By Sam Marsden, the Telegraph

The broadcaster descended into infighting over the child abuse scandal as executives past and present fought to keep their jobs.

Mr Entwistle, the BBC’s director-general, has laid the blame for scrapping a Newsnight investigation into Savile’s alleged sexual abuse of young girls at the door of Peter Rippon, who was forced to step aside as the programme’s editor this week.

This has prompted accusations from BBC journalists that Mr Rippon has been made a fall guy for wider failings at the corporation.

Victoria Derbyshire, a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live, wrote on Twitter yesterday: “If BBC journos/Eds make a poor editorial call, (& most of us have at some point), will they be treated by management like Peter Rippon has been?”

She quoted a number of replies to her message, including one that said: “If Rippon is the only casualty then it will seem like a stitch-up.”

As the scandal continued, a Tory MP became the first politician to suggest that Mr Entwistle and Lord Patten of Barnes, chairman of the BBC Trust, may have to “fall on their swords” over the handling of the allegations about the TV personality.

Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of news, was accused of placing an “impossibly high barrier” on the Newsnight investigation into Savile when she told Mr Rippon that there could no “skimping in journalistic standards” just because the TV star was dead.

The BBC declined to respond, saying it was not appropriate to comment until the conclusion of its two independent reviews into the scandal.

In the United States, questions have been raised over whether Mark Thompson, the BBC’s former director-general, has too much “unwanted baggage” from the Savile scandal to take over as chief executive of The New York Times Company. Mr Thompson originally said he was not “notified or briefed” about the Newsnight investigation, which was scrapped by Mr Rippon before it could be broadcast.

However, a BBC foreign correspondent has said she told the then-director-general about the “broad context” of the axed Savile expos at a Christmas drinks party at BBC Television Centre last December. Caroline Hawley said she raised the issue after speaking to Newsnight journalists who were unhappy about being told to abandon the report.

Mr Thompson confirmed having a conversation with Ms Hawley. He said he did not ask her about the specifics of the investigation but raised the issue with management in BBC News the next day.

“There is nothing to suggest that I acted inappropriately in the handling of this matter. I did not impede or stop the Newsnight investigation, nor have I done anything else that could be construed as untoward or unreasonable,” he told the New York Times.

The New York Times’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote in a blog on the paper’s website: “It’s worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events. All these questions ought to be asked.

“What are the implications for the Times Company to have its new CEO – who needs to deal with many tough business challenges here – arriving with so much unwanted baggage?”

Mr Thompson said he had received full backing from his new employers since the scandal erupted.

Sir Roger Gale, a Conservative MP and former BBC current affairs producer, said successive directors-general had “either turned a blind eye to criminal activities or have not known what has been going on on their own doorstep”.

He added: “It is as if your favourite and respectable aunt has been revealed to be on the game and if Lord Patten is not able to grasp that, then I fear that not only the director-general but also the chairman of the BBC Trust are going to have to fall on their swords.”

 

abandon sth

vzdt se neho

abuse

zneuvn

allegation

tvrzen

alleged

dajn

axe

zde: utnout, zarazit

backing

podpora

be on the game

lapat chodnk, ivit se prostituc

casualty

ob

construed

chpno, interpretovno

descend into sth

snit se k nemu

expos

(skandln) odhalen

failing

selhn

fall guy

obtn bernek

fall on one's swords

piblin: spchat (profesn) sebevradu

grasp

pochopit

impede sth

brnit nemu

implications

(mon) dsledky

infighting

boj o pozice (v organizaci)

journos/Eds

novini/redaktoi

lay the blame

svst vinu

presenter

modertor(ka)

prompt sth

dt podnt k nemu

quote

citovat

raise issue

nadnst tma

scapegoat

obtn bernek

scrap

zruit

skimp

odbt, oidit

step aside

odstoupit z funkce

stitch-up

podraz, kivrna

then-director-general

bval generln editel

Tory MP

konzervativn poslanec

turn blind eye to sth

pimhouit nad nm oko

turn of events

vvoj udlost

untoward

nemstn

unwanted baggage

nechtn ptek

 

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