BBC director general resigns after erroneous child abuse report
"The wholly exceptional events of the past few weeks have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader," George Entwistle said Saturday.
November 10th, 2012
04:22 PM ET

BBC director general resigns after erroneous child abuse report

George Entwistle, director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, said Saturday that he would step down amid controversy over the broadcasting of false claims by a sex abuse victim.

"When appointed to the role, with 23 years experience as a producer and leader of the BBC, I was confident the trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post," he said. "However, the wholly exceptional events of the past few weeks have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader."

The BBC has issued a formal apology for broadcasting false claims by a sex abuse victim that a senior political figure of the 1980s had abused him, in the latest in a series of painful missteps by the UK public broadcaster.

The BBC did not name the alleged abuser, but the allegations on its flagship Newsnight program sparked a furor of Internet speculation over who the perpetrator, described as a high-up figure in the government of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, might be.

The broadcaster's apology Friday came hours after Lord McAlpine, who was treasurer of the Conservative Party from the late 1970s until 1990, responded to the online speculation with a statement vehemently denying any involvement.

McAlpine, who now lives in Italy, threatened legal action against those who had wrongly alleged he was the person responsible for the abuse.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I don't think that Mr. Entwistle would have resigned if the BBC had not been clearly at fault.
    Lord McAlpine acted perfectly after his reputation was assaulted.
    Prime Minister Thatcher's service was an inspiration.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Portland tony

    Airing false accusations of abuse is just as bad as ignoring them all.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    I agree Tony, and shouldnt charges be filed against them anyway? They should have some kinda charges for defimation of character of Lord McAlpine. Thats a truly horrendous thing to publish on pure speculation!

    November 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      British law differs somewhat from ours and Lord McAlpine being an expat and all, I just don't know what remedies at law he has!

      November 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Guantamamo Inmate

    The victim *ID'd* someone completely different, (via police photo shown to the victim) than who the BBC was reporting as the alleged abuser. Therefore, the BBC exposes itself as just another *rag-mag* !

    November 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    The internet can be a very good thing; instant information at our fingertips.
    Instant rumor-mongering is also at our fingertips.
    Sadly, what is the populace more likely to believe?

    November 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeffrey Roem

    Penn State is vindicated! JoePa was innocent!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fascinated

    Sounds like an almighty cover up in the works.

    Just how far up does the Savile pedo ring go?

    November 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dr Alok Bhattacharyya

    Forget Jimmy Savile. He is dead. Have an enquiry on how BBC reported more than 20 minutes before the actual event that Building 7 had collapsed? What was their source? Where are those tapes now?

    November 11, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dr Alok Bhattacharyya

    Forget Jimmy Savile. He is dead. Have an enquiry on how BBC reported more than 20 minutes before the actual event that Building 7 had collapsed? The Building 7 that collapsed was on 9/11. What was their source? Where are those tapes now?

    November 11, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. rabbitnexus

    I would not put it past them, to have deliberately broadcast the false accusation (if indeed it is false) for the express purpose of muddying the waters. In essence they have done the pedophiles yet another favor.

    November 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. steve

    wow now he can get a job in the US market...they are always destroying someone or something and NEVER tell the truth so he should fit right in here in the states..... welcome

    November 12, 2012 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
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