Law is an ass…

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‘I can’t identify the person in this story…’

After 23 years in the BBC, our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry, looks on with horror at what is happening today, as more and more presenters say the person at the centre of the alleged sex scandal should come forward despite the legal prohibition, and an increasing number of serious questions are levelled at the corporation. 

Previously Phil has described how he was helped to break into the South Wales Echo office car when he was a cub reporter, recalled his early career as a journalist, the importance of experience in the job, and made clear that the ‘calls’ to emergency services as well as court cases are central to any media operation.

The career of Phil – here on BBC Wales Today in 1988 – centred on identifying people

He has also explored how poorly paid most journalism is when trainee reporters had to live in squalid flats, the vital role of expenses, and about one of his most important stories on the now-scrapped 53 year-old BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW) TV Current Affairs series, Week In Week Out (WIWO), which won an award even after it was axed, long after his career really took off.

Phil has explained too how crucial it is actually to speak to people, the virtue of speed as well as accuracy, why knowledge of ‘history’ is vital, how certain material was removed from TV Current Affairs programmes when secret cameras had to be used, and

Perhaps certain methods should be used to ‘out’ the person, as Phil did on BBC Panorama in 2003

Earlier he disclosed why investigative journalism is needed now more than ever although others have different opinions, and how information from trusted sources is crucial.

 

It’s getting ridiculous now.

The number of BBC presenters who have said publicly the person at the centre of the controversy over an alleged sex scandal should come forward and identify himself, grows by the day.

Others have said publicly ‘it’s not me’.

Phil watches with horror at shocking events as he found during production of this 2003 BBC Panorama

Lots of people know who it is anyway!

As the Daily Mail has reported: “ONE-IN-SIX PEOPLE KNOW WHO SCANDAL-HIT BBC STAR IS”.

That would mean MILLIONS are in on the secret!

The broadcaster Jeremy Vine has written online that the latest allegations would result in “yet more vitriol being thrown at perfectly innocent colleagues” at the BBC.

He said he’s “starting to think” the presenter involved in the scandal “should now come forward publicly”, adding that the broadcaster is “on its knees”.

“But it is his decision and his alone”, he tweeted.

David Keighley said there was “reputational damage”

David Keighley, the former BBC news producer and director of News-watch, said the presenter’s continuing anonymity was causing “reputational damage” to the man’s colleagues.

Yet it isn’t simply the BBC.

Talk TV host Piers Morgan has also said the unnamed presenter should come forward “for the good of his colleagues, the BBC and himself”.

Mark Berkowski said it was an ongoing car crash

The publicist and strategist Mark Berkowski told Times Radio the presenter could not go unnamed much longer.

“We’ve got a situation where it’s an ongoing car crash and the BBC is so glacial about how they’re dealing with this, because this is a 21st century problem,” he said.

Paddy McGuinness has even made a comedy video about the situation which has been posted on the internet, saying in it that he was: “…keeping an eye on what’s going on with this ‘who’s the presenter?’ malarkey…it’s bonkers…the mind boggles”.

Protests grow at the behaviour of the BBC

Meanwhile questions continue to grow as to the behaviour of senior corporation executives in the way this has all been handled.

They look bad over how slowly they have acted in terms of addressing the initial complaint, because they took seven weeks before the presenter was spoken to.

The initial investigations team only sent one email and made one phone call that didn’t connect to the initial complainant in order to try to verify this claim.

Tim Davie – the Director General – entered an official building through a loading bay

It was only when contacted by The Sun last Thursday that the BBC spoke to the presenter about the claims and he (because it has been reported that it IS a man) was taken off air.

The corporation has also seemed to have been tardy in talking to the media about it.

The Director General (DG) of the BBC, Tim Davie, entered an official building through a loading bay to, in the words of Sky, avoid answering reporter questions.

We heard from Mr Davie after the broadcaster released its annual report yesterday, and he appeared on BBC 4’s World At One (WatO) radio programme – but he has not given an interview to any other news outlet.

Interviews need to be given

“The fact all of us broadcasters have asked, have put in requests again and again to speak to the director-general, and the fact that he has only given an interview to his own people is not a good look for the BBC”, said one Sky journalist.

Now further allegations have emerged following the original ones in The Sun.

They include accusations that other young people are involved, and that the anonymous presenter broke Covid-19 lockdown rules to meet one of them.

However the BBC is the institution that informed us all what we should be doing during lockdown and it is alleged, this presenter was breaking these same rules.

This could make the BBC look hypocritical.

But hypocrisy is a mild criticism in the context of all this…