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Anorak | Newsnight must die: Savile and McAlpine kill the BBC’s analytical news show

Newsnight must die: Savile and McAlpine kill the BBC’s analytical news show

by | 9th, November 2012

IN the mire for the Jimmy Savile debacle, the BBC’s analytical news show Newsnight is now well and truly stuffed. When Newsnight ran an item that a Conservative politician who worked with Margaret Thatcher had sexually abused children at care homes in North Wales, it set the hare running. The hunt had begun. Who was he? Was he still alive? Why now? Why not name the politico? Why not grow some balls, Newsnight , and back up the claims with a name? Why just dangle it and leave it there?

In a word: Savile. Desperate to deflect attention from itself to a still higher power, the BBC wanted us to look at a paedos in the Tory Party. And not just one, but an entire ring of them.

We got no name.

And then with the with hunt in full cry, Lord McAlpine, the former Conservative Party treasurer, felt compelled to make a statement. You can read it in full here . It was not him.

Steven Messham was the single claimant featured on Newsnight . Messham, who was abused at the care homes, says he made a genuine mistake. He has offered his “sincere and humble apologies” to Lord McAlpine:

“After seeing a picture in the past hour of the individual concerned, this is not the person I identified by [a] photograph presented to me by the police in the early 1990s, who told me the man in the photograph was Lord McAlpine.”

Why didn’t Newsnight show him a photo of Lord McAlpine?

The irony is rich. Newsnight spiked a report into Jimmy Savile’s alleged abuse of children, some of it on BBC property. But Newsnight

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Posted: 9th, November 2012 | In: News, Politicians Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink