Ghislaine Maxwell - remember, she got guilty
None of this seems to have concerned management at the increasingly troubled BBC, where, for starters, Alan Dershowitz, formerly Jeffrey Epstain’s lawyer and someone who is not a disinterested party in the affair, was given a platform by the Corporation to smear Ms Maxwell’s accusers. The Beeb has since attempted to deflect the welter of condemnation by claiming that the Dershowitz interview “did not meet its editorial standards”.
Tim Davie - not going very well, is it?
The BBC’s own report at least explains why the interview was not their finest hour: “Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, a human rights lawyer, tweeted that Mr Dershowitz was introduced ‘without any reference to his background; he's simply introduced as “constitutional lawyer” as if he's a neutral expert’, adding: ‘Shocked. Utterly bizarre decision and does the audience a disservice.’” But now they’ve done it again.
Because the Radio 4 Today Programme - the gold standard of radio news reportage - has this morning given Ian Maxwell - Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother - a platform to proclaim her innocence. Sonia Sodha of the Observer was surprised. “Why is the BBC now running an interview with Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother, pleading her innocence, on its main bulletin on R4? Would they do that for any other child sex offender found guilty in a court of law?”
Another Tweeter mused “As #GhislaineMaxwell's brother is given a platform on #r4today to proclaim his sibling's innocence (based on no evidence other than ‘my own view’), I'm trying to recall the last time the defenders of anyone convicted of a major crime were offered sich an opportunity on the BBC”. The Secret Barrister found it mystifying.
“I cannot understand why #r4today is providing a platform for family and friends of Ghislaine Maxwell to proclaim her innocence and undermine the jury’s verdicts. Is this service to be made available to all convicted sex offenders?” Mark Hebden added “Can't believe #r4today just gave a platform to Ian Maxwell … to defend his sister and undermine the testimonies of the survivors of abuse as well as questioning the court process”.
Chris Dillow suggested this may be taking the “balance” concept a little too far. “#r4today giving a platform to Ian Maxwell to protest his sister's innocence shows two features of BBC news: a class bias (do working class nonces get the same privilege?); and a prioritizing of ‘balance’ so that a jury verdict has no more weight than some guy's opinion”.
And SNP MP John Nicolson, having concluded that Maxwell’s appearance was an “odd decision”, asked “Are we to assume that all high profile, well connected sex offenders will now be allowed to use a high profile BBC platform to attack witnesses post conviction?”
This kind of thing one might expect from the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine. Not the BBC. It’s high time that Tim Davie stopped grovelling before the political and media establishment - the Corporation may not survive much more of this ineptitude.
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