Daily Israel Report

BBC Attempt To Shift Heat On Savile Affairs Backfires Badly

The BBC scandals worsened as the contrived expose of a politician backfires and the Saville pedophilia coverup returns to haunt "Auntie".
By Amiel Ungar
First Publish: 11/12/2012, 3:53 AM

George Enwistle
George Enwistle
Reuters

The BBC is probably mired in the worst crisis in its history.

"Auntie", as the BBC is referred to by the public, has had to sustain a drum fire of revelations that one of its most recognizable stars Jimmy Savile,  who died last year and was eulogized as a great humanitarian for enlisting on behalf of children's hospitals, was a sexual predator who used his charitable activities to stalk his victims.

Many were duped by the bogus-humanitarian Savile, including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but she was not privy to the inside information that was known at the BBC and that has led to a number of arrests.

In what now looks like an attempt to shift the heat, the BBC broadcast a report on a prominent former Conservative politician, who was accused of committing similar crimes against children in North Wales during the 1970s.

In the age of the Internet, the politician was quickly identified as Lord Alistair McAlpine. Prime Minister David Cameron immediately announced an investigation because he did not want the government looking like the BBC.

Naturally, the Labour opposition demanded a full-fledged inquiry of McAlphine. One Labour MP, Tom Watson, claimed that the conspiracy extended even to the Prime Minister's residence at number 10 Downing St. However, the accusations broadcast on the BBC's Newsnight quickly unraveled. It emerged that the program was shoddily researched and the victim was never even shown the picture of the suspect to corroborate the story, nor had the program gone to McAlpine for his version of the story.

The BBC director, General George Entwistle, at first tried damage control by promising disciplinary action for those involved in presenting the unacceptable report and by temporarily grounding other investigations.

Now it is Entwistle himself who has fallen on his sword after only 55 days on the job. Tim Davie from the BBC audio and music division was appointed to replace him, despite his lack of a journalistic background.