Did NY Times New CEO Thompson Lie About When He Knew of BBC Sex Scandal?

December 4, 2012 | Filed Under BBC, Britain, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, Progressives, Sex Offenders/Rape, The New York Times, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

A new timeline focused on the developing Jimmy Savile child molestation scandal that hit the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) this year raises further questions about what the new CEO of The New York Times knew about the crimes when he ran the network.

Mark Thompson stepped down as director-general of the BBC in September to cross the pond and take his place as the new CEO of America’s most famous newspaper, but before he did so he swore to The Times in pre-employment interviews that he never knew anything about what has become another black eye for the troubled British TV and radio network, one that was developing right under his nose when he was the BBC’s chief.

The tale began with Jimmy Savile, who died last year at 84. Savile was one of the Beeb’s most famous and flamboyant TV stars, a staple entertainer since the 1960s. But upon his death several hundred allegations have been made that he sexually abused teen girls, sometimes doing so in facilities owned by the BBC. Allegations have also been made that for decades the BBC knew all about its star’s behavior and entered into a massive coverup of the crimes to avoid public embarrassment.

For his part, Mark Thompson has insisted that during his 8-year tenure as BBC chief he never knew anything at all about Savile’s crimes. Thompson also claims he had no hand in the cancellation of a 2011 TV news investigation into Savile’s actions. He says further that he didn’t even know there was an investigative TV segment in the planning stage despite that he was the head of the network.

As Thompson told The New York Times on October 13, ““During my time as director-general of the BBC I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile”

The former BBC head reiterated that stance in a letter to Rob Wilson, a Conservative MP. “In the broader matter of Jimmy Savile’s alleged wrong-doing, I have no knowledge of any complaints or queries about him or his behavior during my time as DG (2004-2012), nor in my previous long period as a BBC manager,” Thompson wrote in the Oct. 23 letter.

But a new timeline of just when allegations about Savile’s actions began to trickle out inside the BBC and to the public makes it very hard to believe that Thompson is telling the truth about when and what he knew of the developing Savile scandal.

A new timeline of information has been posted to a blog by Stewart Purvis, a professor of television journalism at London’s City University and a former chief executive of ITN, the latter a company that produces news for Britain’s independent TV network ITV. The timeline makes believing Thompson quite difficult.

Purvis’ timeline shows that news of the Savile scandal had been developing for months in the offices of the Beeb as well as in public, long before Thompson left the BBC in September. It would seem to be virtually impossible for the head of the BBC to have missed so many news reports and legal actions centered on his own most famous employee.

MP Wilson told CNS News that he’d be concerned over Thompson if he were at The New York Times.

“I would be concerned about his failure to get his story straight if I were in New York,” Wilson said. “The BBC’s Pollard Inquiry may tell us more, but any further revelations about Mr. Thompson’s involvement are primarily a matter for the New York Times Company, its staff and its readers.”

One would think that The New York Times would be demanding answers of its new CEO and making efforts to keep the Jimmy Savile child molestation scandal from tainting the “paper of record” in America.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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