After years of doing nothing about pedophile Jimmy Savill,e the BBC went to the other extreme and alleged a former Conservative Peer was a pedophile with no proof, and now the BBC Director-General has resigned.
George Entwistle said his position was untenable after a day of humiliation in which he admitted knowing nothing of a Newsnight investigation which led to Lord McAlpine being falsely named as a child abuser – and nothing of it unravelling.
Mr Entwistle said quitting was the “honourable” thing to do as he had to take responsibility as editor in chief of the BBC for what Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said was “unacceptable shoddy journalism”.
He has lasted just 54 days in the job. Mr Entwistle’s decision plunges the BBC into its deepest-ever crisis and leaves it leaderless at a time of mounting questions over its journalism.
Mr Entwistle, 50, had to accept responsibility for blunder after blunder which culminated in an interview with John Humphrys on the Today programme this morning in which he admitted to being completely ignorant that Newsnight was going to effectively accuse Lord McAlpine of child abuse, and then did not read newspapers which revealed that the story was entirely false.
Asleep at the wheel.
The dramatic statements by Mr Entwistle and Lord Patten, made just after 9pm outside New Broadcasting House, came after a day of shame for the BBC in which:
* Jeremy Paxman, the main Newsnight presenter and one of the BBC’s biggest stars, was said to be considering his future;
* Jonathan Dimbleby said the whole crisis was a “disaster which should have been prevented”;
* It emerged that it took the BBC 12 hours to apologise on Friday for its error even though Steve Messham, the man who mistakenly believed Lord McAlpine was his abuser, phoned the corporation to say he had made an error.
The smearing of an innocent man on unsubstantiated and incorrect information is horrendous. They did not name McAlpine, but gave enough details for him to be identified.
The Herald Sun reports:
The liberal bias of the BBC is well known, and I suspect the fact Lord McAlpine is a Conservative is part of the reason they threw away caution. Schofield should also go, for his antics.