So the BBC aren’t exactly renowned for being particularly truthful about, well, pretty much anything these days. Since the Hutton Inquiry, launched following the mysterious death of Dr. David Kelly, they were effectively neutered from conducting anything approaching thorough investigative journalism, and in the years since their output has been reduced to little more than overt State propaganda. They’ve been caught out showing footage from an Indian demonstration while discussing “anti-Qaddafi protests” in Libya, fueling the false perception that a genuine indigenous uprising was occurring to bolster public opinion in favour of the subsequent deadly NATO bombing campaign, and are currently doing their bit to drum up support for a similarly disastrous large-scale attack on Syria, with a policy of misrepresenting terrorist attacks carried out by Western-backed mercenaries as the work of the Assad government.
At the same time, their coverage of the austerity measures has been little more than a series of fawning interviews with government ministers, who are Hell-bent on destroying the National Health Service and dismantling over 60 years of public services paid for by the British taxpayer. Now, they may have reached another low with their reaction to the scandal revolving around allegations that Sir Jimmy Savile – one of their most popular, long-standing presenters – was sexually abusing young girls.
David Jordan, the BBC’s director of editorial policy and standards, reacted with predictably unconvincing denials that the BBC flagship news program Newsnight dropped an investigation of its own into these allegations due to pressure from upper management, stating in an interview with BBC Radio 4, “I don’t think it’s credible… to suggest that senior managers could influence the conduct of an investigation of that sort.” Of course, if you believe senior management would have no authority to decide on the content of an investigation – especially one which implicates their own corporation in something as scandalous as child sex abuse – then you’ll probably believe anything (which, I expect, is what Jordan is hoping for – at least from the more gullible listeners).
It isn’t the first time the BBC have spiked a story about sexual abuse, either – back in 2009 they were planning a documentary covering the case of Holly Grieg, a young girl with Down’s Syndrome abused by an Aberdeen paedophile ring over a period of ten years. Before dropping the documentary the BBC team admitted that the evidence was credible. Those accused included a senior Scottish Sheriff, social workers, solicitors and members of the police force. Perhaps the BBC in this instance also found themselves bowing to pressure from the establishment to cease production of the investigative documentary that would reveal something too dark and disturbing to contemplate.
Most disturbing of all are the numerous D-Notices issued by the government over the years enforcing media silence on institutionalized paedophilia, for instance the Operation Ore investigation which implicated high level members of the British government before being promptly quashed by – you guessed it – the British government. When the very powers that are established to protect the public from sexual predators are themselves responsible for such abuses, who remains to enforce the law and bring these criminals to justice?
It is well known that religious institutions are rife with child abusers, where a culture of near-impunity has existed for decades and abuse continues largely unpunished (the Vatican even goes so far as refusing to acknowledge any abuse, let alone atone for its sins or apologize to its countless victims). Other infamous cases often involve the very institutions established to protect underprivileged children from abuse, such as at Haut de la Garenne, where Jersey’s elite did everything they could to obstruct any investigation, and the scandal in Portugal’s state-run Casa Pia home for orphans, where the perpetrators included “respected” figures in media and politics.
When the abuse runs this deep and the abusers possess this much power and influence, an organization such as the BBC – intrinsically tied to the British establishment – is always going to do what it does best: protect vested interests from criticism or prosecution, even if they stand accused of sexually abusing young children.