It seems to me a lot of people are giving up or resigning from their jobs recently, without even a fight. Guilty conscious perhaps? John Terry retired from international football last month over his alleged racism abuse against Anton Ferdinand. Andrew Mitchell resigned as David Cameron’s Chief Whip because of his abuse against police in Downing Street for calling them ‘plebs’ and now Newsnight editor Peter Rippon is ‘stepping aside’ for dropping a Newsnight report last year into claims Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused people.
Apparently, the BBC has got a lot of to answer to and it seems the reputation of the organization is ruined, over this one incident. Peter Rippon wrote a blog post on the BBC website earlier this month explaining the reasons why he dropped the report, claiming it was for “editorial reasons”. BBC programme Panorama have investigated the Jimmy Savile scandal which will broadcast tonight and it will also feature why the Newsnight (another BBC programme) report was scrapped. It will show Newsnight’s producer Meirion Jones saying he emailed Peter Rippon last year warning him about it because he thought it was an important issue and knew this would come out one way or another. Well, what do you know? It did.
Would it have even made a difference if this was out earlier? Yes, it would been investigated earlier, but if you look at it, would it actually have solved anything? People now think this was a BBC cover-up. It comes across as they knew about Savile sexually abusing people all along, planned to broadcast this report but then realized it would make the BBC look awfully bad that this grotesque thing was happening in their workplace and no one did anything about it, so Peter Rippon dropped it for one reason and one reason only – he did not want to ruin their credibility. Perhaps he stepped aside because he just could not deal with all these accusations any longer. Executives have a hard time when things like this happen. The fact is that the production team knew it was wrong, but Rippon still axed the report.
We are actually missing the real issue here. The issue is that Jimmy Savile has abused over 200 people at the BBC since the 70’s and the media are just focusing on this one piece that Newsnight has scrapped from their running order. What does this say about our media? We need to look at the actual underlying problem here, not a BBC programme.