The BBC is a Stickler for details. Except when it isn’t.

Monday, 12 November, 2012

“If all goes well we’ve got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile.” That’s what Iain Overton tweeted on the morning of Friday, 2 November. It may yet go down in history as the tweet that sunk the BBC. Who is Iain Overton? He is the “Managing Editor” of a left-wing agitprop outfit, housed at the City University, London, called the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. On its website, visitors can now read the following statement from its Trustees:

“The Bureau was named as a contributor to the broadcast of a BBC Newsnight programme on November 2 on child abuse in North Wales. The Trustees are appalled at what appears to be a breach of its standards. To the extent that the principles of The Bureau have been ignored by an involvement in this story, remedial action will be taken against those responsible.”

The role of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the disastrous Newsnight broadcast was greater than being “named as a contributor”, however. On 2 November, Newsnight presented a report about Steve Messham who was sexually abused when living in a children’s home in north Wales in the 1980s. In the report, Messham said that a leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician abused him a number of times. This led to a wave of speculation that the politician was the former treasury minister Lord McAlpine. And here’s the kicker: The Newsnight investigation was led by one Angus Stickler “Lead Reporter” with, wait for it, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

A week later, the BBC issued an unreserved apology for the Newsnight report and announced an “immediate pause” in all Newsnight investigations. The Director General of the BBC, George Entwistle, quit on Saturday and yesterday, the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten declared that a radical “structural overhaul” of the BBC is necessary. But Patton is part of the problem, not the solution, and it looks like he’ll be next to go after it emerged last night that he had approved a £1.32 million severance package for the disgraced Entwistle.

Iain Overton, meanwhile, deleted his infamous tweet, but the net does not forget and it’s been retweeted almost 2,000 times.

The BBC is corrupt beyond belief.

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