tv BBC World News WHUT October 23, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> the bbc sex scandal threatening the bbc's leadership at the present. the head of the corporation facing questions during 40 years of media stardom of jimmy savile. >> the culture at the bbc seemed to have allowed this behavior. >> welcome to gmt. david eades. also, the final phase of the
presidential tv showdown as obama and romney debate foreign policy. who is the winner this time? gaza its first visit from the head of state, the premier of qatat brings a massive construction plan. it is 7:00 in the morning in washington, 7:00 p.m. in beijing and midday in london. jimmy savile was once the uk's favorite tv personality as the start the 1970's and 1980's. he was untouchable. peace sexually abused potentially hundreds of girls during his decades of success. now he's dead, but the scandal has come alive, reaching the top of the channel he was associated with, the bbc. today and the head of the corporation is facing questions from a parliamentary committee about how much he knew of jimmy savile's behavior and the decision to drop a hard-hitting
tv expos a of the man at another time the the shell was preparing a glowing tributes of the man. first let's recap some of the main points. george entwistle was asked about the extent of the abuse in the '70s and '80s. >> there's no question what jimmy savile did and the way the bbc behaved and the culture of the bbc seemed to allow what he did, there's no question this is a gravely serious matter. one cannot look back on it with anything but horror that his activities went on as long as they did, undetected. that's a matter of grave regret to me and something that the bbc and i need to demonstrate an absolute determination not to do everything we can put right. i am determined to do that.
>> it was a long time. naomi, the question was raised, tell us about the pedophile ring? >> he was asked whether this kind of abuse was endemic at the bbc during these three decades or a for your decades we are looking at. he says is too early to tell. but he did say the bbc is looking at the possibility of 9 serious allegations, including people who still work at the bbc. we have the possibility that this goes beyond jimmy savile. >> it goes beyond just the issue of jimmy savile. we know that a hard-hitting program about the allegations was in the process of coming to light, a bbc program which was dropped at a time when the bbc was looking to put together a
great tribute program to jimmy savile and put george entwistle at the heart of what he knew about the program. >> on the basis of what i now know, i am surprised that nothing further happened with it. it seems entirely appropriate that the editor has to own that they're not ready to proceed. there was certainly some good journalistic material. even if it was not the prospect of media transmission, a continued investigation -- >> eye witness statements about a criminal offense. >> it is important to say, why
was the investigation stopped rather than the abuse being allowed to continue? and what should have happened corporately? >> george entwistle has called for two investigations on the way in which this has been handled by the bbc. let's pick up once again on the questions coming into him at that parliamentary and hearing. >> i have been accused of not having shown enough interest in the jimmy savile program. the key thing i needed to know was did they have something that they felt was good enough to proceed with. >> you failed. >> i don't believe i failed. i believe the system as a whole seems not to have got this right. >> you took part in that system.
people in the organization talking about an investigation into a senior television personality in the history of the bbc. >> it needed the next stage of investigation. if i had been told that they received transmission from such and such a date, i would've made sure i understood all the implications and wouldn't act accordingly -- would have acted accordingly. >> it is the management structure that is a concern. it may be a reason why this incident developed. >> normally the system copes with the challenges and works
well. there are real questions about what happened in this case. >> about being better informed. .> it's based on what we know >> you are sounding like james murdoch. >> i don't believe we did that. there's no question of anyone trying to turn a blind eye. what you know in detail is [indiscernible]. >> looking into jimmy savile, what did you think they were investigating? >> i don't remember reflecting on it. this was -- >> you are told one of the vote flagship investigative programs,
one of the most iconic figures who you were about to commission new attributes to, and you don't want to know? >> what was in my mind was a determination not to show undue interest. >> why did she tell you, if you were determined not to? she presumably thought you would want to know and would have expected at you to know? >> i assumed she was preparing me for the possibility that i would need to think about changing the schedule. that was the information i took from the conversation. >> you knew that she was telling you that you might have to think about changing the schedule and you did not even say to her,? what is,? parts i have no recollection of asking. what it asking. >> it is a lack of curiosity.
>> what informed my judgment is i did not want to do anything that would show undue interest. >> what area would have been interpreted as interfering in an investigation? >> i worry that all sorts of things people say and do regarding the bbc could potentially be construed that way. perhaps i was being overly sensitive. >> it seems that your determination not to show undue interest applies to everything at the bbc, from today's performance, not just the particular program. it's not just a lack of curiosity, although it certainly is that, but given that you are
putting on these programs, surely you must have wondered is it's still a proposal to put on the programs still. is it still appropriate for the bbc to put it on tv? >> i did not ask that question. in my mind was that the investigation would not come to anything. i was waiting to hear if i needed to do any more. >> i find this astonishing that you would not -- there's a big difference between putting something on a program illegally and something that there's not evidence that you don't want to give a tribute program to this person. even though you might not have enough to stand up a program legally, it might still apply that it would not be a program to start showing tribute
programs about the person. can you see that? >> i recognize that and i think our system needs to be more carefully calibrated to deal with the outcome and of investigations. the thing that was in my mind was if this had such allegations, i would end the broadcast. i recognize that we need to reflect on making sure we have a culture that does not run the risk of happened. >> you spoke earlier about a change of command at the bbc, which was quite revealing of a troubling culture. you wanted to find out something, you said that you would go to a divisional director, that it was pretty normal. i find that [indiscernible].
archie norman, if he wanted to find out what was going on in one of our stores, he did not go to the divisional director, he went to someone who worked on the shop floor to ask how are things going on the floor? the people will tend to know best are the ones who have their finger on the pulse. why is it inappropriate to talk to people on the shop floor? >> it's not i find it inappropriate. on any question, you need to ensure the division has a series understanding of what's going on. you should go to that division and report back. it's risky to run the possibility -- the right way to
find out what's going on is to ask a division to get the facts and explain it. >> went they asked you earlier about the e-mail on the women, you said there was something not right in the culture of the bbc. you have been at the bbc 23 years. given that you are so adamant the culture is not right, what have you done about it in the past? >> as a manager, i have always striven to be even-handed and as sensitive as possible to both sexes and making sure the culture they worked was appropriate. >> maybe you should said to the
general manager, do something about this. >> this is something we discussed at the bbc. >> but nothing ever happened? >> there is progress to be made, no question. question. >> is said there was no management pressure about pulling down the "newsnight" program and then new said -- you said there was no inappropriate management pressure. does that mean there was some pressure? >> managerial pressure is appropriate to make sure journalistic investigation is carried out properly. that is what i meant by a pro. -- by appropriate. andirrisi
people on the trust know about anything to do with jimmy savile, the "newsnight" investigation, or any legal issues we have discussed today? >> i started to make the trust aware on the second of october after my conversation with police. >> even though there were allegations that the bbc news about last november -- >> i don't know what happened with respect to the trust then. >> do you think the bbc trust should of been told about this? >> i think the trust should be kept aware of anything important to the organization. i don't think the bbc trust should have been told about the "newsnight" investigation in its early stages. if the significance of what the
"newsnight" had found had been recognized and properly dealt with by the organization at a whole, it may well have been the trust should be informed. i think it should be told when allegations are substantiated. there's a difference between allegations which been investigated and allegations which have been substantiated. >> we talked about the impact of the "newsnight" program, what it could add on your christmas schedule. were there any plans or thought to have a more permanent new series with a different presenter? was that something the bbc was actually working on at the time? >> i knew there was a possibility after the christmas special that a version of that show might be commissioned, but i don't know what came of
that. >> had the bbc spent much money on that? >> i don't know. >> why -- if the bbc were considering a longer-term why did that not go ahead? >> attributed programs went ahead. >> what about the series you're contemplating -- you're contemplating, why did not go ahead? >> i don't know. >> are there any questions about you had not thought about asking yourself? >> i have seen various versions of this conversation with h elen. >> that's george entwistle facing a barrage of questions.
the decision making and responsibilities, the channel of command within the bbc, asking him to clarify. a bunch of allegations that jimmy savile sexually abused possibly hundreds of girls during his time at the bbc and they're getting into the nitty gritty of the decision to drop a hard-hitting news program looking directly at those allegations about jimmy savile, wide was dropped and who by? astonishment from some members of the parliamentary committee as to the way in which that decision and the decisionmaking processes are taken. we will keep across this and will have more analysis later on gmt. let's get some other news stories. the heavyweight political boxing match is over. pre rounds in the tv debating
bring together and neither president obama nor his challenger mitt romney could deal a knockout blow to their opponent. although mr. obama might admits he was already asleep on the canvas for the first debate. this debate last night was on foreign policy. mr. obama said that mr. obama had allowed a rising tide of chaos across the middle east. mr. obama accused his rival of being inconsistent on iraq and afghanistan. the candidates went head-to- head. >> the final head-to-head, this time on foreign affairs. they go around the world in 90 minutes. a large chunk of the time on the the threat of nuclear iran. >> one of the challenges we have had with iran is they have looked at this administration and felt it was not as strong as it needed to be. i think they saw weakness. >> the clock is ticking. we are not going to allow iran
to perpetually engaged in negotiations that lead to nowhere. i've been very clear with them. >> the president denied reports that his administration would soon enter one-on-one negotiations with iran. mitt romney said that a war alone would not end violent extremism. >> we cannot kill our way out of this mess. >> he promised economic development and deterrence through u.s. military strength. his pledge to increase pentagon spending drew this response. >> you mentioned the navy and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. we have things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have shipped that go under water, nuclear submarines. >> the dividing lines or dinner on issues like pakistan, afghanistan, and syria. romney tried to turn the debate back to home.
>> america must be strong in order to fulfil our role in the world. america must lead. we have to strengthen our economy here at home for that to happen. if you cannot have 23 million people struggling to get a job. >> they remained mostly composed. the president more fluent on issues he deals with day to day, the salinger working hard to sound like the commander-in- chief. and then the closing arguments. >> we have been through tough times, but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together. if i had the privilege of being your president and other four years, i promise always listened to your voices and fight for your families and work every single day to make sure america if it continues to be the greatest nation on earth. >> washington is broken. i know what it takes to get this country back. if we will work with the republicans and democrats to do that. -- i will.
>> we will learn the verdict in two weeks' time. bbc news, washington. >> the mayor of qatar has arrived in gaza, the first head of state to visit in five years. sheikh hamad bin khalifa al thani will launch a $250 million rebuilding project. israeli leaders and some palestinian leaders on the west bank are not impressed. john is joining me. this is a moment in history. >> it is. they have prepared quite a welcome for the emir and his wife. they arrived early this morning and crossed on the red carpet. they're getting ready for a big rally at the football stadium. not many people lack a moment, but i feel the stadium will be full in a few hours time.
hamas is very much trying to make political capital. the first head of state to come here. has become one of hamas' primary benefactors. has announced a further $150 million to go towards construction projects in gaza. >> these are huge amounts of money. and not everyday that qatar the israeli government would see eye to eye on an issue, but they seem to here. >> it's interesting because qtar is one -- qatar is one of the u.s.' principal allies in the region.
some senior this as interference in palestinian politics. but money does not come for free. that qatar will want something in return. qatar is in a fairly unique position to put some leverage over hamas to get it to change direction. >> thanks very much. it's been a noisy parliamentary committee for george entwistle, the director-general of the bbc, still facing questions over the jimmy savile scandal. >> [indiscernible] >> i cannot. >> it was not vigorous. >> i believe the investigation
was. looking at the bbc more broadly, i could only guess about what people did in the past with their motivation was. , but we did not do that. but neither did anybody else. >> [indiscernible]. >> they did on the third of october. for many years people say they heard rumors and allegations. no newspaper launched an investigation of jimmy savile that i'm aware of and no other broadcaster did. . >> that was george entwistle still dealing with questions on what happened in the past at bbc with regard to jimmy savile and in a much more recent times on the investigation into those allegations. much more to come. stay with us on bbc world news.
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