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Director General of BBC Resigns Over "Poor Journalism" 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-fact-checkers dept.
dryriver writes "George Entwistle, the new Director General of the BBC who had been on the job for a mere 54 days, has voluntarily resigned over a BBC program that featured 'poor journalism'. The program in question was 'Newsnight', which typically features hard-hitting investigative journalism similar to American programs like '60 Minutes'. On Friday night, Newsnight accused a prominent Conservative MP and former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Lord Alistair McAlpine, of having sexually abused a number of young boys at Bryn Estyn Children's Home in the 70s and 80s. Only after Newsnight aired with the allegations in the UK did the BBC realize that 'the wrong photographs were shown' to the alleged sexual abuse victims, who are now adults, and that Lord Alistair McAlpine had nothing whatsoever to do with the abuses committed. Newsnight's 'poor journalism' caused George Entwistle, the Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation, to resign voluntarily over the scandal caused by the erroneous allegations. This example of an important media chief 'resigning voluntarily due to bad journalism' is interesting, because many TV, Web and Print journalists make 'serious mistakes' in their coverage at some point or the other, and quite often no heads roll whatsoever as a result."
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Director General of BBC Resigns Over "Poor Journalism"

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  • BBC Forward! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Big deal. You accused an innocent man of being a pedophile. But at least you didn't cover up an investigation of another man being a pedophile. Oh wait!

    • Re:BBC Forward! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cederic (9623) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @05:15PM (#41951795) Journal

      Nice way of misrepresenting the facts.

      Editorial judgement determines that there's insufficient evidence to safely publish: story stopped. Note that the police had also decided not to prosecute despite having criminal evidence gathering mechanisms available to them and despite having multiple complaints registered with them.

      Editorial judgement determines that a first-hand witness is happy to state on the record what he believes the police told him: story broadcast. The "internet" goes into overdrive and names the wrong man.

      Now, tell me exactly, what did the BBC do wrong here? Put it objectively, and explain it simply, because right now your post is snide misinformation.

      • Re:BBC Forward! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:01PM (#41952083) Homepage

        The press (who have no vested interest in bringing down the BBC oh no) have been putting the boot in for years so it must be true! The Commie BBC with their homo pinko agenda must be destroyed and replaced with the serious journalism and honest reporting that gave us the hacking of a murdered teenager's voicemail.

      • Re:BBC Forward! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:02PM (#41952087) Journal
        The BBC did nothing "wrong" neither did the editor, however It is certainly an embarrassing cock up. Resigning is the RightThingToDo(TM), it's the ultimate apology, it unambiguously clears the MP's name and deflects partisan attacks away from the BBC.
        • Resignation Genius (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nick_davison (217681) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:13PM (#41952857)

          Resigning is the RightThingToDo(TM), it's the ultimate apology

          His payoff is equal to one year's pay of £450,000 [bbc.co.uk] (approaching $700,000).

          Which he gets to claim for 54 days of work that he's also already been paid for. By quitting now, he's made just a hair under £10,000/day ($16,000/day), including weekends.

          If he'd stayed for five years plus a final year's payoff, he'd have been paid a fifth of that rate.

          I wish I could fail that hard.

          • Yeah, definitely falling ong is golden sword. Knowing how this thing tends to work, it would be more accurate to rework the headline: "Director General offers to resign if paid £1.3 million and allowed to stuff his pockets full with paper clips and post-it note pads."

    • Re:BBC Forward! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Blue Stone (582566) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:18PM (#41952193) Homepage Journal

      >Big deal. You accused an innocent man of being a pedophile. But at least you didn't cover up an investigation of another man being a pedophile. Oh wait!

      Wait, indeed. The Newsnight report didn't name the alleged abuser, who turned out to be completely innocent (well, as innocent as a Tory can be). It actually merely reported that one of the victims of abuse named him. The victim of abuse named him because the police dealing with the case a decade ago, TOLD the victim that it was this senior Tory chap, showing him a photo of the abuser and saying it was the Tory. The victim believed this to be true and told the BBC, who reported it without naming any names.

      The police also mislead another victim, having him also believe that the person who abused him was this Tory.

      So obviously, despite naming no names and simply repeating the victim's accusations, which they believed to be true (albeit without enough rigorous checking) the BBC must be at fault here and people should resign!

      Meanwhile the police .... have taken no responsibility. And the enemies of the BBC, yet again, jump on it for the smallest of errors (or even non-errors) at any chance they're given.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:29PM (#41950755)

    Accusing somebody of rape when he did nothing is a very serious matter. It destroys that person's life forever!
    If you don't put the correction up high enough, people will miss that it was a false accusation, and a "urban legend"/meme type thing will form, that sticks to that person forever anyway.

    It is exactly why slander / character assassination is a crime, and the original reason such actions were criminalized. (Until they got abused to censor everybody and everything.)

    • by sco08y (615665) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:38PM (#41950819)

      Accusing somebody of rape when he did nothing is a very serious matter. It destroys that person's life forever!
      If you don't put the correction up high enough, people will miss that it was a false accusation, and a "urban legend"/meme type thing will form, that sticks to that person forever anyway.

      Corrections just aren't enough when a person is accused of a crime. Even resigning, plenty of people will believe that Alistair did it and that shadowy right-wing operatives coerced him into resigning.

      The only right answer is not to fuck it up in the first place.

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:52PM (#41950901) Journal

        I don't think Lord McAlpine will suffer any enduring harm to his reputation. The allegations were very quickly proven false.

        But hopefully this will be enough to bring this sad chapter to an end. What had started with accusations against Savile (who is dead and thus beyond all prosecution) has turned into a hysteria-driven witch hunt, where the police are essentially sidelined in favour of investigative "journalists" looking to make a name themselves by catching the ever bigger fish.

        McAlpine will likely sue and most certainly win and there can be a more rational approach to investigating pedophile accusations than wagging a list in the British Prime Minister's face on television.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What's happening in the UK right now is totally fucking insane. It's been mentioned before already on various sites, but Chris Morris' Pedogeddon spoof show (back in 2001) was spot on.

      • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:53PM (#41950917)

        The only right answer is not to fuck it up in the first place.

        How do you plan to ensure that nobody, in a planet with about 7Billion people, that nobody fucks it up?

        The only way is for false accusations not to matter. That means no vigilantes; it means the law deals seriously with people who are dangerous paedophiles (so people have confidence that they don't need to intervene themselves) and it means people who cause harm to the falsely accused, for example by firing them from work, should be forced to fully and completely compensate them for that harm.

        • ...people who cause harm to the falsely accused, for example by firing them from work, should be forced to fully and completely compensate them for that harm.

          This is the message that needs to spread far and wide. Unfortunately there are too many people who believe that controlling speech is the answer, and it is, only when it is more important to protect the authority and 'reputation' of the powerful and influential. That is the sole purpose of libel/slander laws.

        • by gr8_phk (621180) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @09:37PM (#41953253)

          How do you plan to ensure that nobody, in a planet with about 7Billion people, that nobody fucks it up?

          The first thing to do is to fire the person who fucked up AND the person above them who fucked up. That's at a minimum. This does several things 1) it eliminates one person who fucked up, so they won't do it again. 2) It eliminates another person who fucked up by not paying attention. 3) It sends a solid message to the people who are still there - fuck up, or let someone fuck up on your watch and you're done. Anyone further up the chain is optional on top of this, but IMHO you have to start with the people who did it and those who should have known.

          Bah! man at the top resigns while shitheads who "investigated", wrote, and reported the story are all sitting there reporting on the resignation.

        • by gr8_phk (621180) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @09:42PM (#41953291)

          and it means people who cause harm to the falsely accused, for example by firing them from work, should be forced to fully and completely compensate them for that harm.

          And when someone googles a job applicant and sees the story with name and pictures and decides NOT to hire, then what? Being misinformed is not a crime and can not be enforced - especially when the result is inaction. Spreading the misinformation is a crime - or at least something you can sue for. Lets not blame the people who heard the news instead of those that report it.

      • Accusing somebody of rape when he did nothing is a very serious matter. It destroys that person's life forever!
        If you don't put the correction up high enough, people will miss that it was a false accusation, and a "urban legend"/meme type thing will form, that sticks to that person forever anyway.

        Corrections just aren't enough when a person is accused of a crime. Even resigning, plenty of people will believe that Alistair did it and that shadowy right-wing operatives coerced him into resigning.

        The only right answer is not to fuck it up in the first place.

        And I'm sure that in the U.K. just having a person investigated by the Police, leaves an unremovable trail. You may be totally innocent but there will always be a record that you were investigated. The outcome of the investigation is irrelevant.

        • by Cederic (9623)

          Worse than that, the fact a complaint was made and investigated is used when considering your suitability for certain lines of work, and can be shared with potential partners if they want to check up on you.

          Lovely way to treat innocent people :(

      • The only right answer is not to fuck it up in the first place.

        Problem is, people who are always right never learn anything.

        Even resigning, plenty of people will believe that Alistair did it and that shadowy right-wing operatives coerced him into resigning.

        The editor had the strength of character to take personal responsibility for his actions and the "victims" reputation has been fully restored, why should he suffer because other people have psychological problems accepting reality?

        Maybe it's simpler as a car analogy; the editor didn't see the red light, it was the MP who was hurt by the accident, everyone else is just a fucking spectator.

    • by BenJury (977929) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:09PM (#41951041)
      As far as I'm aware the BBC didn't actually name him. He was named on Twitter. I'm still at a bit of a loss why the BBC is catching the flack.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:27PM (#41951157)

        I'm still at a bit of a loss why the BBC is catching the flack.

        Much of the rest of the UK media, especially the bits owned by Murdoch, hate them passionately.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Sunday November 11, 2012 @04:49PM (#41951673) Homepage

        The BBC made out the evidence was stronger than it was. In fact they had failed to do basic journalistic checks before publicising the allegation. They gave enough away that it was only a simple case of eliminating a small number of potential suspects to come up with a name, hence the internet rumours.

      • The whole thing stinks to me, some guy not even two months in charge takes this much flak for one program aired on such a huge network that didn't even contain the name of the accused? Puh-lease - 10 to 1 there is some other kind of political wrangling going on here, and this is just an excuse.
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @10:27PM (#41953493) Homepage Journal

        A variety of reasons:

        The BBC didn't name him, but the journalist who was working on the story claimed, on Twitter, a few hours prior to broadcast that they planned to name a major Conservative politician. Ironically, McAlpine isn't - and never was - a major politician by most standards (he did at one point "lead" the Conservative Party, but that's more of a fund raising position), and hasn't been a Conservative for about a decade.

        To make matters worse, the story was shoddy journalism to begin with. Leaving aside the fact that at least one of the witnesses does, actually, have a credibility problem (see if you recognize any names in this 1999 New Statesman article, appropriately about another dubious bit of journalism: http://t.co/eZ1drMcV [t.co]), there was no attempt to even contact McAlpine beforehand.

        (It doesn't help that the BBC, by both bringing it up while not naming names also managed to reserrect an awful conspiracy theory from the homophobic pen of Simon Regan, which added virtually anyone rumored to be homosexual in the Conservative Party to a giant fictional pedophile ring headed by McAlpine himself. It's this rumor that actually ended up on the Twitters. Much as I don't like the victims of the smear, it was a nasty attempt to equate homosexuality with pedophilia, and frankly I'm glad Regan is dead.)

    • His severance package only amounts to 450,000 GBP. In the US, I am sure it would have been much more.

  • Slashdot? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dan East (318230) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:29PM (#41950759) Homepage Journal

    At first I thought I clicked on the wrong bookmark, but the style and appearance sure looks like Slashdot, however to content is apparently completely random international news.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:30PM (#41950763)

    What actually happened, is that the victim went to the police at the time the alleged incident took place, which was IIRC in the 80s. He was shown photographs by the police and told that they were of Lord McAlpine. The case collapsed and the evidence was destroyed for whatever reason. Police corruption wasn't exactly unheard of back then (see: Hillsborough).

    Now after all this Jimmy Saville stuff came out, Newsnight picked up the story from a legit witness who believed he had been assaulted by McAlpine, BECAUSE THE POLICE TOLD HIM THAT'S WHO IT WAS. Remember that Newsnight was recently blasted for NOT showing a story about paedo Saville based on evidence that was actually less solid than this. This is a witchhunt against the BBC. They had no way of winning this, damned if they did, and damned if they didn't.

    • by matunos (1587263)

      They had a duty to followup on the word of one alleged victim to see how much of the story they could verify. These are extremely serious allegations, and having dropped the ball on the Jimmy Saville story is no excuse for rushing headlong into misplaced allegations against someone else.

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:58PM (#41950955)

      The guy was a kid at the time of the police investigation. You don't think it would be reasonable to show him a picture of Mc Alpine again and just check "is this really the guy?" before making the accusation?

      This is basically the same accusation as the Saville stuff. Failing to follow through with proper journalistic professionalism because the BBC staff has been cut and messed about with by the past several UK regimes. Cameron, Brown and Blair should all resign with Entwistle.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:02PM (#41950981)

      The BBC institutionalised paedophilia. Most celebrities of the time are admitting they were aware of what was going on but chose to protect their careers. The BBC deservedly came under flak. They tried to deflect by outing a senior (former) politician.They got the surname correct, they got the family correct, but they got the wrong guy.

      Now the witness claims mistaken identity and believes the perp died some years ago. Lord McAlpines brother, who died in 1991, lived in the area where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

      Newsnight gets shutdown for a false (and very serious) allegation. But notice there was no pressure for dropping a report into Savile and his pedo activities when they had two witnesses prepared to go on camera.

      Note: this comes about a year after the reputation of Rupert Murdoch was destroyed. Rumors suggested he maintained his grip on power and was untouchable because he had some damning information on the most powerful in society. Now we're seeing the BBC under pressure. Watchout for a Murdoch comeback.

      There are many facets to this story. It touches on many powerful people, household names, and I suspect will become a very dirty war.

    • by bheading (467684)

      They had no way of winning this, damned if they did, and damned if they didn't.

      I am a massive fan of the BBC, but I don't think it's right that they broadcast a very serious allegation on nothing other than the unconfirmed word of one person without doing a few cursory checks. They appear to simply have shot from the hip.

      The business with Jimmy Savile is a lot more complicated. There are two issues to be addressed; one, were they being too strict in their requirement for evidence before they could broadcast

  • I really don't see how this story is of any interest of Slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 1u3hr (530656)
      A few days ago it was Petraeus' affair, now this. Since when did sex scandals become news for Slashdot?
    • by N1AK (864906) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:03PM (#41950991) Homepage
      One of the most powerful people in world media has resigned 'voluntarily' for running a hard news programme. If you don't think that's news that matters then it's your shortcoming not the sites fault. Furthermore, one of the reasons this has become such a big issue is because even though Newsnight didn't name the individual and left the description vague enough to give cover, and parliament were asked not to use privilege to name him via the house of commons, the name was outed on Twitter by various people (including other journalists) thus a clear tech connection that the summary missed.
      • by BenJury (977929)
        And surprisingly all of these facts are being 'missed' by the other news outlets in the UK. Madness.
        • by N1AK (864906)
          Actually my first source for most of that information, in the BBC's credit, was BBC radio 4s coverage of the story. It is quite likely that some of the people who named him specifically on Twitter will be receiving a court summons for defamation of character soon which again will be an interesting case in the field of both news and technology.
  • Having people resign for bad journalism isn't necessarily a bad thing... But why on earth start that at the BBC !!?? Why not start that trend at the Huffington Post? Or Fox News?
  • by biodata (1981610) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:44PM (#41950847)
    What did the BBC do wrong? They just reported that someone's name was being quoted by other people. This was entirely true. This looks ;ike a huge smokescreen to avoid investigating the actual allegations.
    • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:49PM (#41950889)

      What did the BBC do wrong? They just reported that someone's name was being quoted by other people. This was entirely true

      Repeating such a serious allegation without hard proof is highly irresponsible, and probably libellous.

      • by biodata (1981610)
        There is rarely hard proof of child abuse, just testimony of the abused. That's why the coverups work so well.
        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          There is rarely hard proof of child abuse, just testimony of the abused. That's why the coverups work so well.

          Try explaining that to an angry mob.

      • by bogaboga (793279)

        Repeating such a serious allegation without hard proof is highly irresponsible, and probably libellous.

        Dude, in which jurisdiction, if I may ask? Or did you just make this one up?

        Sorry, I had to ask.

      • by Cederic (9623)

        Fortunately they didn't mention the person. It'll be interesting to see if McAlpine manages to win a libel case on this one against the BBC.

        All those people on twitter though..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This _current_ BBC pedophilia scandal is far greater than what the slashdot article is letting on here.
    Pedophilia is rampant in the uk and elsewhere in the social golden-spoon strata McAlpine hails from
    all the way to the top. It looks like they've decided on trying the easy way out here yet again by slandering the
    investigators and firing them from the job. This is a common form of retaliation with these people.
    Google for BBC pedophilia scandal, there is far more than just this going on.

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:49PM (#41950885)

    has voluntarily resigned over a BBC program that featured 'poor journalism'.

    Or, instead of The Guardian, you can read all about it on the BBC website [bbc.co.uk].

    Yes, you read that right - the BBC are reporting on this and not pulling too many punches. In fact, one of the last straws for Entwistle was a difficult grilling by a BBC interview on their flagship radio news program. That goes to show why, although some heads need to be cracked together over this screw-up, the BBC is something worth keeping.

    Couple of other points:

    Newsnight accused a prominent Conservative MP and former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Lord Alistair McAlpine,

    Actually, they didn't name him, just described the accsued as a "prominent Thatcher-era conservative politician" but in the process they leant a lot of credibility to internet tittle-tattle which did name him.

    This example of an important media chief 'resigning voluntarily due to bad journalism' is interesting, because many TV, Web and Print journalists make 'serious mistakes' in their coverage at some point or the other, and quite often no heads roll whatsoever as a result."

    Its worth putting this in the context of the BBC's current predicament - they've been accused of dropping an investigation into sexual abuse by the formerly-much-loved celeb, now deceased and discredited Jimmy Saville. Of course while, with hindsight, that investigation was right on the money, had their evidence not panned out then there would have been an uproar, so close to the star's death. This looks awfully like an attempt to over-compensate, and not spike a story that should have been spiked. However, that this should happen when the BBC management knew that they were already under scrutiny does not look good.

    • by Genda (560240)

      I know for a fact the BBC provides much better news about the US, than you're likely to get in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:57PM (#41950951)

    This example of an important media chief 'resigning voluntarily due to bad journalism' is interesting, because many TV, Web and Print journalists make 'serious mistakes' in their coverage at some point or the other, and quite often no heads roll whatsoever as a result."

    This is not in any way uncommon in the UK. Whenever something goes wrong and catches the media's attention, which is inevitable in any big organisation given that the employees are only human, a frenzy will be worked up until one of the higher-up heads roll. Given intensive media coverage that lays blame wherever it can, many will chose to step down to avoid becoming the main ring event of the coming circus. Sensationalism triumphs regardless of reason. This is not unique by any means to the UK, but it is very distinctive here and you will usually hear of someone stepping down or getting sacked every few weeks. It even affects football coaches who fail to bring their teams to the finals, as though the coach could control the ability of all other teams and all luck involved in the sport.

    Somehow it has come to be expected that the head of any organisation can micromanage every single employee in the organisation ever single second of the day.*

    All that said, in this case it is reasonable to expect that the director general of the would be aware of this given the potential impact and that there were concerns several days before the program aired. If nothing else he failed to make himself accessible for important information.

    * It goes even deeper than that. Negative sensationalism sells and most things are framed just that way even when they do not deserve it. Just watch the "investigative" journalism of prominent presenters such as Kay Burley or Steven Sackur (in particular "Hard Talk"). They clearly ask questions that are intended to come across as incisive but which are often nothing but vapid, thinly veiled strawman arguments designed to make them appear insightful and clever. They completely ignore any answers given to them and continue to pursue this tainted image that they are trying to create in order to sensationalise the issue.

    It's no wonder that politicians and others stick to carefully engineered sound bites. Even the rare honest few who would like to explain intricate issues and other matters know that their words will be twisted to sell some scandalous headlines. /rant

    • They clearly ask questions that are intended to come across as incisive but which are often nothing but vapid, thinly veiled strawman arguments designed to make them appear insightful and clever.

      This is a very unwelcome recent trend at the Beeb. I place the blame squarely on Jeremy Paxman and/or the editorial team behind Newsnight. At some point, a little while ago now though it's hard to pin down exactly when, he seemed to jump from asking difficult questions of his guests but respectfully to doing pretty much exactly what the above quote says. And since Paxman is one of the BBC's longest-established Serious Interviewers, and Newsnight is the nightly serious news show, if you can get away with tha

  • He really resigned because people found out that he raped children.

    My bad, that's completely wrong.
  • FOX News... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <mariet@ g o t . n et> on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:16PM (#41951075) Journal

    Gawd I hate putting those two words next to each other... if FOX News had a director resign after every piece of bad journalism, you could watch the line of new directors walking continuously through the building without ever stopping. Of course this would require journalistic integrity... so FOX will never have to worry abut this problem.

  • The more interesting fact is that the programme did NOT name the suspect. Its editor trailed an unwise hint on Twitter, and the blogsphere guessed many names, most of them (probably...) wrong. You had to search quite hard to deduce that the unfortunate Peer was in the frame. Now the media politics is overwhelming some scandals that do need reviewing.
  • Some background (Score:5, Insightful)

    by madprof (4723) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:36PM (#41951229)

    The BBC Newsnight programme ran this, and the Director General had no idea they were running it. Ordinarily, he might get away with it if it were an isolated thing. However Newsnight was recently found to have cut an investigation into Jimmy Savile, a well-known TV/radio personality who turned out to be a serial child abuser. The investigation was cut for "editorial" reasons last year (soon after he died) and the suspicion was that it would allow them to run sacharine eulogies for him at Christmas. Finally, the accusations only got aired this year by another channel, and it looks like he abused hundreds of kids over decades, including in BBC dressing rooms.
    So Newsnight was under a lot of scrutiny, and the Director General ought to have been watching it like a hawk.

    However he admitted (to a BBC journalist in a very tough radio interview - let's see any other news organization allow its own journalists to bury their editor-in-chief) that he hadn't known what the programme was going to say about Lord McAlpine, and he didn't have an answer to the accusation that he was "asleep at the wheel".

    So yeah, he mucked up by not being sharp enough. The BBC itself doesn't look good as it seems to have (thus far) allowed the people who made the "editorial decision" to cut the Savile investigation to continue in their roles. I suspect they will go eventually, once the independent inquiries have run their course.

    However the one thing it has got right, and *no other* news organization would ever get right, is to have one part of it criticize another. There is no way Sky News would ever allow one of its journalists to have a go at the head of Sky TV in the manner of this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9768000/9768406.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • I thought it was "Entertainment"

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Compared to Dancing with the washed up celebs and Desperate Cunts of some city or other....it is entertainment.

  • The Telegraph on Friday have made accusations [telegraph.co.uk] that Lord McAlpine's brother (who ran the huge building company) lived close by the care home and had a huge collection of expensive cars (noted by witnesses at the time). There are some theories that this was a simple mix-up by a key journalist/the police and fingered (bad expression) the wrong brother which has now caused the BBC to go into melt-down.

    What's odd is that The Telepgraph published another article [telegraph.co.uk] which seems to downplay the idea that Jimmie was i

    • In what way is the BBC Labour focused? I don't give a shit about what Mark Thompson said, show me some actual examples.

  • I take it "on the job" doesn't have the same meaning on that side of the pond, because 54 days worth is in no sense of the word "mere".

  • If this spreads, it would be impossible to follow Fox News any longer. On account of all their new anchors trying to talk while holding guns in their mouths.

  • Exemplified by BBC's own programme years ago, if you look up 'The Dirty Fork Sketch'. (Original).
  • ....that the person who is supposed to have originally pointed the finger at McAlpine is a notorious liar; see here [dailymail.co.uk]. Didn't the BBC do any checks or were they simple after any scandal?
  • Who needs the kind of shit he's had to take since he stumbled into the job less than two months ago? You'd have to be a pretty hard-assed kind of guy to brazen out the flak that the (print) media have been dishing out against the BBC in general and him in particular. Not that they'd have any kind of agenda in the aftermath of the Leveson inquiry...

    The BBC is still the best and least biased source of news in UK, and probably in the English-speaking world. Every other source has manifold compromises because o

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