BBC Battered Over Savile Enquiry

The BBC has taken even more flak over the way it dealt with the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal following publication of Nick Pollard’s report on how the matter was handled.

Several pages amounting to 3 percent of the document have been redacted, which initially got more news coverage than the 97 percent of the transcript that the public has been allowed to see.

The BBC claims the cuts came after being advised that publishing the whole document would likely result in someone getting sued.

According to former Sky News chief Pollard, the BBC’s decision to drop its November 2011 probe into sexual abuse by Savile had been “flawed.”

The BBC has subsequently said the programme was pulled for “editorial reasons,” although “Newsnight” presenter Jeremy Paxman reckons the BBC’s handling of the affair was “contemptible.”

Paxman says it was “common gossip” that Savile, the BBC presenter who achieved a knighthood for his charity work, liked “young people.”

Paxman condemns what he sees as the BBC’s “corporate decision” not to expose Savile’s child abuse, calling it “pathetic.”

Since Savile’s death in 2011, allegations have emerged that led police to believe the late Radio 1 DJ and “Jim’ll Fix It” presenter sexually abused hundreds of children and young people over five decades.

BBC head of news Helen Boaden warned BBC director general George Entwistle that screening the “Newsnight” documentary on Savile could result in the network needing to drop the Savile tributes it planned to show in the lead up to Christmas.

Boaden claims she was not aware of the rumours that Paxman described as “common gossip.”

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has also had some scathing criticism of the way the corporation handled the Savile affair, which happened some months before he took up his position.

He singled out the “chaotic” response of managers when the scandal broke and accused them of “frantic faffing about.”

He said BBC staff in different departments were “on different planets” and the corporation “had more senior leaders than China,” although they never held meetings together.

Pollard published more than 3,000 pages of evidence, mostly interview transcripts and emails, on which his report was based.