When the BBC's director general, George Entwistle, appeared in front of the culture select committee last week, one of the MPs who grilled him asked if he would agree that, with hindsight, the decision to pull the Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile had been a "catastrophic" mistake. I was taken aback by this. Even allowing for the schadenfreude you see rolling off MPs in select committee mode ? it rises stinkily, like some awful Victorian miasma ? his question seemed over the top. A famine is a catastrophe. Or a war. But the failure of BBC management to green light a segment of a late-night news programme? That's an error, not a catastrophe.
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