Worst Scandal In The History Of BBC?
Recently a fact has come to light, which might do much more than leave BBC red in the face. In fact, some would even call it the worst scandal in BBC history. Or as its veteran foreign correspondent John Simpson has described it “the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC.” Basically all of this is being said because, it was recently revealed by a show on BBC called the ‘Panorama’ which is a late-night investigation program that, editors and BBC executives spiked a report prepared last year for another BBC program, Newsnight, alleging that the late Jimmy Savile, one of the network’s most celebrated hosts, abused children who visited him in his dressing room and at a charitable boarding school for girls.
On the other hand the British Police recently revealed that it is “dealing with alleged abuse on an unprecedented scale” by Savile, involving as many as 200 victims. The British parliament shall soon be looking into this scandal. Also, Peter Rippon the editor of ‘Newsnight’ has resigned. This investigation by Panorama shall basically be looking into the reasons and circumstances, behind the Newsnight report being quashed. In fact, the whole Savile scandal is so huge that the Director General of BBC has been summoned by the Parliament to give testimony. The Panorama report includes the disclosure of seemingly incriminating emails in which Newsnight reporter Liz MacKean expressed frustration last November over Rippon’s reluctance to air the report. “He says if the bosses aren’t happy … [he] can’t go to the wall on this one,” she remarked in one email.
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BBC bosses at the time were planning to air a “tribute” to Savile, who had died the previous month at the age of 84.The Panorama report shall also be featuring Newsnight producer Meirion Jones, who as it turns out had worked on the Savile report with MacKean. In the Panorama report, Jones comments on how he had warned Rippon about the repercussions of suppressing the report.
He basically says “the BBC would be accused of a cover-up. In fact I wrote an email to Peter saying ‘the story is strong enough’ and the danger of not running it is ‘substantial damage to BBC reputation.’” MacKean goes on to say, “I’ve not been happy with the public statements made by the BBC [about axing the report]. I think they’re very misleading about the nature of the investigation we were doing”.
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