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Rupert Murdoch Weighs In On BBC Scandal: 'What Are Editors For?'

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RUPERT MURDOCH
AP

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch weighed in on the news crisis currently rocking the BBC.

Director-General George Entwistle resigned from the BBC on Saturday after a news program falsely accused a politician of child abuse. The devastating misreport came just weeks after the same program, "Newsnight," became the center of one of the worst scandals in the BBC's history, due to its decision to scrap an investigative report outing iconic British television host Jimmy Savile as a serial child sex abuser.

Murdoch, whose media empire suffered deeply from the phone hacking scandal that led to the closing of the News of the World tabloid, multiple arrests, parliamentary hearings and a press ethics inquiry, tweeted about the scandal the BBC currently faces.

"BBC getting into deeper mess. After Savile scandal, now prominent news program falsely names senior pol as paedophile," he wrote on Saturday before Entwistle resigned. "Editor- in- chief apologises and pleads total ignorance. Press having field day! What are editors for?"

After Entwistle's resignation, Murdoch added, "Now BBC will probably split editor-in- chief and Director General jobs.Would be much better. Guess FT Hislop real sleeper candidate."

Columbia Journalism School's Emily Bell speculated that Murdoch was referring to Financial Times editor Lionel Barber.

Reuters' Michael Holden and Kate Holton provided some insight into Murdoch's response to the scandal when they reported on the BBC's loaded relationship with its competitors.

They wrote, "While respected around the world, the BBC has long been resented by its commercial rivals, who argue the licence fee gives it an unfair advantage and distorts the market. Murdoch's Sun tabloid gleefully reported Entwistle's departure with the headline 'Bye Bye Chump' and [BBC chairman Chris] Patten said News Corp and others would put the boot in, happy to deflect attention after a phone-hacking scandal put the newspaper industry under painful, intense scrutiny."

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