Washington: A senior female executive at the New York Times has asked whether former BBC chief Mark Thompson is fit to be her new boss in the wake of a paedophile scandal, which rocked the corporation to its core.
In an extraordinary intervention, Margaret Sullivan questioned the integrity and ability of the man who was the BBC`s director general, when a report that would have exposed Jimmy Savile as a predator who targeted young, vulnerable girls, was axed.
Writing in a blog post, the public editor, who works on behalf of readers and writes about the newspaper itself said: “How likely is it that [Thompson] knew nothing?”
“His integrity and decision-making are bound to affect The New York Times and its journalism - profoundly. It’s worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events,” she said.
According to the Daily Mail, it has been Thompson’s assertion that he knew nothing about the allegations against the late presenter until last month after he had left the BBC.
His statement was also questioned by one of the corporation’s respected foreign correspondents Caroline Hawley.
She said that she believed she told Thompson, who is due to take up his post at the New York Times next month, about the ‘broad context’ of the investigation into Savile, who died last year at the age of 84, the report said.
According to the report, Hawley said she voiced her concerns about the cancellation of the report, which would have aired on the BBC’s flagship current affairs show Newsnight, at a Christmas drinks party last year.
The investigation had been scheduled to run in November - but was pulled at the last minute, it added.