Ongoing and growing problems at the BBC have stirred a media maelstrom that is beginning to rival the one surrounding the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s UK papers. And the Murdoch press seems to be reveling in a little bit of schadenfreude after last night’s resignation of BBC director general George Entwistle. The Sun newspaper’s front page today calls Entwistle “Gormless George” and blares: “Bye Bye Chump.” And an editorial in The Sunday Times suggests it is time for BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten to exit: “Last night Lord Patten put his poodle out of his misery. If he has any sense of honour, he should take responsibility for promoting his creature and go too,” it reads. But while Patten today acknowledged the possibility that he may have to leave if public trust is not restored in the BBC, he also told the Murdoch-controlled Sky News, “I’m not going to this morning take my marching orders from Mr. Murdoch’s newspapers.”
Murdoch himself has also been busy on Twitter, posting ahead of Entwistle’s ankling: “BBC getting into deeper mess. After Savile scandal, now prominent news program falsely names senior pol as paedophile.” That tweet referred to the scandal surrounding late Top Of The Pops host Jimmy Savile who is alleged to have sexually abused scores of minors on BBC property. It also pointed to last week’s suspension of investigative BBC program Newsnight which was discredited following the implication of a senior political figure in a child abuse scandal. Murdoch’s next tweet read: “Editor-in-chief apologises and pleads total ignorance. Press having field day! What are editors for?” After Entwistle’s resignation, Murdoch sounded off once more: “Now BBC will probably split editor-in-chief and Director General jobs. Would be much better. Guess FT Hislop real sleeper candidate.” But Murdoch’s Twitter followers are unsure whom he’s referring to there. Ian Hislop is the editor of satirical British current affairs magazine Private Eye, but Columbia Journalism School’s Emily Bell thinks Murdoch might mean Financial Times editor Lionel Barber.
Related: BBC Trust Chairman: “You’ve Only Got To Watch Television In America Or France Or Italy To Know How Good The BBC Is”
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