London: A senior columnist at the New York Times has questioned whether former BBC Director General Mark Thompson is fit for taking up his new post at America’s most prestigious newspaper in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
Joe Nocera, who has been a columnist at the NYT since 2005, also accused Thompson of being wilfully ignorant about the Savile sexual abuse scandal.
The criticism from the columnist at The New York Times puts pressure on Thompson to disclose what he knew about a Newsnight investigation into claims Savile had abused teenagers on BBC premises and elsewhere.
“Given the seriousness of sexual abuse allegations... you would think that Thompson and his underlings would immediately want to get to the bottom of it,” Nocera wrote.
“But again, they did nothing. Thompson winds up appearing wilfully ignorant, and it makes you wonder what kind of an organization the BBC was when Thompson was running it - and what kind of leader he was,” he wrote.
“It also makes you wonder what kind of a chief executive he`d be at The Times,” he added.
According to the Telegraph, Thompson, the investigation against Savile was dropped for "editorial reasons" shortly before a tribute programme to the late BBC star was broadcast.
Thompson claimed earlier this month that he had ‘never heard any allegations’ about Savile during his time at the corporation.
He later admitted that he had ‘formed the impression it was about sex abuse’.