A report into the British Broadcasting Corporation handling of the Jimmy Savile child-sex abuse scandal was released Wednesday, and the upper management of the BBC got off lightly, though the management culture of the BBC came in for criticism. One prominent member of that management: Mark Thompson, who served as director-general of the BBC for eight years until earlier this year, when he became chief executive of the New York Times Co.
Interestingly, Thursday's front-page Times story from London by John Burns and Stephen Castle, "Report Faults Lax Leadership At BBC in Sex Abuse Scandal," featured Thompson more prominently than the report itself did. A text box on the Times's inside page reads, "An inquiry that some say went too easy on top management." From the Times:
When he was director general of the BBC, controversial new New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson "launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB [Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group]" was too powerful and threatened to "dwarf" the BBC. He also accused Sarah Palin of misleading the American public by using the phrase "death panel" when discussing Obama-care.
(Thompson is facing questions concerning what he knew about the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse coverup at the BBC that occurred under his watch. A BBC report, including questioning of Thompson, is expected in mid-December. Times Watch is keeping watch on the ongoing controversy over what Thompson knew about the cancellation of a BBC investigative program into the multiple allegations against Savile, eccentric icon of the BBC.)
The New York Times has aggressively covered lurid scandals involving its perceived ideological opponents, from questioning what Pope Benedict XVI knew about the sex abuse and coverup in the Catholic Church, to the phone-hacking committed in Rupert Murdoch's tabloid empire. But when it comes to a pedophilia scandal and coverup that has been brought into the New York Times Co.'s own backyard, the coverage is muted and tamed.
Mark Thompson, new chief executive for the NYT Co., was director general of the BBC from 2004 until 2011, and was in charge when the decision was made by higherups in 2011 to abandon a 'Newsnight' story investigating accusations of pedophilia against long-time BBC star Jimmy Savile.