It started as a simple scandal involving a few sordid claims about a dead television presenter. Now revelations about Jimmy Savile have become a “tsunami of filth” that threatens to tear apart the BBC, destroy public careers and even stain the New York Times.
As fresh allegations of abuse, rape, pedophilia and even necrophilia against Savile emerge daily, the British public is fast becoming inured to the horrors he was allowed to perpetrate during a five-decade sex rampage at the BBC, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions he visited for charity work.
A frenzy of finger pointing has targeted BBC figures past and present but has also extended to health officials, police and — following claims in some quarters that aspects of Savile’s sexual preferences were more acceptable in bygone decades — British society as a whole.
Now some believe the campaign threatens to become a witch hunt, amid suggestions some British media are deliberately whipping up opinion against the BBC as payback for the scrutiny they faced during the recent phone-hacking scandal.