The Jimmy Savile story is still bubbling along under the surface at the same time as other English TV personalities have been interviewed regarding historical charges of child abuse. The accusations levelled at Jim Davidson and Jimmy Tarbuck only stood out because more of their TV work during their long careers has been live or shown on Independent Television (ITV) rather than the BBC.
At the time last year the Savile story mushroomed and like Penn State and the Catholic Church, became the only story in town from Autumn into Winter 2012. However there was very little time for reflection on the whole case. Despite what happened with Jimmy Savile, I will still use links to BBC stories for the News and Reviews section, not out of bias or because licence payers support it, but simply because the links are among the least likely to go dead on any subject. This is a common problem for blogs when posts get old, as highlighted by Mike on the main blog. Since neither of us have time to scour Google News for the best coverage when there are too many angles on a single large story, any news agency without a paywall may also be linked if the content is relevant. If those links die earlier, you’ll have to let us know. It’s similar to the News International Phone Hacking Scandal – Sky News, to date, has not been implicated in the illegal acts of its printed stablemates and so we continue to link to them as well.
On Savile, some of the true effects have been overshadowed in the race for the latest prurient headline or the newest right-wing agenda to criticise the BBC. He is a paedophile that never saw justice and who was only properly investigated tentatively as he was near death. Adding to his mountain of crimes, Savile has managed to destroy the image of any unmarried male charity fundraiser for any cause whatsoever, as well as child abuse, if the charitable endeavour falls outside the two big BBC-sponsored Comic/Sport Relief in the spring, Children In Need in the Autumn/Winter or the London Marathon. People will say that perception doesn’t matter but we live in a generally two-faced society where people will pretend to mean well whilst having formed their own opinions on individuals behind their backs. Savile has given people like this, the ammunition to carry on with gossiping.
As highlighted in the second documentary about Savile by a former policeman, the head of Children In Need at the time, banned Savile, but was only interested in his own patch and along with everyone else, did nothing else to make anyone else aware of his suspiscions. The staff have changed, new people have been hired at the BBC, but there is still an occasional reticence to report on occasion regarding child abuse since the end of last year, at least until cases are fully prosecuted and the offenders sentenced. They also have a general backlog of bullying and harassment cases to deal with at the same time, but to allow that backlog to build up suggests too much of a fixation over their UKP 900million big moving projects and the Olympics to tackle such cases and be more active in facing up to Savile’s crimes. Leaving the best of child abuse reporting to rival channels suggests the the new Director General and Head of News at the corporation have an uphill battle to get the BBC back on track and instead of trying to push one single view regarding child abuse and then placating critics with Children in Need every year.