I see BBC Director General George Entwistle has been “grilled” by MPs over the Jimmy Savile allegations.
While Savile’s activities ought to be investigated and the truth brought to light I suspect that similar failings of oversight to those the BBC is being charged with would have been present in any large organisation during the times concerned. The mechanisms were not in place then and neither was the awareness.
Granted, the presence of teenage girls at the average Top of the Pops recording was likely to be higher than at other places. These girls (possibly some boys too) were moreover likely to be starry-eyed, but the same would also have been true backstage at any rock gig; and probably still is.
So why the focus on the BBC? It was not only there that Savile is alleged to have acted predatorily or carried out abuse.
I look forward to MPs smilarly “grilling” the bosses at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General, Broadmoor and at the various children’s homes he was given privileged access to – all of whom arguably had a greater duty of care to those on or in their premises than had the BBC – and for that questioning to be given similar prominence in news reports.
It is sickening to realise that Savile’s volunteering to “help” at these hospitals and homes and also his charity work may have been undertaken – most likely was – precisely as a means of gaining access to vulnerable people.
This affair should not be a stick with which to beat the BBC but a way to ensure that victims of predatory sexual behaviour and of abuse can be encouraged to come forward – and be listened to when they do and for those in charge of vulnerable individuals to be much more careful about to whom they grant access to their in their care.