BBC Internal Investigation Into Rehiring Of Bashir Dubiously Clears Recruitment Staff

BBC Internal Investigation Into Rehiring Of Bashir Dubiously Clears Recruitment Staff

Victoria Mckeown-

An investigation into the BBC’s rehiring of Martin Bashir as its religious affairs correspondent in 2016 has cleared all of those involved in his recruitment, while also finding there were some “shortcomings” in the process.

The internal investigation, led by  BBC executive Ken MacQuarrie, found that none of those involved in rehiring Bashir had knowledge of the deceitful methods he had used to secure the famous Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1995.

“I have found no evidence that Martin Bashir was rehired to contain and/or cover up the events surrounding the 1995 Panorama programme,” said MacQuarrie.
“In my view, that theory is entirely unfounded. None of the individuals involved in the recruitment of Martin Bashir had knowledge of all of the matters contained in the Dyson report. I have no doubt that if any of the individuals … had been aware of what is now publicly known … Martin Bashir would never have been reappointed at the BBC.”

Last month, James Harding, who was director of BBC News when Bashir was rehired, said he had not been aware that the journalist had forged bank statements. Harding, who left the BBC in 2018, said that if he had known “he wouldn’t have got the job”.had been aware of what is now publicly known … Martin Bashir would never have been reappointed at the BBC.”

However, John Munroe, one of the most senior executives of the BBC is reported to have been  told of Bashir’s forgery, but said the time had been spent. His knowledge overrides the ignorance of any other lower ranked staff in relation to those statements and exposed a lapse in integrity in some segments of the BBC- a corporation renowned for its high level journalism and integrity.  It may have been different here because of the big cash to be earned and perhaps shared by some big players at the broadcasting corporation.

Already, questions are lurking as to why a police prosecution has not taking place in a case that has all the hall marks of fraud, and has been labelled as such by Lord Dyson. The fact Bashir was rehired  in what has been acknowledged as a big mistake, and nobody is responsible, smells of a rat. The BBC has admitting the mistake in rehiring Bashir, but it is irrelevant whether those in the line of recruitment were aware of his fraudulent acts in forging bank statements, if someone senior in the organisation  was aware.

Accountability mostly lies in the higher ranks, who can internally decide to apportion blame down the lower ranks. External observation puts culpability higher up the ladder, from where there can be no escape once the facts are  proven. The BBC leadership was responsible for covering up the seriousness of Martin Bashir’s misconduct, for which they are now truly sorry. That’s the most important honest message that can come out from the whole investigation.

Bashir would appear to be lucky to still have his freedom, after earning a decent wage from the interview which has still not been made public, because it could highlight the significance of the fake bank statements in the scheme of things. The truth is Bashir  probably generated big money for all concerned, making him ironically a corporation hero considered worth protecting. It leads to the ironic question, who would really want to punish the man who puts food on your table and money in your bank account?

Woefully Ineffective

Dyson has already condemned the investigation as “woefully ineffective”, stated that Hall was aware Bashir was telling “serious and unexplained lies” lies about his methods and that the BBC “covered up in its press logs” what it knew when media began asking questions about how the world exclusive was landed.

Bashir left the BBC in 1999 but was rehired as religion correspondent in late 2016, despite the history of controversy and allegations about the methods he used to obtain the Diana interview which would make him a star. He was later promoted to religion editor.

Last month, James Harding, who was director of BBC News when Bashir was rehired, said he had not been aware that the journalist had forged bank statements. Harding, who left the BBC in 2018, said that if he had known “he wouldn’t have got the job”.

Dyson lambasted the investigation as “woefully ineffective”,  said that Hall was aware Bashir was telling “serious and unexplained lies” lies about his methods and that the BBC “covered up in its press logs” what it knew when media began asking questions about how the world exclusive was landed.
Bashir left the BBC in 1999 but was rehired as religion correspondent in late 2016, despite the history of controversy and allegations about the methods he used to obtain the Diana interview which would make him a star. He was later promoted to religion editor.

.Last month, James Harding, who was director of BBC News when Bashir was rehired, said he had not been aware that the journalist had forged bank statements. Harding, who left the BBC in 2018, said that if he had known “he wouldn’t have got the job”.

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