PAUL BRACCHI: A litany of sleazy behaviour that begs the question - How much ... trends now

PAUL BRACCHI: A litany of sleazy behaviour that begs the question - How much ... trends now
PAUL BRACCHI: A litany of sleazy behaviour that begs the question - How much ... trends now

PAUL BRACCHI: A litany of sleazy behaviour that begs the question - How much ... trends now

Former BBC director-general Sir Mark Thompson — he was knighted in the King’s birthday honours in June — has enjoyed a glittering career in the U.S.

He left the corporation in 2012 to become chief executive of the New York Times and earlier this month was chosen to lead media giant CNN into the next presidential election. ‘There isn’t a more experienced, respected or capable executive in the news business today,’ declared the announcement confirming his appointment.

Thompson, who lives in an apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, one of the wealthiest enclaves of the city, has been hailed as the cable channel’s ‘white knight’, following poor ratings and low staff morale under his predecessor.

His salary has not yet been made public but while at the New York Times, some years his total package soared as high as $6.1 million (nearly £5 million).

The fallout from the Russell Brand scandal, though, is in danger of spoiling his American dream.

Former BBC director-general Sir Mark Thompson has enjoyed a glittering career in the US as chief executive of the New York Times and is soon to take the reins at CNN

Former BBC director-general Sir Mark Thompson has enjoyed a glittering career in the US as chief executive of the New York Times and is soon to take the reins at CNN

Thompson was director-general throughout Russell Brand’s (pictured) career at the BBC — both when Brand joined in 2006 and when he left in disgrace in 2008 in the aftermath of Sachsgate

Thompson was director-general throughout Russell Brand’s (pictured) career at the BBC — both when Brand joined in 2006 and when he left in disgrace in 2008 in the aftermath of Sachsgate

All but forgotten in the frenetic stream of accusations over the past week is that Thompson was director-general throughout Brand’s career at the BBC — both when Brand joined in 2006 and was touted ‘as the future of radio’ and when he left in disgrace in 2008 in the aftermath of Sachsgate.

By then Brand, specialising in crude, highly sexualised material, had gone from fringe performer to mainstream star courtesy of the taxpayer.

A month after Sachsgate — in which the ‘comedian’ and Jonathan Ross left offensive messages for Andrew Sachs tormenting the late Fawlty Towers actor over Brand’s brief fling with his granddaughter — Thompson was summoned before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee to explain how such a ‘prank call’ could have been broadcast to the nation on Brand’s Radio 2 show.

Thompson’s response — that there were no red flags — seems risible today. ‘I do not think you can go back, as it were, through the audit trail and say, even of this programme, that it was obvious that it was an accident waiting to happen,’ he explained to the committee.

A spokesman for CNN, when contacted this week, stressed that the former director-general had taken immediate, decisive action in the wake of the Sachsgate furore which had resulted in Brand leaving the BBC, adding: ‘Like everyone else Mark is horrified by the alleged behaviour of Russell Brand that has recently come to light.’

Mark Thompson was a popular and successful director-general. But his testimony before the Commons committee back in 2008 is utterly at odds with the claims — too many to dismiss — that, contrary to what he said, Brand’s conduct in the Radio 2 studio had caused concern and bosses were aware of this.

How could they not have been? Some of the incidents were played out on air, just like Sachsgate, including comments about newsreader Andrea Simmons, whom Brand described as ‘erotic’ and a ‘sex bomb’, telling listeners: ‘We’re going to get under that desk and we’re going to unleash all hell on your thighs.’

So much for the ‘good evidence of tight compliance procedures’ on the show that Thompson referred to when he was grilled by the Commons committee.

Russell Brand takes part in a discussion at Esquire Townhouse, Carlton House Terrace on October 14, 2017

Russell Brand takes part in a discussion at Esquire Townhouse, Carlton House Terrace on October 14, 2017

Sachsgate saw Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross leave offensive voice messages for Andrew Sachs - tormenting the late Fawlty Towers actor over Brand’s brief fling with his granddaughter

Sachsgate saw Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross leave offensive voice messages for Andrew Sachs - tormenting the late Fawlty Towers actor over Brand’s brief fling with his granddaughter

Either way, his statement is bound to come under scrutiny in the review, ordered by current director-general Tim Davie last week, of 48-year-old

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Madeline Soto's biological father breaks his silence after the Florida ... trends now
NEXT Doctors first 'dismissed' this young girl's cancer symptom before her parents ... trends now