A burgeoning molestation scandal across the pond may have New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. wishing he had looked closer to home to fill the CEO spot.
Mark Thompson, the former head of the British Broadcasting Corp., is slated to take over the troubled broadsheet next month, but cover-up allegations are swirling about his role in an investigation into a popular television personality.
The scandal involves a TV host named Jimmy Savile, a 40-year employee of the BBC on radio and on TV with an English version of “Bandstand” called “Top of the Pops.”
The flamboyant Savile also hosted a weekly primetime TV show called “Jim’ll Fix It,” on which he made the wishes of many young viewers come true by using his celebrity to get donations.
Savile, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1972, passed away in October 2011 at the age of 84, and as part of its holiday schedule the BBC scheduled retrospectives on his life and the tens of millions of pounds he collected for charity over the years.
But since his death, more than 20 people, all under the age of 16 at the time of the crimes, have alerted British police that they were molested by Savile.
On Friday, Scotland Yard said it was following more than 400 leads with at least 200 potential pedophile victims. Some girls were as young as 13 when attacked by Savile.
Now the BBC is under fire for an alleged cover-up — both for possibly ignoring early warnings of Savile’s behavior, as well as cancelling a critical documentary about Savile after his death.
The documentary was scheduled to run on “Newsnight,” Britain’s top news show. It was scrapped for editorial reasons, according to Thompson.
“Thompson spoke to the British press and said it was a News Department decision to squash the story, and he was not in the loop — which a subsequent BBC press release apparently partially contradicted,” said Evercore Partners’ Douglas Arthur, who covers the Times.
“It may blow over unless Thompson is called to testify, should Parliament hold hearings. I believe the prime minister has called for a full investigation. So it’s unclear how this unfolds,” he said.
So a newspaper owned by the scandal-plagued Rupert Murdoch covers a pedophilia scandal at the BBC that now is embroiling the New York Times.
Add in the New York Daily News, currently run by the scandal-plagued, former Murdoch employee/hacking criminal Colin Myler, and you can see how the three major newspapers in New York City are going to be run by unaccountable, unethical and, in the case of Murdoch and Myler, criminal men.