Special Edition: It’s Good to Live in a Two-Times Company Town (X Marks the Thompson Spot)

November 17, 2012

Friday’s New York Times featured what might be the first chime in the death knell of newly minted New York Times Company CEO Mark Thompson.

Letter Raises Questions About When BBC Ex-Chief Learned of Abuse Cases

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 corporation’s top job.

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.

Translation: Thompson at the very least misremembered when he became aware of the Jimmy Savile row.

At worst, this is just the first shoe to drop. At best . . . well, there is no best.

Meanwhile, the Times kissin’ cousin Boston Globe has yet to even grab a shoehorn.

The Globe’s most extensive reference to the Thompson kerfuffle ran in this October 26 pickup from the Times wire service:

The scandal has drawn in several top figures at the BBC, including its current director general, George Entwistle, who took over in September from Mark Thompson, the incoming president and chief executive of The New York Times Co.

Thompson was director general of the BBC when the editor of a current affairs program canceled an investigation into Savile in late 2011, just as other divisions of the BBC were planning Christmastime tributes to him a few months after his death at age 84.

Thompson has said repeatedly that he knew nothing about the investigation by the ‘‘Newsnight’’ program while it was under way, had no role in canceling it and also had heard none of the suspicions about Savile.

On Thursday, Thompson won an enthusiastic endorsement from Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman of The New York Times Co. and the publisher of The Times.

Since then, a whole lot of nothing.

The hardreading staff sort of feels Globeniks are entitled to something more.

 


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