Is Howell Raines moving to the BBC?
: The BBC scandal is sure starting to smell like the New York Times scandal. Now the staff is revolting:
Senior BBC executives seemed isolated from their own staff last night when the corporation implicitly accused David Kelly of failing to be entirely open when he appeared before MPs last week.
Andrew Gilligan, the journalist at the centre of the row, said he did not misquote Dr Kelly in his original report. Executives believe privately that the scientist, who committed suicide on Thursday, held reservations about Downing Street’s involvement in the notorious September dossier which he did not air to the foreign affairs select committee.
But journalists, editors and presenters contacted by the Guardian yesterday questioned – on condition of anonymity – the credibility of this stance. They expressed doubt about the positions of Gilligan and Richard Sambrook, the director of news, who has given unswerving support to the reporter since he learned that Dr Kelly was his source. A few even talk darkly of revolt. Support for Gilligan, outside the increasingly fraught confines of the Today programme where he is defence and diplomatic correspondent, is slipping away.
“It’s one thing if the top brass choose to go to the wall for Gilligan. It’s quite another if they expect us to do it too,” one insider said.