Is Howell Raines moving to the BBC?

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.

  • linden

    How is all of this going down among the British? Will the situation get to such a point that privatization is desired or called for? If I lived in the UK, I’d be furious about having to pay the BBC tax.

  • It is possible that Kelly did say what was reported by Gilligan and therefore, that other than claiming he was a senior intelligence source the BBC did not make up the allegation.
    And of course now that Kelly can

  • JohninLondon

    Even if Dr Kelly made some untoward remarks, he was not a senior enough source to justify the BBC breaking its firm guidlines that no story should run on a single source except “exceptionally”. As Tom Mangold, a veteran BBC investigative reporter said, – “Ben Bradshaw would have wanted it double-checked, watertight”
    And the real sin of the BBC has been the escalating “cover-up” of the original Gilligan sin. Cover-up that went right to the top, including total misdescription of Kelly’s importance in the intelligence game and in the preparation of the September JIC dossier.
    It coulod well be the cover-up that will cause senior BBC resignations, maybe before the Judge completes his enquiry.

  • Agree but I believe that the Beeb management thinks that if this is the case, it exempts them entirely. They

  • JohninLondon

    No – the report will be very fast, they will be interrogated in public, and they will NOT get away with all this. The rest of the UK media are chasing them as well, now

  • Giles

    “It was revealed last night that Mr Gilligan has been taken off reporting duties until the conclusion of Lord Hutton

  • Giles

    Lord Hutton has wasted no time in asserting the independence of his judicial inquiry into the circumstances that led Dr David Kelly to take his own life. Oliver Letwin was untypically partisan when he demanded yesterday that Lord Hutton’s terms of reference should include information policy before, during and since the Iraq war.
    Such a wide-ranging investigation would keep ministers on the rack for years before it reported, which is doubtless why the Tories would like it.

  • JohninLondon

    The Tories don’t cut any ice on this – Letwyn is wasting his time. The Judge has said he intends to work fast.

  • JK

    Even though the BBC is being caught with its pants down here, the fact is that the corporation (as distinct from, in extremis, a couple of sacrificial resignations) is poltically invulnerable in the UK.
    If even Margaret Thatcher could not lay a glove on them, Tony Blair doesn’t stand a chance.
    The British ability to think through or agree on any significant change completely fails where historical relics are concerned (witness the failure to build freeways to relieve London’s congestion and the survival of their filthy, expensive, antiquated, unreliable and murderously dangerous railway and tube systems).
    The BBC’s status is secure precisely because the British can’t imagine a future without it, or with only a sharply curtailed version of it.
    Sadly they wear this like a badge of honor, whereas it is in fact just a pathetic failure of imagination.

  • JohninLondon

    You may be right – but i have never seen the BBC under such attack as this. There is an increasing undercurrent of objections to the heavy licence fee.
    This starts to soften up the Brits for reform in the status of the BBC. Previously, no Government could not get away from this. This time round, it may well feature as a manifesto proposal from the tories at the next election, as they already have a major study going on led by David Elstein, a highly experienced TV executive. And New Labour would now like to cut the overweening power of the BBC. I think the Hutton enquiry will significantly alter the British mood towards the BBC, and its receptivity to ideas of reform.
    Plus the rest of the media are swarming round the BBC – lots of Schadenfreude !