I don’t really want to discuss too deeply the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile. Suffice to say that I consider them shocking and disgusting, and the potential victims worthy of respect and a proper hearing after all this time. The reaction from various parts of the media is interesting though.
Tabloid hacks, bruised and battered by Leveson, smell blood from the BBC, and are circling.
Maguire (Mirror), Wooding (Sun on Sunday, ex NOTW) and Pierece (Daily MAil) have all piled in:
Fleet Street Fox has dug her claws in too:
Interestingly, people are tweeting back supportive replies, recognising some of the good journalism that the tabloid press have published.
Of course every tabloid may have missed out on this particular story, as Fleet Street Fox points out it was Newsnight who had it first. However, a less chastened, and let’s be honest, nervous, British tabloid press may just have had enough to get to the bottom of this. They simply couldn’t pursue this story and take the risk of being wrong in the current climate.
It is not so much the alleged abuse, horrendous as that is, that they may have uncovered. If they were going to do that it would have happened decades ago when tabloids and Savile were in their prime. They may though have unearthed full extent of what appears to be a massive BBC cover up, as the victims felt more able to come forward after Savile’s passing.
This looks like an establishment stitch up, and whatever you think of them, tabloids expose those better than anyone.
When the truth about Jimmy Savile, what he was doing, and who knew about it finally comes to light, and it will come to light, we may all realise that we wish the News of the World was still around to investigate. There may have been some serious bad practice going on and some serious cultural shifts required, but the News of the World and other tabloids also ran some sterling investigations. This situation emphatically proves that Lord Justice Leveson must resist throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Perhaps Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan and Evan Harris want to check they are the right side.