Hacking scandal finds its way to America’s Got Talent

The increasingly dramatic hacking scandal that led Rupert Murdoch to close his 168-year-old News of the World newspaper and has resulted in several arrests found its way to American reality television last night. On America’s Got Talent, Howie Mandel referenced it, because Piers edited the News of the World and the Daily Mirror in the 1990s.

After an act performed and Piers Morgan praised it, Howie Mandel said, “Piers, that’s what I was going to say. I don’t know how you got those comment; you must have hacked me or something.”

Yesterday, Piers was accused in Parliament by MP Louise Mensch of hacking people’s phones while he edited The Daily Mirror, which is not published by Murdoch, citing something Piers wrote in his book–but in the book, Piers actually writes about potentially being the victim of voice mail hacking, not about actually doing it.

“For the record, at my time at the Mirror and the News of the World I have never hacked a phone, told any body to hack a phone or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone,” Piers said, according to the BBC News, which reports that Piers asked for an apology. He said on CNN that she told “an absolute blatant lie during those proceedings … You are hiding in a cowardly way, as a lot of MPs tend to do … behind the cloak of this privilege that you have.”

You can watch the accusation and response on his CNN show.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.