Skip to comments.Morgan's last tabloid tale
Posted on 05/17/2004 3:13:45 PM PDT by swilhelm73
Piers Morgan, who was sacked last night as the editor of the Daily Mirror, is in many ways an engaging figure. He has always understood the point of tabloid newspapers: that they are a bit of a laugh, a game that should not be taken too seriously. He showed that again and again in his television series Tabloid Tales, when he mocked his own paper and its rivals for their obsession with tawdry "celebrities" and their efforts to adjust the facts to fit a good headline.
But Morgan waded far out of his depth when he took the decision to publish photographs purporting to show soldiers of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment kicking and humiliating defenceless prisoners in Iraq. Far too late, the publishers of the Mirror admitted last night that those pictures were a "calculated and malicious hoax". The damage - and it was terrible damage - had already been done.
Morgan may indeed have believed, at the time when he published them, that the photographs were what they pretended to be - although almost every expert who saw them, military and photographic, raised the gravest doubts about their authenticity from the first glance. At best, Morgan allowed his hunger for a good story to obscure his judgment. At worst, he was guilty of a wildly irresponsible gamble. His protestations, as recently as yesterday, that it did not really matter whether or not the pictures were genuine, because they had "revealed a can of worms", were nothing short of contemptible.
It is no exaggeration to say that Morgan's decision to publish those fake photographs put thousands of young British lives at risk in Iraq, and has jeopardised everything that our Servicemen have sacrificed so much to achieve. What may have seemed like a bit of a game to Morgan was a matter of life and death in Iraq. The Mirror is well rid of him.