If you haven't yet read Mike Giglio's story in NewsBeast about the investigation into Piers Morgan's stock scandal in 2000, you should, if only to read the first few paragraphs about how terrified the then newspaper editor was about bad press and an investigation.
The story hinges on some documents Giglio obtained from the investigation into Morgan's purchase of shares in a company called Viglen, the day before The Daily Mirror, which he edited, ran a column calling the company "a screaming buy" and the share price doubled. "Morgan tells investigators he didn’t know the next day’s column would be about Viglen until he read it in the paper. 'I could see immediately the PR problem of me buying shares the day before they doubled,' Morgan recounts." And that PR problem put the fear into him, per Giglio:
"I want people to understand how difficult it’s been and, in my view, very unfairly in my case, because I got completely buried in an avalanche of horrific publicity at the time," Morgan says in the documents. "Until it’s resolved I have to live with this cloud." In one interview with investigators, Morgan says that after the government announced an investigation, "you can safely assume that my bowels were beginning to twitch slightly about what was going to happen."
Morgan's been subjected to more rough Mirror-related press recently, most notably BBC presenter Jeremy Paxton's allegation that he bragged at a dinner party about how he could access people's voicemail, and anyone who couldn't was "a fool."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.