After a monumental failure in editorial control at Newsnight, the Director General of the BBC, George Entwistle, finally did what he should have done some time ago: resign. I am outraged to hear he is given a year's pay upon departure, "because he is helping with the Jimmy Savile case". Entwistle was torn to shreds by, first, the Culture Media and Sports Committee of Parliament, and last week by John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4. The man is plainly incompetent out of his ivory tower, and Mr Entwistle should be out of the BBC altogether, not be permitted to finish what he started off bungling in the first place. I am disgusted with Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, who stands up for the former DG because he's such a nice guy. Yes, I'm sure I'd be happy to buy George a pint down the pub myself, but this old-boys network should not come into a management structure. If that persists, Chris Patten himself should resign. It is symptomatic of a culture where malpractice is covered with the mantle of fraternal love and "he is such a nice guy". That is precisely the sort of attitude that allowed Jimmy Savile to abuse women and children between 1958 and 2011. Nobody would say anything about Jimmy, because he was such a good guy, and, well, we all know Jimmy, and didn't you enjoy it??
I have previously stated on this blog that I am a supporter of the BBC, and have been for nearly 30 years. The organisation has a high standard of journalism, but nobody is perfect, and things go wrong, even in the best-run enterprises. The test is how malpractice is being dealt with - and there have been two serious instances at the BBC where malpractice was uncovered, and it was not dealt with properly. The BBC is not a private enterprise, the broadcaster is (partly) funded by license fee money, paid by viewers in the UK - £150 per annum.