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Dec 20, 2012

Savile scandal probes history of dangerously free love

As the inquiries into the Jimmy Savile scandal widen, the present is cannibalising the past, to general distress. The question is: how many other people will be drawn in?


Coming back into Heathrow — rain, rows of brown houses on the ground, a decaying terminal, with its faux pub, warm Carlsberg and prawn cocktail sandwiches — the tabloid headings on the WH Smiths rack at Heathrow said it all: “Savile — BBC didn’t want obituary”.

The Jimmy Savile scandal was unfolding as I left the UK in October; it has now opened wider than a slit parachute. Today the findings of the inquiry headed by former Sky News head Nick Pollard were released, painting a fairly damning picture of “confusion and chaos” at the Beeb, as the process of sorting out whether Savile should get a tribute program or an expose after his death.

Savile, the visibly odd BBC kids entertainer, pop/game show host, etc, who died last year, had been revealed after his death as a serial s-xual predator, over a period of decades. At the time there was a tribute, and senior producers squashed a story on BBC flagship Newsnight detailing allegations against Savile by women who Savile had bedded when they were pre-legal teens in the ’70s. The allegations came out in a Channel Four story, and so too did the BBC cover-up.

After the Four story, there were resignations at the Beeb. More importantly, more women came forth — as did former BBC producers, DJs, etc. It soon became clear Savile had been a predator over a course of decades, an appalling human being. He had been famed for his commitment to charity shows at hospitals — largely, it now became clear, because it offered access to vulnerable young women, some of them intellectually disabled.

As a searching police investigation began, there were accusations that Savile was part of a whole ring of music/pop/TV meant to be taking advantage of the hero-worship Savile enjoyed from young kids. By now, eight people have been arrested as part of the investigation, including DJ David Lee Travis, PR supremo Max Clifford and, inevitably, Gary Glitter. Meanwhile, the head of Newsnight and then of the BBC entire, both resigned. Savile’s family arranged for his gravestone to be removed, crushed and the debris thrown into the sea.

Stories like this gain attention for one of two reasons: either because they feature someone everyone was surprised to find guilty of such, or because the revelations surprised no one at all. In this case it was both — Savile sailed through 40 years of stardom, being everyone’s favourite TV uncle; two full generations of Brits have fond memories of the moptop-mulleted, cigar-smoking, tracksuited, gold-chained man-child, who never moved out of his mother’s house and slept in her unchanged bedroom. Yeah, nothing to see here.

The reversal of Savile’s image, from s-xless imp to obvious predator, has been part of a wider cultural shift, but it’s fair to say it has retroactively changed the childhood of millions of Britons. As former fan Oliver Milman wrote for Crikey, one of Savile’s iconic shows was Jim’ll Fix It, a program in which kids wrote in asking Savile to organise things for them — fly in a biplane, drink a spiked Fanta in a BBC dressing room, etc — and there are hundreds of clips of Jim with smiling kids that now have a darker meaning.

Nor is it likely to be the last bodyshock to the culture. Savile, it appears, was both an exploiter of post-pubescent groupies, and also a p-edophilic predator on pre-pubescent children of both genders. There’s no details of what the other men are arrested are guilty of, though Glitter is a convicted p-edo. Others may be guilty of hitting on underage groupies that Savile drew in. It is for that reason the net is spreading so wide — to a group of men taking advantage of access to free (underage) girls — and also why it may draw yet more of the culture and of memory.

For the plain fact is, from the ’60s into the ’80s, if you’re talking about male stars and 15-plus girls, then everyone was doing it. Or, if not everyone, at least a solid percentage. Most such people would have had rules about how young they liked their groupies, and some implicit morality about tweens and early teens — but that simply emphasises the degree of acceptance of sampling mid-teen girls.

“Now, as the inquiries widen, the present is cannibalising the past, to general distress.”

You can see what it was like by watching the shows of the era — the loose studio style of presentation with the audience, kids, crowded in around the presenters, and the industry itself having the freewheeling style of the counterculture. People wandered in and out of dressing rooms, drank through shows, and production values were no better than they needed to be. Pre-multichannel environments, the TV and music industries were such moneymakers there was no real drive for efficiency, or much adult supervision.

The tightening and streamlining of TV coincided with the eruption in concern over child abuse that occurred in the late ’80s. The audience was segregated, from performers and contact with children began to be supervised and chaperoned. By 2000 at least half-a-dozen TV and music producers were doing jail time for s-x with minors, and a police check of everyone became mandatory. Nowadays, the bloke who comes to deliver the water cooler refills on the set of Neighbours has to have a background certificate, and everyone on up.

Now, as the inquiries widen, the present is cannibalising the past, to general distress. One of the reasons there is so much ’60s/’70s nostalgia around these days is that it’s the last period before the boomgate came down — when the general perception was you could hitch a ride, catch a plane with a flick-knife in your pocket, cross the street without climbing six safety barriers, and hang out with the band. The downside of it is becoming obvious. The question is: how many other people and scenes will it draw in? Some of this has been hiding in plain sight for a long time.

Take, as the gold-standard of “free”-wheeling behaviour, Led Zeppelin. Last month, the three improbably surviving members of the band were honoured at the White House. But the various memoirs of people associated with the band detail a history not merely of s-x with underage girls, but of drinking, doping and coercion shading into full s-xual assault. Even the most stand-up bands of the time didn’t ask for ID — “12 is wrong, 15 is bad lighting” as the old saying goes.

Pre-pubescent p-edophilia is rare in the music industry. It is less uncommon in TV, whose plentiful supply of child actors (though less than there once were) attracts predators, for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks — “‘cos that’s where the money is”. The real question is what should happen as this process widens. S-xual coercion and assault should be investigated, and if viable, prosecuted, no matter what the time lag, particularly if there are multiple complainants. So should s-xual activity with pre-pubescents. Whether much of this groupie behaviour should be legally re-opened decades after the fact remains to be seen.

It seems reasonable, for a whole lot of developmental and cultural reasons, that we should set the age of consent around 16 or 17 (at least for s-x with adults). But we haven’t always, and some jurisdictions have set it at 14. As long-hidden strands of p-edophilia within society have come to light — and may also have increased in frequency — over the past decade, some activity has been caught in its net. Borderline underage s-x is one of these, and the process has led to a one-size-fits-all (yes, yes, habloodyha) approach.

This is a discussion that is going to have to be had across the board, something that has been apparent for quite a while. At the moment, the default setting is that every accusation of s-xual misconduct, made decades later, should be given a full court press — even when the dangers of mistaken memory, uncorroborated evidence, etc, remains huge.

But the Savile scandal means it won’t happen in the UK, for the moment. Just as Phil Spector’s crazed killing of a woman forever tarnished the exuberant innocence of his “wall of sound” tracks from the early ’60s, so many Brits cannot now look back on the most basic part of a post-’50s childhood — TV that offers a portal to another world — without seeing a few extra shadows. The total information society expands not only in space but time, leaving us with a constantly revised past. The almost irremovable mindset of human life has always been that of a “fall away” from a golden age, collectively and individually. Childhood nostalgia is a powerful part of that process.

Now, such memories can come under assault at any time. It leaves people in a permanent present, and that is not a great place for Britain to be at the moment, a sort of permanent Heathrow of the soul. Nor will we soon be out of it.


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29 thoughts on “Savile scandal probes history of dangerously free love

  1. cairns50

    another great article guy thanks

  2. Dani Dambrosio

    This is a very well written article Guy, and so true – how our state of living is now permanently in the present.. damn shame; and I didn’t even grow up in that golden age.

  3. zut alors

    A terrific piece, Guy. All credit to you and the English air.

  4. Damian Lloveda

    Kudos. Top quality article, very well written. I mentioned to a friend in passing, pieces which provoke more thought and more questions is what i seek. Here i found.

  5. michael r james

    [Coming back into Heathrow — rain, rows of brown houses on the ground, a decaying terminal, with its faux pub, warm Carlsberg and prawn cocktail sandwiches — the tabloid headings on the WH Smiths rack at Heathrow said it all: “Savile — BBC didn’t want obituary”.]

    Oh, lawdy me, as if the first para is not bad enough, the rest of the article is such a downer. Good writing of course, but too good. It makes me feel sick. I don’t know how you do it. Go back to that sh!t country, I mean. Last time I arrived there–very similar ambience as your first para–it was only minutes before I foreswore to never visit again if possible. The vibe is intolerable.

    The Savile scandal indeed says it all. The French have President’s secret families, or presidential contenders (DSK) whose hyper-active s*x life leaves one breathless, perhaps not exactly with admiration or envy but still … debonnaire, charming, smart and powerful men of the world … Instead the Brits have a greasy shyster mummy’s-boy p_edo who makes one’s skin crawl.

    And that is not a retroactive opinion. Like Mike Carlton noted a while back, when he interviewed Savile in London in the late 70s, he was filled with revulsion about 60 seconds into the interview. Notwithstanding the quasi-reality behind the “two full generations of Brits have fond memories” of the sleazebag, from my first tv sighting of him in 1980, it was a deeply worrying mystery as to why anyone tolerated him as 30 seconds was more than enough. And that is without knowing the worst of it.

    It even brings to mind–though some will find it an unfair stretch–the ’97 election of Tony Blair. I couldn’t understand how Brits could stand the guy let alone consider him some kind of political hero. Back then he made my skin crawl too, and perhaps today as we see him fleetingly flickering on the tube, more Brits would agree. Just another political chancer with a (peculiar) Oxford accent leading the herd and entire country down a cul de sac.

    “… a sort of permanent Heathrow of the soul. Nor will we soon be out of it.” Guy, you gotta get outta there! It’s not even interesting to document this Brit type of decadence (and we have Dalrymple for that). And Tony Abbott is there! As FDOTM says today: “Pass me a bucket”.

  6. dale ross

    Unfortunately Guy you are making dangerous assumptions such as claiming the accusations are true when no such thing has been proved in a court- they ARE still accusations against a man who can no longer defend himself.

    You also use the idiotic tabloid perversion of the word pedophilia which has a distinct clinical and legal definition to describe events if true, would be unlawful sex with an underaged person. This is NOT pedophilia.

    Such loose tabloid skewering of language is as dangerous as the tabloid media has been in all this ie: a sacked editor of The Sun (one charged in the hacking scandal) claims he knew all about Savile but was precluded form ‘exposing’ him because of libel laws.

    That does not explain why the entirety of Fleet Street however went on promoting Savile on a weekly basis whilst at the same time claiming they knew of these alleged offenses. Including soppy eulogies upon his death one year ago.

    If it is true what is claimed about Savile, Britain’s media should be in the dock as well if for no more reason than the Murdoch media quite happily printed topless photos of teen girls, some below age 16 up until 2003 wen the laws changed. Such photos would now be considered child p*rn but it seems media moguls are exempt.

    The real story about the Savile claims is that of the role of the media and that includes our ABC which outrageously broadcast a gutter type tabloid TV commercial show about this very matter on 4 Corners- a show more suitable for Fox News.

    As usual, the media itself avoids any scrutiny in it’s role in these scandals.

  7. Roberto Tedesco

    Jeez, Michael R James and Mike Carlton could have saved everyone a lot of time if they’d only let us know when they knew. Doggone etc.

  8. Guy Rundle


    presumption of innocence in commentary applies when someone’s alive, and/or there is no preponderance of evidence. There is overwhelming evidence of Savile’s predatory behaviour, from dozens of unconnected victims. It’s beyond serious question.

    You should read the article more carefully. I have made the distinction between paedophilia – sex with pre-pubescents – and underage sex with teenagers of 14,15, etc. I agree that the ‘p’ word is overused. But there is clear evidence that Savile sexually abused pre-pubescent children, and so paedophile he was.

  9. dale ross

    Further proof that the Jimmy Savile matter is exposing how our media has become an echo chamber of rumour and purveyor of tabloid type opinion not fact.

    Whatever the reality of the claims against Savile- not yet proved in a court of law but taken as fact by the media including crikey in Guy Rundle’s article, the Pollard Report into why the BBC did not broadcast a program about Savile explains why the ABC 4 Corners should never have stooped to presenting a tabloid style program on this very matter :
    “‘The extent to which we had to rely on the testimony from [[R1]] was stark. She was the only victim in vision we had and would be the face of our allegations and I remained concerned about how well her testimony would stand up to the scrutiny it would get. I was also concerned with the way we had collected the additional evidence from other victims and witnesses, The women were to remain anonymous. The interviews had all been done on the telephone. Some of them were done by a junior researcher who was with us on work experience who I had never worked with. I was also concerned that the evidence could potentially be undermined because some of the women had already discussed the claims amongst themselves via a social networking site. In my personal experience, the strongest testimony from victims of alleged child sexual abuse has to be collected individually, face to face, on neutral territory, with trained interviewers used to not asking leading questions. This was a long way from what we had done.
    For these reasons I emailed Meirion on 30th November saying I wanted to pursue the CPS angle on the story to its end before finally deciding on publishing…’.”
    The ABC program was basically what the BBC refused to broadcast for very solid reasons : it was their failure to follow up that was the problem.
    What the Savile affair is demonstrating from the other side of the world is proof that our once trusted ABC is being reduced to Today Tonight / A Current Affair style sensationalism which also includes news reports as dire as the commercial outlets.

    Yet not a peep from anyone.

  10. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Dale Ross, you make the assertion that claims about Savile are “not yet proved in a court”, as if they might some day get to court. This is a very weak position to argue a defense of Savile – who has no rights whatsoever since he is dead. It might be in bad taste to ‘defame the dead’ but you should know by now that it is a free-for-all.
    I wonder if you are sufficiently moved by all of this to make contact with Savile’s family who also seem to have taken things into their own hands. “Savile’s family arranged for his gravestone to be removed, crushed and the debris thrown into the sea.” Perhaps someone there knew things we will never know. Never want or need to know.

  11. dale ross

    Mr McColl : as usual those who demand our media report facts and not opinion of outright fabrications get accused of ‘supporting’ alleged abuser.

    I do no such thing. Under the circumstances where you basically accuse me of this, it’s no wonder Savile’s family have caved in to media pressure and reversed their claims of support for their late family member. Given the vindictiveness of Britain’s tabloid media (and ours) I would probably do the same.

    You haven’t even done an internet search on Savile’s family or you would know they supported him right up until the media pressure was volcanic.

    Tell me what I do that is wrong ?. I demand the media report the facts plain and simple and not jump to conclusions and so should you or at least, examine the claims a little further.

    And there is a very good reason : several people have been arrested in Britain since this hysteria began and the DO face possible court actions.

    All of this was started by a tabloid program happily broadcast by the our ABC and a British commercial TV station. That program basically screened what the BBC refused to with very good justifications.

    The problem was the BBC failed to follow through.

    As a person who was bright up in Britain during the entire Savile era of BBC broadcasting there were outright fabrications in the program the ABC broadcast evident to anyone who was around at the time but apparently, not of importance to the ABC.

    1. the chief researcher for the ITV /ABC ( and BBC) program failed to disclose he was the nephew of the matron of the home where the alleged offences happened and that he had a fractured and bitter relationship with her.

    2.the program falsely claimed the Surrey Police failed to prosecute Savile because he was ‘old and frail’. The researcher presented what is now proven to be a forged police letter. The police investigated Savile and did not prosecute because of lack of evidence.

    3. It was claimed 2 of the arrested but not charged ‘celebrities’ appeared together on the same program (the basis for their arrest). they did not. probably why they haven’t been and will not be charged.

    4. 2 of the claimants in the ABC program claimed they were abused at the BBC TV Centre during the recording of the “Clunk Click” & “Jim’ll Fix It” shows.
    Those programs were recorded ALWAYS at the BBC Theatre in Shepherds Bush. I’ve been to both as has thousands of people.

    Minor details ? I think not and ones that certainly could alter the course of a trial and most certainly FACTS that should concern the ABC and crikey readers. Or perhaps tabloid sensation has won the day.

  12. dale ross

    I disagree Guy.

    NO evidence has YET been presented by police to prove Savile engaged in pedophilia. It may well be in the future when they publish the results of their inquiry.

    The police still use the word “allegations”.

    This is serious business because others are being arrested on the strength of these allegations.

    I have no information as to the truth or falsehood of these allegations.

    Your story (which I liked) and the entire Savile matter emanates from a flawed ITV program which broadcast the distortions rejected by the BBC and that rejection has been accepted as genuine in the Pollard Report at a taxpayer cost of £2M. The report crticizes the BBC for what followed.

    Yet our ABC chose to broadcast an ITV program presented by, as Kerry O’Brien labelled him “an experienced child protection officer”, ignoring the ex-policeman’s self promotion and the fact he was a uniformed officer for 9 years and a detective for just one. Ask his former Surrey Police colleagues what they think of him.

    That ABC program falsely defamed Surrey Police with the continued claim they failed to prosecute Savile because he was “old and infirm”. The opposite happened-they seriously investigated Savile but could not find the evidence.

    Which doesn’t mean there wasn’t evidence of course.

    My concern is not the Savile allegations : it’s the media distortions as evidenced by the defaming of a British peer in the atmosphere of media hysteria.

    My other concern is that our ABC has been successfully neutered as a serious national network and their broadcasting of a News Of The World type program confirms this.

  13. Guy Rundle


    they are minor details, and do not cast any significant doubt on the accusations. the accusations had been made multiple times, and the evidence against savile includes adult witnesses. i dont think ‘hysteria’ really captures the revelation of systematic predation over decades. legal presumption of innocence doesnt mean leaving your brains at the door

  14. michael r james

    @Roberto Tedesco at 10:34

    Ha! Believe me, I certainly did make my opinion known to my Brit friends and colleagues. But as I explained, and Guy’s article and any number of other (retrospective) observations make clear, the Brits were in some weird kind of thrall to the white-haired spiv. Like Dale (at 7:27 am & 12:37 pm) there is a deep denial process in action–something to do with some (gulp) iconic figure in their youth, or some such psychopathy (not to imply abnormality, just the happenstance of circumstance). Clearly no amount of evidence is going to allow Dale to let go.

    Of course, the key point here is that it was something that grabbed kids, and I will agree I may be judging the adult Brits unfairly since I was never exposed as a kid to the sainted Jimmy.

    Incidentally the Brit response is always along the lines of “it’s just a bit of fun” and “it’s ‘armless, innit?”. I was never persuaded anyone (in my circle, obviously different to Dale’s) was actually in awe of Savile, and that the whole phenomenon was happenstance–someone had to fill the new niche in those changing times, and first-mover advantage is huge.

    In the same era there was the similar phenom of Gary Glitter whose rote formulaic pseudo-rock appealed to the kindergartner inside most Brits; my Brit friends used to drag their pre-teen kids to his concerts and it all seemed like a modern substitute for a Butlin’s camp singalong. (I’m guessing Dale is a Glitterfan too?). Well, at least GG wasn’t as obviously or transparently unctuous or repellent as Savile. (For the record I am not claiming any foresight in the sleazy side of GG, but in the case of Savile I did use the word “sleazy” 32 years ago. Barely-credible sleaziness in a children’s performer, though not imagined as awful as it turned out to have been.)

  15. dale ross

    Guy you seem to be leaving your brains at the door too.

    Please point me in the direction of the ‘evidence’ and more importantly- point the Yewtree coppers in that direction.
    They are the ones who still claim there are allegations.

    Being a journalist does not give you the right to jump the gun and turn allegations into proof of evidence and particularly as others have been arrested and may be arrested in the future on the strength of these allegations.
    You should wait until Yewtree reports.

    Michael R.James : for the record : I never really thought much of Jimmy Savile but loved Top Of The Pops. I rarely watched Jim’ll Fix It but I attended the BBC TV Centre 5 times in great excitement to watch programs being recorded. When you were under 18 you HAD to have a legal aged chaperone- BBC rules.
    That is why alarm bells went off for me watching the ABC and claimants make the bizarre mistake (and I guarantee the Yewtree police have also noted) that the BBC TV Centre was the BBC Theatre.

    I always thought Savile must have been celibate so shows what I know.

    As to Gary Glitter- yes I was a fan when young but grew out of it. He claims he was set up in Vietnam. We should take the victims word as given and as a court concluded. I note however- no other victim has ever come forward- in the UK, Vietnam, Cambodia , Thailand or Cuba- all places he lived which would indicate he wasn’t a recidivist offender although British tabloids would have us think he is the devil incarnate.

  16. dale ross

    And Guy surely the media hysteria is more than obvious :

    we have a man who it’s claimed may have had over 500 victims.

    That’s 500 victims who kept silent for 40 years while Fleet Street actively promoted an alleged serial offender whilst at the same time claiming they know all the gossip about him, yet published weekly, monthly, yearly, positive stories that – if the offending is true- must have given this serial abuser full confidence that he could carry on regardless and know he would never be brought to account.

    As I say- Savile cannot be in the dock but Britain’s media should be.

  17. floorer

    Dale, if you can’t wrap your head around this story think churches. Same deal.

  18. Malcolm Street

    Floorer – +1

  19. dale ross

    floorer, Malcolm Street and Guy obviously cannot wrap their heads around the concept that a trial in absentia (death in this case)is an appalling and dangerous concept.

    To compare it to the Catholic Church is bizarre and transfers guilt over one matter, to another. Why stop there?

    Many have left their brains at the door in the Savile case and the way in which tabloid media, which crikey at times seeks to emulate, has an unhealthy affect- it pre-supposes guilt (and I have asked for the evidence, a simple request) on the strength of endless media reports that echo each other in strident form.

    The fact it is about Savile is neither here nor there : what else does crikey and Guy Rundle present as proof or evidence of a crime apart from newspaper reports ?.

  20. dale ross

    On re-reading this article, I spot glaring inconsistencies.

    Savile was no more ‘visiably odd’ than any entertainer of the day. Nor do scenes of him being surrounded by children on ‘Jim’llFixit’ take on ‘darker meanings’ except if you believe the tosh presented by the ABC program which Rundle seems to take as sancrosant.

    That is despite the glaring inconsistencies in that program which the BBC quite rightly refused to screen.

    Rundle misinterprets the findings of the Pollard Report : the program screened by ITV & the ABC was wrong on so many levels as I have previously stated that included the complainants having compared notes prior to the program and coming up with the claim they were abused at the BBC Centre during filming of Jim’ll Fixit (although one claims she was also abused in 1972 after the filming of ClunkClink which didn’t start filming until 1976) when all shows were recorded at the BBC Theatre in Shepherds Bush.

    It’s like confusing the Sydney Opera House for the Town Hall.

    Or one claiming she was abused at the Duncroft Approved Home home when she was 14, yet the very concept of Duncroft was that it took girls from aged 16 to 18 only.

    I could go on to name the numerous other inconsistencies that stem from that ABC program- all provable as incorrect and fantasy(and I believe they will be exposed on a BBC program soon) but crux of the matter here is that Rundle has avoided reality in his piece by re-hashing unproven claims that have been propagated by the hysteria of a discredited Fleet Street.

    That includes the ridiculous claim that a frail man and shadow of a corny entertainer that Savile was for the last 20 years of his life until his death in 2011, was somehow so powerful that 500 alleged abused persons were silenced from coming forward.

    We already have the Surrey Police on record (it’s on their website for the ABC & Kerry O’Brien to check and was before they screened the program) that they had received complaints about Savile from 3 women in 2007, had investigated and concluded there was no evidence.

    None of this proves Savile may have not done something but none of what Rundle prints prove he was a serial abuser.

    But then when the media accepts as they did in Britain (and Australia follows like a lemming) that a women claims she was ‘pinched on the bottom by Savile and 30 years later it led to the break up of her marriage, we have entered Alice & Looking Glass world.

    No wonder The Guardian’s Nick Davies was moved to fling a glass of wine in the face of an Aussie journalist. although for the life of me I cannot remember who he was.

  21. floorer

    Dale, I’m perplexed at your energy re this topic. Guy’s article is not much more than a wrap up / encapsulation. God knows how you coped with the UK press response.

  22. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Dale Ross (back at No.11), you ask: “Tell me what I do that is wrong?” You are not a wrongdoer Dale, you are just running off at the keyboard:
    1. You suggested, with inverted commas, that I had accused you of being a ‘supporter’ of Savile. I never wrote the word, never suggested it.
    2. Pretty bold and potentially disrespectful to suggest the Savile family caved in to “volcanic” media pressure to destroy the man’s grave. Did you mean they were forced to do it?
    3. You suggest these sexual abuse allegations made about Savile might some day be tested in a court – which can’t possibly happen because the accused is dead.

  23. dale ross

    Hugh (Charlie) McColl : indeed, the allegations about Savile will not be tested in court. He died an innocent man. A pesky legal reality that escapes many journalists including Guy Rundle.

    My big beef is with the ABC screening a program full of flaws and inaccuracies. The Pollard Report agrees that the BBC program was abandoned for sensible reasons. The contents of the program were shopped to a commercial station that screened them without question. As did our ABC. That fact seems to bother no-one.

    Guy avoids who also cooked the pot for the cannibals : the media who have completely avoided their role in promoting a culture of questionable aged sex , groupies etc etc.

    As example by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun and his Page 3 topless girls, often under 18 years of age, sometimes under 16 years of age (and today classified as child p*rn), sometimes screeching headlines like “she’s legal tomorrow fellas” and so on.

    I may run off at the keyboard but posters and the author respond. I must be doing something right.

    Rundle has blamed everyone except Fleet Street, a Fleet St that is basically the creation of Murdoch. I always though the culture of Fleet St was an accident in waiting- I was right. It’s now been imported to Australia where it began but sadly the ABC has now joined the cannibals.

  24. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Dale Ross, you might be satisfied by identifying culprits in the dumbing down of the media but you are missing altogether the elephant in the room: the dozens of people who claim to have been molested by Savile. You seem to not want to hear from them because any media outlet of any description which might wish to give them a voice is, in your mind, so compromised by the toxic global media culture that honorable people like yourself simply won’t listen to them.
    So who will you listen to? In your ideal world, how do you hear the voices of abused children? If police won’t touch the stuff (compromised by Fleet Street), Fleet Street won’t touch it (compromised by its own tabloid culture), ordinary people won’t touch it (don’t believe crap media anymore and anyway, have long-held dissenting viewpoint) who is actually available to deal with these confronting revelations?

  25. Pinko Pete

    What’s the story with the dashes in the words that relate to some kind of sexual activity, e.g., ‘s-xual’, ‘p-edophilic’, etc.?

  26. zut alors

    Pinko Pete, some readers’ spam filters may block the Crikey bulletin being delivered due to certain words, the dashes enable it to get through.

  27. Johnfromplanetearth

    Lori Maddox : Born 1958 was part of the wild Hollywood teenage groupie scene in the early 1970s. She reportedly lost her virginity at age 13 to David Bowie and Angie Bowie. One of her best friends was Sable Starr, who was the unofficial queen of the scene at the time. Lori, who was also known as Lori Lightning and Lori Mattix, wasn’t as experienced as Sable, but Lori also became a regular at famous Hollywood groupie hangouts, like the Rainbow Bar & Grill, Rodney’s English Disco, the Continental
    Hyatt House (also known as “The Riot House”), and the Whisky. Like Sable, Lori was often featured in Star magazine (a short-lived ’70s magazine, not the Star magazine that’s currently a tabloid), which often had articles detailing the activities of music groupies.

    When Lori was 14 years old, she met a man who would change her life: Jimmy Page, guitarist of Led Zeppelin. Jimmy first spotted her when an associate of his showed Jimmy a picture of Lori. Jimmy was intrigued, and when Led Zeppelin stopped in Los Angeles on their 1972 tour, Jimmy immediately tried to get together with Lori. Even though Jimmy was dating groupie Pamela Des Barres at the time (back when she was known as Pamela Miller, aka Miss Pamela of the GTO’s), Jimmy pursued Lori relentlessly. Lori has said she was still a virgin at the time and she was afraid of Jimmy at first. But Lori has contradicted herself by reportedly saying that she wasn’t a virgin when she met Jimmy. Because of her groupie activities before she met Jimmy, it’s more likely that she wasn’t a virgin by the time she got together with him. According to Lori, after Jimmy tried and failed several times to get together with her, Jimmy had Led Zeppelin’s tour manager “kidnap” Lori and bring her back to the Continental Hyatt, the hotel where Led Zeppelin was staying. Lori was brought to Jimmy’s room, where as she described in the Led Zeppelin book “Hammer Of The Gods”: “It was dimly lit by candles…and Jimmy was just sitting there in a corner, wearing this hat slouched over his eyes and holding a cane. It was really mysterious and weird…He looked just like a gangster. It was magnificent.” That night, Jimmy and Lori began a torrid affair, but they had to keep their relationship a secret from the public since Lori was underage and Jimmy was at risk of being arrested. Every rock star from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s will be feeling very nervous about this current scandal.

  28. floorer

    John I detest posts like yours. If you have something to say just spit it out. If you’re making a comparison spit it out otherwise b u g g e r o f f.


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