For Thompson, more questions than answers
November 20, 2012
The first week of any new job is stressful. It must be especially so when you are wondering if you’ll actually keep your job.
Such is the situation for Mark Thompson, the new chief executive officer of The New York Times and former director general at the BBC, where a child sex abuse scandal has already sparked a government inquiry and prompted Thompson’s successor to step down.
Thompson has tried to distance himself from the scandal, which was brewing while he was still onboard, claiming he did not know of allegations that late presenter Jimmy Savile had raped and molested hundreds of underaged girls.
But a letter sent to The Sunday Times in September on Thompson’s behalf by his lawyers has emerged that indicates that Thompson did know about the allegations while he was at the BBC. He has said he did not find out until he left.
Thompson has also claimed he did not know why “Newsnight” killed a report on Savile last year just after his death and says he did not read the subsequent newspaper stories that detailed the allegations against Savile that were to have aired on “Newsnight.”
A Thompson spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that Thompson was not directly aware of the contents of the letter his lawyers sent to the Times.
That’s sure to flame further questions about what Thompson knew, when he knew it, and whether he played a part in killing the “Newsnight” piece.
Depending on what the answers are, it could cost Thompson his new job, with some questioning why the Times hasn’t pressed the new boss harder on his involvement in the scandal.
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