CNN made an odd choice during its coverage of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher‘s death on Monday. During the broadcast, the network repeatedly showed a photo of Thatcher alongside Jimmy Savile, a BBC personality believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.
The above photo shows Thatcher and Savile at a 1980 charity event. During a five-minute “Starting Point” segment about Thatcher’s death and legacy, CNN broadcasted the photo at least four separate times. Thatcher and Savile were known to be friends; she described his work as “marvelous” and invited him to spend the holidays with her family eleven times.
After Savile’s death in 2011, hundreds of victims came forward, alleging that he had molested or raped them. Ten of the women were profiled in the ITV documentary “Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile” — and at least one said she was as young as 14 years old when she was assaulted. As more and more women began to come forward, over 450 victims were interviewed by police. It was a sex scandal on an unprecedented scale.
It’s unknown why, of the thousands of photos available of Thatcher, CNN chose to repeatedly air this one.