The number of allegations against long-time BBC employee Jimmy Savile has now hit 300; more than 400 inquiries are currently being pursued. It is not as though this is breaking news to Scotland Yard: another allegation that was previously brought to its attention surfaced last night, bringing to seven the number of times Scotland Yard investigated Savile. Whether the top cops are crooked or just plain stupid doesn’t matter: what matters is that Savile was always given a pass.
The BBC is just as guilty in covering up this monster’s crimes. The incoming president and CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, wants us to believe that he “never heard any allegations” against Savile while at the BBC (he started in 1979). If this is true, it makes him a rare find for the Times: everyone else had at least heard about Savile.
Thompson, who was the head of the BBC until recently, now admits that he was tipped off about the “Newsnight” report on Savile’s exploits (the one that never aired) and he—like everyone else at the BBC—never bothered to tip off the cops about all the women who were interviewed for the axed piece. “Newsnight” editor Peter Rippon, who resigned on Monday, said he thought the women had contacted the police. Wrong. But he could have. So could have Thompson: he was told by more than one employee about this mess at a Christmas party last December, but he elected to do nothing about it.
Thompson’s successor, George Entwistle, smacks of the same elitism and arrogance that colors the BBC hierarchy. On Wednesday, he was asked why he shut out all those “Newsnight” reporters who tried to warn him about the consequences of spiking the Savile report. He said he doesn’t believe it is “always appropriate” to “talk to people on the shop floor.”
If ignorance is bliss, these guys must be basking. And for this, Mark “Mr. Clueless” Thompson is being awarded $3 million—just for signing—with the New York Times.