added.
Still, it might take a little more convincing for some Morgan skeptics. Jokingly (we think) chief among them, Alec Baldwin.
"If @piersmorgan hacked phones, it's the Pie for him!!!" he tweeted, referring to the foam-filled tin a British anarchist attempted to throw in the face of Murdoch this morning.
"@piersmorgan...what flavor of pie shall I hit you with? And who is your female, Asian second?" he further inquired.
Ever the gentleman, Piers, who took a time out from his defense of Rupert Murdoch—whom he said he does not believe is "a crook or condoned crime"—to answer the question. And give props where they're due.
"Lemon meringue (obviously)—and I'll have Wendi again, seen Secret Service move slower than that."
Forget Wendi, if we're going into battle, it's Jonnie Marbles we want on our side.