Monday 12th November 2012
The BBC is rightly in the dock this weekend, following a disastrous report that led to a former Conservative Party treasurer being falsely accused of unspeakable crimes.
Lord McAlpine was branded a paedophile on Twitter, following a poorly-researched “investigation” that claimed a “leading politician from the Thatcher years” had abused children at the Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wrexham.
Turns out, he’s completely innocent, having only been to Wrexham once and that was to visit the local Conservative Association, and he intends to sue in order to clear his name.
Among those who named the Tory peer on the social network was the Guardian journalist George Monbiot – known as “Moonbot”, due to his far out, Left-wing ideas. He may soon find a libel writ crossing his desk.
Someone else who’ll be having sleepless nights is Sally Bercow, the publicity-crazed wife of the House of Commons Speaker. “Why is Lord McAlpine trending?” she Tweeted last Sunday. “Innocent face.”
I don’t suppose she’s feeling quite so chipper this morning.
However, the real culprit here is Newsnight, the BBC current affairs programme responsible for airing the dodgy report. It has already issued a groveling apology, but that may not be enough to save it. (To read more, click here.)
© 2004 - 2013 Toby Young