October 18, 2012, New York Times
The story seemed perfect for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s hard-hitting “Newsnight” program: a nationally beloved television host, it seemed, had also been a pedophile who for decades preyed on young teenagers in hospitals, in children’s homes — and in the halls of the BBC itself. But last December, as the segment neared completion, it was abruptly canceled by the editor in charge, who said there was not enough evidence to justify going ahead. That decision, and the BBC’s earlier failure over four decades to investigate rumors about Mr. Savile’s behavior, is now the subject of three independent investigations. But they are just the latest and most explosive elements in a scandal that seems to widen by the hour. With new victims of Mr. Savile coming forth daily, George Entwistle, who took over as the BBC’s director general just a month ago, is facing embarrassing questions about what the corporation knew and why it did nothing. The Savile affair is by no means restricted to the BBC, drawing in some of Britain’s most important institutions. Scotland Yard has opened an investigation involving 14 other police forces and no fewer than 340 “lines of inquiry” it said that from 1959 to 2006, Mr. Savile might have molested 60 or more underage girls. But politically the primary focus is on the BBC.
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