Username:  Password: 
Login with Social Media Follow BBCRadioForum on Twitter

Author Topic:  Why did Mark Thompson lie?  (Read 31703 times)

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« on: October 24, 2012, 06:46:31 PM »
Sorry to use the L word but I am sick and tired of words like misleading, inaccuracy, incomplete etc.

Mark Thompson has lied.

He said 4 weeks ago that he absolutely knew nothing about Savile at all.


"Mr Thompson, who stood down last month, yesterday broke his silence on the row to insist he had not even heard rumours about the former DJ.
He also insisted he did not have any role in the decision to drop a BBC Newsnight investigation into claims Savile sexually assaulted girls as young as 14.
Mr Thompson said: I had no involvement whatsoever not to pursue the Newsnight investigation. I understood that was a decision taken by the Newsnight editor.
I never heard of any rumours nor received any complaints or allegations (about Jimmy Savile) while I was Director General at the BBC.
But his comments contradict the BBCs own press office which said yesterday that Mr Thompson was told about the Newsnight investigation into Savile early last December."


Now Thompson has admitted that he was told about Newsnight and he then discussed it with senior BBC staff.


Surely the fact that he lied is critical to what has happened?


It has Mark Thompson's name all over it. Remember this is the DG of the BBC who, for the first time in the BBCs history, faced a vote of no confidence from his staff because of his very covert licence fee settlement with Jeremy Hunt. And then has blocked any freedom of Information requests about that.

Anyway interesting how this is playing at the NYT.

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/times-must-aggressively-cover-mark-thompsons-role-in-bbcs-troubles/

Have a look at the comments as well.

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 07:00:22 PM »
AND I have another question.

Why are the only disclosures so far about what senior executives knew relating to public places, awards lunches and Christmas drinks?

Is the answer quite a simple one the fact that there were potential witnesses in those places? and behind closed confidential chinese walls there were none?

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 10:12:21 PM »
Yes his pants are on fire.

Loving the language he uses, 'there is nothing to suggest I acted inappropriately in the handling of this matter'.


Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 11:02:48 PM »
Seems that we need to quote Ed Williams, Mark Thompson's spokesperson. And as it appeared reported by Ben Webster today.

"Mr Williams said that Mr Thompson "simply mis -spoke" when he told the NYT that "he had never heard any allegations" about Savile while he was in charge of the corporation. But he said last night that he had "formed the impression" in December that Newsnight was investigating allegations of sex abuse against Savile, although he believed the evidence was not strong enough to proceed"


So the new word is mis spoke ?

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 08:03:17 PM »
I think, the important question that MUST be asked is WHY Mark Thompson failed to act?

He had information about serious child abuse re Savile, if only to be told that had been flagged by one of his flagship programs, surely anyone with responsibility and integrity, knowing that Savile was a long time BBC employee(and of course aware of the hugely favourable coverage, was he on Mars?) had a clear duty to the BBC and to its consumers and actually to the country to do something?

He did nothing.


I fail to excuse that inaction in any way at all. It is inexcusable.


Mark Thompson was never really selected for the post of DG, he was rushed in after the Hutton scandal, was he ever interviewed for the job or subjected to a serious application process?


I do not know, but he was the man in charge during this problem in December 2011 and fee payers have paid him a vast amount of money to be in charge.


Do we get a refund now?

Or are we entitled to be given a full, truthful explanation from the man in charge?


He must appear before the Pollard Inquiry, if he does not that would be shocking.

He also must, as he has asked, appear before MPs

AND I think that his PA at the time must also be accountable and be able to provide all emails and all meetings that were tabled and all communication fully available. If emails are not available then Freedom of Information requests should be activated. A timetable of meetings during December is quite crucial and of course any information about those that were at those meetings. It must be about the detail now.

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 11:10:40 PM »
I'm not sure Mike Hollingsworth meant 'tone deaf'? But I think we get the idea.

Quote

Jimmy Savile: Mark Thompson's old boss says he must have heard the stories

Mike Hollingsworth, who employed Mark Thompson as his assistant when he was working for the BBC in the 1980s, says the former director general would have to have been 'tone deaf' not to have heard the stories about Jimmy Savile's sexual antics

Newly installed in his suite at The New York Times where he is the president and chief executive of the company, Mark Thompson has been straining to put as much of the clear blue water of the Atlantic between himself and Sir Jimmy Savile as possible. The former director general of the BBC professes to have had no knowledge whatsoever of the presenters reign of sexual terror and says that he played no part in the decision to halt the Newsnight inquiry into his activities.

When the corporation launched Breakfast Time in the early 1980s, Mike Hollingsworth was one of the programmes editors, and had Thompson as his assistant. He now tells Mandrake that his former underlings position beggars belief. He must be mad denying that hed heard anything about Saville. We had all heard the rumours. You would have to have been tone deaf not to have heard them, Hollingsworth tells me at the launch of the Thomas Pink British and Irish Lions collection. I know that Mark has a strong Catholic faith, but it wasnt as if this was something that people would whisper about when he came into a room he is a man of the world. You just have to look at the programming he put out when he took over at Channel 4 to see that he wasnt in the least bit squeamish when it came to all kinds of discussions about sex.

Hollingsworth, the former husband of the presenter Anne Diamond, concedes that stories of the kind that swirled around Savile in the 1980s were treated a lot less seriously than they should have been. People often did joke about it in earlier days, to be honest. Those were less enlightened times. The years passed by, however, and, of course, the stories continued. Thompson went on to take on some important positions in the industry, until, eventually, he became the DG.

At that point, these stories became his responsibility. It was the time when he should have started asking questions. What I find extraordinary about this affair is that all the conversations that supposedly took place about Savile, and the programmes they were making about him, always seemed to take place at parties, never in offices in a formal way.

Hollingsworth, who now runs the media agency Venture Artistes, adds that he felt Thompson had done himself no favours by denying all knowledge of Savile. At the very least, it makes him look as if he had his head in the sand bad for someone in his position, he says.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9653164/Jimmy-Savile-Mark-Thompsons-old-boss-says-he-must-have-heard-the-stories.html

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 09:01:59 PM »


What is now of vital importance is that there is full and complete transparency in any information coming from BBC management, the chances are running out.

What is also of importance is for Mark Thompson to be made accountable.

It has been reported today, that lawyers representing Thompson and Boaden wrote to The Sunday Times on 6 September after being presented with detailed allegations about the Savile affair and the shelving of the Newsnight broadcast. Thompson gave verbal approval for the letter to be sent.

This was 8 days before he left his post as DG.

And was sometime before he told MP Rob Wilson on 23/10 that he had no knowledge of controversy around Savile.

I believe the term is "wilfull ignorance" although I suspect that stronger language could be used.

Nick Pollard owes it to George Entwistle to thoroughly investigate Thompson, who I believe MUST also appear before the DCMS Committee, and if he does not we should be told why.


Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 09:04:12 PM »
It must not be forgotten that it was Mark Thompson, who set up the MANAGEMENT systems which have catastrophically failed.


It must not be forgotten that it was Mark Thompson who paid himself over 800,000 and then conducted a very covert licence fee settlement(with no public consultation), which resulted in 20% cuts. And still to this day no documentation has been released into the public domain despite several FOI requests.

It must not be forgotten that after the DQF cuts were announced by Thompson and it was clear that BBC local radio was going to be cut, Thompson cancelled and then failed to appear on any of his own stations to face the public.


It must not be forgotten that Thompson described networking of BBC local radio with 5 Live in a Times interview over a year before it was then presented as a random staff idea coming out of DQF?


When I first submitted the petition to save BBCLR it was only lodged as a complaint(despite many attempts to obtain a response)


Thompson has had to correct his version of what happened during the Savile broadcast, but only when he was confronted with the truth.


Is it any surprise that he wanted Entwistle to replace him? and is it any surprise that Entwistle has no clue what strong brave honest management means?


Good luck to the NYT, they may need it.

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2012, 09:46:33 PM »
This published in The New York Times, yesterday.

."A legal letter sent on behalf of Mark Thompson, the former director general of the BBC, raises questions about his assertions that he learned of accusations of sexual abuse against its longtime host Jimmy Savile only after leaving the corporations top job.

 s
Mark Thompson, the former BBC chief, has said he did not learn of abuse cases against a host until after leaving his job.
Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.

.In the letter, sent 10 days before Mr. Thompson left the BBC in September, lawyers representing him and another executive threatened to sue The Sunday Times in London over contentions in an article it was preparing that they had been involved in killing a BBC investigation of Mr. Savile.

Interviews show that the letter included a summary of the alleged abuse, including the allegation that some abuse might have occurred at the BBC.

According to people who have reviewed the private letter, it recounted that the proposed article in The Sunday Times magazine would look at a number of allegations regarding the behavior of the late television and radio presenter, specifically that he took advantage of a series of young women. Some of the alleged assaults took place on BBC premises.

An aide to the former BBC chief said that although Mr. Thompson had orally authorized the sending of the letter, he had not known the details of its contents. Its not clear if he was shown it, but he doesnt remember reading it, said the aide, a personal adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity to give Mr. Thompsons version of events. Mr. Thompson declined to comment.

The timing and substance of the letter are significant because Mr. Thompson, who began work this week as president and chief executive of The New York Times Company, said in October that during my time as director general of the BBC, I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile.

There were other moments during Mr. Thompsons final months at the BBC involving brief conversations and articles appearing in London news media when he might have picked up on the gravity of the Savile case. But the letter is different because it shows Mr. Thompson was involved in an aggressive action to challenge an article about the case that was likely to reflect poorly on the BBC and on him.

It came at a pivotal moment for Mr. Thompson. His appointment to The New York Times Company job was announced on Aug. 14, and the Sunday Times article was likely to appear in late September or early October, just as he was making the transition from London to New York.

The scandal exploded early last month when a rival television network broadcast a documentary on the sexual abuse accusations against Mr. Savile, the host of childrens and pop music shows, who retired in the mid-1990s and died in October 2011. The revelation has led to a police investigation of hundreds of accusations of abuse, mostly from the 1970s, and it has also shaken the BBC, where lower-level editors killed the investigation by its Newsnight program in December 2011.

The existence of the letter from lawyers for the BBC was first reported last weekend by The Sunday Times. But only after its wording was described in interviews this week did it become clear the degree to which Mr. Thompson, in his final days at the BBC, had information at his fingertips about Mr. Saviles alleged abuse and the scuttled Newsnight investigation.

The letter appears to have been the last in a string of opportunities for Mr. Thompson, while director general, to have gotten a fuller picture of Mr. Savile and the Newsnight program.

Mr. Thompson said he was not aware of the Newsnight program before it was killed in early December, and no evidence has emerged to challenge that. He acknowledges that a BBC reporter mentioned it to him a couple of weeks later at a company reception. His interest piqued, he said, he raised the subject with news executives and was told that Newsnight had halted the investigation for journalistic reasons and that there was nothing for him to be concerned with. He said he was not told and did not ask about the substance of the inquiry.

In January and February, seven articles appeared in the London press reporting on the killed Newsnight program and the accusations against Mr. Savile. In August, as the rival television station was preparing its Savile expos, more articles appeared previewing the documentary and again detailing the accusations. Although at least some of the articles were part of daily clippings of news articles sent to BBC executives, Mr. Thompson said he did not remember reading them."

Full artice here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/world/europe/letter-raises-questions-about-when-bbc-ex-chief-learned-of-abuse-cases.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp


It appears Thompson has told "friends" that apart from having no memory of many of these issues, he also has no memory of reading any emails or letters etc from ITV or The Sunday Times.

I believe the correct term he should  now use is a repeated "no comment" just like we observe in many police interviews.

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 11:48:06 PM »
The Sunday Times, today 18/11 has now published in full, the letter  Mark Thompson's lawyers sent to The Sunday Times on 6/9. It can be viewed online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/news

"Allegation..that Mark Thompson is aware that Newsnight was told that other stars - who are still alive -were also guilty of sexual offences committed on BBC premises or elsewhere..."

Mark Thompson presumably instructed his lawyers to respond? At the very least he MUST have been involved with a quick fact confirming discussion?

In which case his statement that no one showed him the legal letter or anything, either beggars belief or his PA and any advisors acting in his name have very serious questions to answer to the Pollard Inquiry and we will need to have full accountability and evidence from them as to why they instructed lawyers to act for Mark Thompson, without his authority or approval?


Elsewhere in the Sunday press a poll was reported by The Sunday Telegraph that a huge proportion of the Licence fee paying public has now lost trust in the corporation.


It is , therefore, vital that we have a full and truthful account from Mark Thompson. He must appear in public before  the DCMS committee, and the public are allowed to hear his defence.


"His ignorance has provoked incredulity in New York. Yesterday a report on the NY Magazine website carried the headline " Mark Thompson had no idea what was in that letter from Mark Thompson"


We were astonished at Entwistle, but this was his boss for 7 years...

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 08:41:07 PM »
I have to say for the sake of the BBC, I am relieved that this subject ie Mark Thompson and his possibly dishonest account of what happened re the Newsnight investigation is now being noticed in NY and here.

It is astonishing that Mark Thompson thought it was in any way acceptable of him, as the Director General of the BBC TO  QUICKLY CLAIM NO KNOWLEDGE OR ACCOUNTABILITY for one of the worst crisis that the BBC has faced(the lack of any action following investigations made by journalists on Newsnight) when he was indeed the person in charge at the time, and he has been happy to release correction after correction about his personal statements, that selfishly and recklessly have placed the blame elsewhere, and called into account the integrity of the BBC. Disgusting.

Anyway here are the releases today.

The New Yorker.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2012/11/mark-thompson-faces-nixon-question.html


Also this from The Tribune.


http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/2955863-74/thompson-bbc-scandal-abuse-sex-scandals-york-pope-president-allegations#axzz2CfrpyXGO


The New York Times must not be compromised by Mark Thompson, a person who was rushed into the BBC,with no scrutiny he just appeared after the Hutton Inquiry, during his handover Greg Dyke suggested that he got to know the roots of the BBC, by visiting every BBC local radio station, I believe that never took place, he put in place Salford, and also put in place a very greedy hands off management culture.

He was forced out eventually when Patten(Chair of The Trust) employed a headhunting agency to replace him following a huge public campaign to save basic journalism that he was threatening to cut, and indeed he faced a vote of no confidence from his staff.


A date must be set for him to appear before the DCMS committee.

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 11:14:42 PM »
A date must be set for him to appear before the DCMS committee.

Yes, there are many questions to answer.  Is he appearing before the BBC internal inquiries do we know?

I know Stewart Purvis has become a bit of an itch in the last few weeks but his blog http://profpurvis.com/ is worth a read on the subject of Thompson.

He also mentions an impromptu Q&A with Jones & McKean at the Frontline club recorded during a more expansive discussion on the BBC's troubles.  There is a podcast and can be downloaded from here: http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail?pid=48750

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 11:23:35 PM »
Mark Thompson appeared before The Pollard Inquiry last week.

But, as far as I am aware the lawyers letters were not forwarded to the Inquiry until this weekend, following publication by The Sunday Times.

I correct my last sentence, regarding the lawyers letters.

" A BBC Trust spokesperson said that a formal request had been made by the Trust to the BBC executive board for the letter to be passed to the Pollard Inquiry"

I have no idea whether the lawyers letter is now with the Inquiry?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 11:34:33 PM by Tiger »

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 11:50:08 PM »
 Mark Thompson remains under scrutiny in the US. Really hope that his cowardly, self serving approach to journalism and his mismanagement approach and lack of any integrity does not damage what has been before a gold plated trust in UK journalists, the BBC ETC? 


 " As Detective Peter Fox was speaking truth-to-power about wide-spread cover-up of child sex abuse in Australia, Britains Mark Thompson, former BBC Director, arrived on the skirts of New Yorks Old Gray Lady to assume his position as Chief Executive of the New York Times. Before Thompson even entered the building he blundered.

Reporters had camped out on the street, as reporters will, and questioned Thompson about BBCs Jimmy Savile scandal. Thompsons priceless response: it will in no way affect my new job. It is the BBC cover for the late Saviles decades-long rape and rampage of childrens lives. That a massive cover-up of BBC pedophilia would in no way affect Thompsons new job is concerning.

According to Jeff Bercovici of Forbes, the Times newsroom is concerned. They should be. The BBC Savile cover-up should affect every single aspect of how Thompson performs at the Times or anyplace else. Matter of fact, it should affect every aspect of his life.

The response I was hoping for went something like: Of course the Savile Scandal affects me; who I am as a man and a journalist. As the Times new director I will ensure we never ignore reports of pedophile rings let alone glorify and protect child rapists. Never again means something more to me. Now it is personal.

Sadly, Thompson said nothing of the sort. He did, however, give an honest answer. He will do at the New York Times exactly as he did at the BBC; sip his cocktail and slip into the shadows claiming he knew nothing.  Speculation that Times editors like Andy Rosenthal and journalists like Nick Kristof are concerned makes good sense. They should be. Thompsons learning curve is flat.

As Great Britain is engulfed with paedogeddon did England, perhaps, just export a modern Mad King George to the American Colonies?  Is it hoped that Americans, slammed by Sandy, enamored by the British accent, may embrace a man who participated in the media cover-up of a serial child rapist, as a legal letter sent to Thompson ten days before he left BBC may suggest?

On the same day Thompson landed on New Yorks shores, Australias Prime Minister announced a nation-wide inquiry into the systematic child sex abuse by children charities, police, churches, and child protective services. This was prompted by aforementioned Det. Peter Fox.

Paedogeddon is real. Not just in England or Australia but in America as well where high-powered political pedophile rings are destroying our children. As Suzanne Moore of The Guardian writes children have been screaming into a void for far too long.

Courage is required to speak truth-to-power about child sex trafficking as British MP Tom Watson and Australian Det. Peter Fox have done.  Gutsy editors and journalists are needed to work with whistle-blowing police and politicians.

As long as Mark Thompson holds the Old Gray Ladys reins all the news thats fit to print may not include exposing elite pedophile rings. It didnt at BBC under Thompsons leadership and there is no reason to believe this has changed.

Yet, all may not be lost. Remember, after all, what happened to King George when he tried to control America."


darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
Re: Why did Mark Thompson lie?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 09:37:59 PM »
He also mentions an impromptu Q&A with Jones & McKean at the Frontline club recorded during a more expansive discussion on the BBC's troubles.  There is a podcast and can be downloaded from here: http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail?pid=48750

Having now listened, I can recommend this podcast.  Although there are moments when it descends into some of the usual suspects enjoying the sound of their own voices a bit too much, it's more than made up for with contributions from a knowledgable and concerned audience.  Apart from Merion Jones and Helen Mackean, former Newsnight journo Olenka Frenkiel makes great sense and gets a round of applause for her trouble.

Merion sums it up nicely someway through the debate and reminds us that 'the BBC' knew Savile was a paedophile and their way for dealing with it was to give the public numerous tribute programs to him on TV and Radio... I just had to write this down because it's beyond stupid but it happened.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

Similar Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
Mark Thompson will quit.

Started by Tiger

17 Replies
4447 Views
Last post February 02, 2012, 09:50:16 PM
by Tiger
thumbup
At last! Mark Thompson to go in the autumn!

Started by Tiger

11 Replies
3775 Views
Last post April 14, 2012, 10:54:36 PM
by Tiger
xx
A Vote Of No Confidence In Mark Thompson

Started by Tiger

14 Replies
4762 Views
Last post January 25, 2012, 05:22:57 PM
by Tiger
xx
Mark Thompson makes a speech, again.

Started by Tiger

1 Replies
1133 Views
Last post March 14, 2012, 11:00:37 PM
by Tiger
xx
The public have no confidence in Mark Thompson...

Started by Tiger

28 Replies
6219 Views
Last post January 13, 2012, 09:10:30 AM
by News Mutt