“Fury erupted last night after it emerged ex-director-general George Entwistle will get a £450,000 payoff,” seethed the Sun.
“The blundering boss managed to negotiate a year’s salary in lieu of notice when he quit on Saturday, despite his contract only entitling him to six months.”
Entwistle’s payoff is small change compared to the £7m pocketed by the Sun’s own blundering boss, chief executive Rebekah Brooks, when she belatedly resigned over her role in the company’s dliatory and deceitful reaction to phone-hacking allegations.
While the paper has never mentioned the “fury” aroused by her reward for failure, an editorial made it very clear what it feels about Entwistle: “there was no way BBC Director General George Entwistle could have survived after the Newsnight paedophile scandal.”
In fact there is a precedent Entwistle could have cited had he chose to hang on. Back in March 2003, the Sun printed a photograph of a man it claimed had been convicted of sex offences against children, under the enormous headline “FACE OF KID BAN PERVERT” – only to find that he was an unrelated and innocent man who had to leave his home and was put under police protection.
By coincidence the paper had only been edited by Rebekah Wade (as she then was) for a couple of months. Did she take responsibility and immediately resign? Er, no – not even when the Sun was forced to print two apologies, pay damages and take out adverts in the local press where the man lived to asssure neighbours of his innocence.