Monday, October 01, 2012

The Jimmy Savile revelations will do the BBC a lot of damage

Or so I fear. Because the BBC's response to this growing scandal has to date been extraordinarily cack-handed.

Take its statement, as quoted on the Guardian website this morning:
"The BBC has conducted extensive searches of its files to establish whether there is any record of misconduct or allegations of misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile during his time at the BBC. No such evidence has been found."
I can think of only two explanations for these piece of nonsense.

The first - and I wouldn't entirely rule this out - is that the BBC has a recruitment strategy that manages to select the only people in the country too dense to have heard the rumours about Jimmy Savile and underage girls.

The second is that the BBC is lying through its teeth.

Now, again on the Guardian site, come suggestions that the BBC has prevented its own journalists from investigating the allegations against Savile:
Newsnight journalists investigating Sir Jimmy Savile were told in late 2011 by the BBC programme's editor they could not broadcast what they thought was a nearly complete film about the late Jim'll Fix It presenter's alleged abuse of young women. 
The intervention by Peter Rippon, Newsnight's editor, prompted a furious row behind the scenes and led journalists connected with the programme to ask questions in private about what more senior BBC bosses knew about the film and the decision to drop it. 
It is understood that the investigating team had conducted interviews with about 10 people who either say they had been abused by the famous BBC presenter – or were corroborating witnesses. Some were on the record; others were anonymised because those involved were reluctant to give their names.
The parallel with the Catholic Church, another great institution that long denied that its members abused  children, are uncomfortable for anyone who cares about the BBC.

Certainly, we should all be furious at the suffering of Savile's victims. Here is Julie Bindel in the Guardian yesterday:
One spoke of how she was raped by Savile, but that she blamed herself because "no one blamed him." Another was locked in an isolation unit for days at her approved school when she made allegations about Savile in the 1970s, because she was assumed to be lying, as are so many abused children both then and now.
The BBC's senior management are paid colossal salaries. It is time for them to defy that selection process and begin to earn them by responding to Savile's crimes with the seriousness they demand.

3 comments:

Martin Brookes said...

No more damage than Jonathan King,
The BBC is part off the establishment and if they are guilty of a cover up it is no surprise. If these allegations are true I think it is a problem of that period of time.

Daro said...

I always found Jimmy creepy.

Anonymous said...

"The first - and I wouldn't entirely rule this out - is that the BBC has a recruitment strategy that manages to select the only people in the country too dense to have heard the rumours about Jimmy Savile and underage girls."

No, sorry, that won't do. If you're saying everyone in the country who wasn't "dense" knew what was going on (if it was going on), then it can scarcely be a problem confined to the BBC.

Maybe there's a scandal and a cover-up here, but to claim everyone knew about it anyway really negates that idea, doesn't it?