There have been few sights on television more gut churning. Namely witnessing an entity that has been exposed for putting its own interests before the truth and the interests of victims whose abuse it helped facilitate. But that is the BBC for you.
During last week’s Panorama programme it was bewildering to see BBC fans flocking to Twitter to proclaim we were seeing the best of the BBC, exposing its own failings albeit those of a different editorial team working for a separate programme. Stepping into the Twitter wankfest I offered snippets of my view that this was in fact the BBC at its insipid worst; engaging in a desperate action to bleach itself before a voyeuristic audience so that it could declare its virtue and claim it remains trustworthy.
Suffice to say not all of the Twitterati were accommodating of my view and were, shall we say, dismissive. However later in the week the BBC’s Director General, Incurious George, confirmed my assessment and laid bare the true motivation of the corporation’s embrace of the Panorama programme, as outlined in a report on the BBC:
He [Incurious George Entwistle] added that the Panorama programme pointed to the BBC’s health as a media organisation, rather than being a “symptom of chaos”, because it showed the organisation’s capacity to investigate itself.
He said no other news organisation in the world would do this.
Later Mr Entwistle emailed BBC staff to pledge the corporation was “determined to be open and transparent, however painful it may feel at times”
He added: “It is only by opening ourselves up that we can restore and maintain the trust of our audiences.”
The evidence is clear. Panorama was all about serving the BBC’s interests, and the alleged victims of Jimmy Savile were simply pawns in an attempt by the corporation to paint itself as something it is demonstrably not – open, transparent and honest.
This behaviour was not the BBC at its best, nowhere close. Rather it was the BBC at its back-covering, spite-ridden and contempt-filled worst. What follows on from this, the British establishment pretending to take the BBC to task while doing all in its power to protect and shield it, will be even worse.