When Fox News demonstrates more journalistic scruples than the BBC, you know we’re in trouble.
Famed constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz, who thinks the Constitution gives Donald Trump the power to do anything he wants so long as he’s earnestly attempting to steal elections, appeared on BBC News Wednesday after Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five counts of sex trafficking. The problem? The network presented him as an impartial legal expert without acknowledging that he’s been implicated in some of the same crimes involving Maxwell and her erstwhile boyfriend, notorious convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Shortly after Maxwell was convicted Wednesday of sex-trafficking charges for assisting Epstein in abusing young girls, BBC News brought on Dershowitz to analyze the guilty verdict of Epstein’s longtime paramour. But the network failed to mention that Dershowitz not only previously served as Epstein’s attorney but that he is accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was as young as 16. Dershowitz has denied the allegations.
Dershowitz used his time on the “BBC World News” to slam Giuffre for supposedly not being a credible witness in the Maxwell case — claims that went unchallenged by the show’s anchor. He also claimed the case from Giuffre against him and Britain’s Prince Andrew, who has also been accused of sexual assault and has denied the allegations, was somehow weakened after Maxwell’s guilty verdict.
Have a looksee.
Whoo! Great job, BBC. What’s next? Inviting Jared Fogle to write a weight-loss column, or giving Bill Cosby a segment to discuss his favorite cocktail recipes? It’s probably too late to run Jeffrey Dahmer’s outré restaurant reviews.
Is it rude to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Dershowitz is being blackmailed? This self-proclaimed liberal has Human Centipeded himself to Donald Trump’s backside with such alacrity, it’s almost impossible to imagine he’s not being pressured somehow. But hey, maybe Epstein Island was just an elaborate Chuck E. Cheese with Friday night pizza parties, unlimited Skee-Ball, and an animatronic Jerry Sandusky Jug Band.
Of course Dershowitz also appeared on Fox News on Wednesday, because Fox never misses a chance to be ghastly. But as journalist and tweeter extraordinaire Aaron Rupar noted above, at least Fox acknowledged Dershowitz’s connections to Epstein and Maxwell.
Meanwhile, some very smart people—all of whom would have been more credible on this issue than Dershowitz—were appalled by the BBC’s lapse in judgment.
Know who else was appalled? The BBC.
For the nontweeters:
“Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards, as Mr Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience. We will look into how this happened.”
Well, at least the network copped to it, even if the statement didn’t include an apology. I would expect a similar mea culpa from Fox News if they had editorial standards to violate. But as long as they rigorously maintain a maximum skirt length and occasionally change the batteries in Brian Kilmeade’s head, their broadcast license isn’t in any danger. Yet it remains a mystery why the very last person who should have been tapped to discuss this subject is the very guy the respected network chose to interview.
Do better, BBC. You don’t want to become the American media. That way lies madness.
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