Newsnight editor Peter Rippon ‘quits’ over Jimmy Savile story: George Entwhistle is toast
NEWSNIGHT editor Peter Rippon has quit over the fallout from his decision to spike the Jimmy Savile sex story.
Well, so says the Daily Mail on its front page. But on twitter, Nick Sutton tweets that Rippon has not quit.
Has the Mail made a howler? No. Rippon has stepped aside.
Panorama says Rippon WAS under pressure from his superiors at the BBC to drop the story that Jimmy Savile was a predatory paedophile.
Panorama says Rippon was warned that pulling story would lead to claims of a “cover-up”.
The Mail says one head has rolled. Another is coming?
The Mail says this is the worst crisis at the BBC for 50 years. Does anyone know what happened in 1962?
The 50 years quote is attributed to John Simpson, the BBC Foreign Editor, who tells Panorama:
“This is the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC. All we have as an organisation is the trust of the people the people that watch us and listen to us.”
George Entwhistle looks doomed. Entwhistle is the new Director-General of the BBC.
The Indy reports:
A leading journalist on the original Savile exposé, Liz MacKean, has told Mr Entwistle he is mistaken in the account he has given to the BBC’s staff and that the Corporation has issued “repeated misleading statements”…
Liz MacKen has damaged trust in the DG with this email:
Sent: Mon 8/10/2012
From: Liz MacKean, Newsnight
To: George Entwistle, Director-General
Ever since the report was dropped [by the BBC], just ahead of it being edited, there have been repeated misleading statements from the press office about the nature of our investigation… Worst of all has been what seems like a concerted effort to make it appear that our story was about something else, something that could be dropped and forgotten ahead of fulsome tribute programmes. It is this which seems to be fuelling the damaging claims of a cover-up.
He said the Newsnight story was about the police investigation. He said:
“The BBC Newsnight programme investigated Surrey Police’s enquiry into Jimmy Savile towards the end of 2011.”
Meirion Jones, the producer who led the Newsnight investigation also wrote to Mr Entwistle:
“George — one note — the investigation was into whether Jimmy Savile was a paedophile — I know because it was my investigation. We didn’t know that Surrey police had investigated Jimmy Savile — no one did — that was what we found when we investigated and interviewed his victims.”
Why did George Entwhistle not immediately order an investigation into why Newsnight spiked its Savile expose?
Who will end up in the dock?
The criminal has gone. Dead. But who is left behind? Who and how many of them are guilty?
File photo dated 01/01/1972 of Jimmy Savile visiting the patients and staff of Leeds General Infirmary, as the BBC is in its worst crisis for 50 years as it tries to answer questions of integrity over claims of a cover-up about why it dropped an investigation into Jimmy Savile's paedophilia.