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The Beeb’s self-inflicted wound

24 October 2012

9:46 AM

24 October 2012

9:46 AM

And so the Savile stuff rumbles on with George Entwistle’s singularly unimpressive performance before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. It still seems to me that the bosses are being evasive over the issue of pressure applied, or otherwise, to the Newsnight editor Peter Rippon. Someone is hiding something, I think.

But this whole catastrophe need not have occurred. There is no great crime in a senior manager quizzing a programme editor about a controversial investigation. There is no crime at all in a programme editor deciding not to run a story because he has doubts about it. And I take issue with the Times today which says that forcing Newsnight to treat Savile as if he were still alive (and thus require a much higher burden of proof) was wrong: quite the reverse, it seems to me morally right. The tailspin, howl-round or goat-f***, call it what you will, has been occasioned by the evasions. Which has in turn been occasioned by the BBC’s terror of the press.

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