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BBC Chief Resigns Over TV Report Scandal

Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:50 am

The Director General of the BBC has resigned over a scandal which has been raging almost since he took off, about two months ago. Mr. Entwistle, a long standing BBC employee and executive, took office shortly before a storm erupted about the behaviour of a (then) iconic BBC star, Jimmy Savile. Savile had been a DJ at Radio from its earliest days in the 1960s, but was also a very popular television presenter and hosted, among other things, a hugely popular program called "Jim'll Fix It" where young (and not so young) people wrote in to ask JS to fix a dream for them. It ran for several years; Savile was also very much involved in charities and raised millions.

He was also, we now strongly believe, a paedophile; last Christmas, shortly after his death (in Nov, aged 84) the BBC broadcast a show in his honour, looking back on his life; around the same time, reports were starting to flood in about his activities and the BBC's flagship news programme, Newsnight, was about to broadcast a show about these allegations; however, this was shelved, because it might "clash" with the tribute show.

That was the first scandal that broke when Entwistle was appointed and he was forced to admit that it was inappropriate for that show to have been shelved. However, because he was new in the job, he came through that.

Just this week, however, the Newsnight programme broadcast a programme about other people who may have been involved in the scandal; it referred to a senior Tory (British Conservative party) figure, who it did not name, but his name - Lord McAlpine, (a former party treasurer), was circulated by Twitter. The Newsnight show was unbelievable in its lack of basic journalistic professionalism; Entwistle decided he would step down. He was also subject to a rather unfair (I thought) interview by John Humphrys, a veteran journalist and expert interrogator of the powerful. As well as being DG, he is also the BBC's editor in chief and he was asked why he knew nother about this. He said it had not been brought to his attention, something JH thought unacceptable. (In fairness, what was absolutely unacceptable was Newsnight's decision to go ahead with this without the proper checks; they didn't even run it past their legal people.)

Anyway, he (George Entwistle) has now resigned and the BBC's discomfort looks set to continue for a long time to come. The British police are now looking into reports that up to 300 people had been abused by JS and three people (one already a convicted paedophile) have been arrested in connection with these inquiries.
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RE: BBC Chief Resigns Over TV Report Scandal

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:02 pm

resignation was a matter of honour, it has been a bad few weeks for the BBC and symbolically someone had to fall. Who so ever becomes the new DG has to take a long hard look at the current affairs team. Newsnight f*cked up big time, twice, the show should at the very least be cancelled and the journalists behind it run out of the organisation. Whether or not the all powerfull journos union will allow that is another matter.
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
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RE: BBC Chief Resigns Over TV Report Scandal

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:05 pm

The resignation was a given, that was a massive blunder to make. I understand that Lord McAlpine has already begun looking into slander charges against the Newsnight team.

As for the whole Saville saga, I just have this nagging feeling that a lot of it is down to retroactive moral outrage and the UK tabloids having a serious axe to grind with the BBC over the phone-hacking scandal. I mean, The Sun once named Ed 'Stewport' Stewart "Children's Broadcaster Of The Year" - the same year mr. Stewart married a girl he had been dating since she was 13 and he was 29!

And then you have some of the alleged victims' stories apparently not checking out. There's a series of blog posts written by a woman who was at Duncroft while at least one of the assaults is alleged to have taken place, and according to her there's a lot of pretty big holes in the stories that have come out:

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